All the extras are less important than the point of a wedding: two people who are getting married before God.
I sympathize with all the couples who decided to get married this past year and who, for obvious reasons, had to postpone the celebration. I don’t even want to imagine the pain many of them must feel upon seeing the most important day of their lives be postponed, perhaps indefinitely.
Also, I admire the many couples who decided to go ahead with their plans despite the circumstances. I think it’s a brave thing to do.
But I let me tell you, dear reader, that starting a marriage this way is actually a blessing.
Don’t misunderstand me. What I mean is that celebrating a wedding with complications can be a faithful portrait of one’s own life, which isn’t exempt from difficulties and trials that help us to grow, if you know how to handle them well.
We were spoiled right up until the state of emergency was declared in almost every country in the world. There was a clear trend, although without bad intentions, that made it seem that weddings had to be perfect, with increasingly higher budgets.
The fact is, there’s a whole industry behind ensuring that weddings be as perfect and memorable as possible, and that’s as it should be. But it’s also true that maybe it was getting a little out of hand.
Let me open my heart to you because I want to tell you my personal story.
My own wedding experience
Fifteen years ago the limousine I was riding in was starting to head up the driveway to the church entrance. However, to my surprise, all the guests were waiting outside.
The chauffeur waited a few long minutes before continuing up the ramp. Suddenly, someone who appeared to be the caretaker finally opened the church and people were able to enter and occupy the pews.
On my return from my honeymoon, at a family gathering, I learned that there had been a problem. Apparently, our wedding wasn’t on the list of celebrations for that Friday. In fact, the caretaker had arrived to open the doors for another wedding, not ours.
I learned that the priest who officiated the ceremony had to prove with paperwork that we were scheduled for 5 pm. All this while I was waiting in the distance inside the car, not really knowing what was going on. My husband was more aware because he had to wait for me inside, at the altar.
Then, at the reception, when all our loved ones were on the dance floor, there was a second problem: the speakers weren’t powerful enough to handle the intensity of the sound and literally broke, leaving us all bewildered.
A good attitude in the face of problems is the key to facing them with dignity. I will always be grateful to my cousin for the initiative he took to start singing a funny song, breaking the ice in this apparently embarrassing situation for the bride and groom.
Even the DJ was surprised by our attitude and that we didn’t boo him after what happened.
And, to top it all off, as if we hadn’t had enough, a couple of tourists sneaked into the open bar posing as wedding guests. Thank goodness someone at the hotel noticed and raised the alarm.
So, what am I trying to tell you? Of course, none of this compares to the situation that couples who are getting married now are going through. These three problems are a trifle in comparison to a pandemic.
But I want to send a positive and constructive message: Life is not perfect. Or, rather, it is perfect with the sum of its good times and its rough times. Yes, the rough times too, because let’s face it: How many times have hardships taught us a lesson that benefits us in the long run?
And marriage, like life, is made up of some moments when the going is easy and other moments when it’s more like scaling a mountain.
It’s understandable that many engaged couples want to wait to be able to celebrate their love with all the guarantees of health and safety. However, it would be wrong to think that once the pandemic is over, everything will go smoothly.
Marriage is not the end, it is the beginning
We all know that getting married isn’t like in Disney fairy tales, where it seems that the story ends with the prince’s kiss and from then on “they lived happily ever after.”
It would be counterproductive to think that there will be no more difficulties or struggles.
From the moment a married couple begins their journey, everything still needs to be done, to be built. We’re offered the opportunity, from the very moment of “I do,” to get out of ourselves to take care of our spouse: by doing the little things, by making gestures of generosity, by loving.
If, on the contrary, we go into marriage with the idea of avoiding problems and having a comfortable life, we’re doing ourselves a disservice. Sooner or later difficulties will come, and if we’re not trained for them we won’t know how to face them.
That’s why I said that starting a marriage this way is a blessing. It prepares the couple for real life, which is a struggle.
In the end, COVID-19 has re-ordered our priorities. All the accessories (dresses, banquet, cake, music, flowers, etc.) have taken second place, while what is truly important has regained its rightful place in the spotlight: two people who are getting married before God.