Oh, the pressure.
Tremendous responsibilities are associated with weddings. Countless professionals must be on their A-game to deliver the perfectly a memorable occasion of the happy couple's dreams. We routinely address the incredible florist, photographer, minister, designer, etc. But, there is one hard-working individual pining away without due credit. Since we are a kind and considerate group of people, let’s take a moment to acknowledge this person.
You - the guest.
I understand you are given food, entertainment, and a generally fun time as you watch that lovely couple commit their lives to one another. You may have even been provided tissues for a simple tear cascading down your cheek, because weren’t those vows simply the most stunning thing ever to have graced your ears?
But, there is a pressure guests endure that we take for granted. And, perhaps, we take this for granted because many of us have just given up on performing the monumental task well.
Writing in the dang wedding card.
Sure, hallmark did an incredible job providing a sappy little poem, but clearly such verse isn’t sufficient standing alone. You have one moment - one shot - to speak wisdom into this couple. They are starting fresh and you could save them of all future heartache if only you come up with the PERFECT WORDS to speak into their marriage.
I routinely crumble under this pressure. My cards typically read, “We are so happy for you! Best wishes! We would love to have you over for dinner sometime! We love you!” Occasionally, I tone down the exclamation points, but generally not. I over compensate for my lack poetic advice with intense emotion about dinner dates.
Today, I am sitting down to finally articulate what I have learned in whole six years of marriage and what I consistently want to convey to other couples just starting this whole marriage thing. These four sentiments are applicable to everyone and anyone, at all times, in every circumstance.
1. Sometimes, go to bed angry.
Some hours of the day we are more critical and less grace-giving. In our marriage, this happens after 11:30pm. If we want to have a ridiculous “discussion” about which outlet a phone charger should be placed, we have it at midnight. Or, another option, we just go to bed at midnight and at 9am the next day, we have reasonable conversation in which everyone is happy.
Because such trivial details about charger placement sound like nonsense when sun shines and coffee is poured.
2. Choose to love your spouse.
I had two children in less than two years. During this time of almost constant pregnancy and breastfeeding, I have been informed I was nothing short of perfection. My speech was encouraging, my language flowery, my attitude one of gratefulness for the privilege of carrying my children and the support of my husband, and never once uttered a string of complaints about around the clock back pain.
I am telling you – I was an absolute JOY.
And while my husband has never said so much, I suspect he had to CHOOSE to love me for moment or two. If I were a betting woman (which I am, if craps are available), I would wager he had to recall that love is a commitment, not a feeling and I am grateful he did.
He is basically superman and always right, so I have never had to make a conscience decision to love him in a moment of frustration. I am so lucky.
HEAR ME. This premarital advice was a game changer. Your feelings are valid and you cannot hold them in and remain healthy. If you are frustrated about something, say those words (nicely).
“Dear Wonderful Person to Whom I Have Committed my Life, I am hurt that you chose to spend time doing that Really Fun Thing instead of spending time with me doing this other Really Fun Thing. “
Another option: Hold this statement and bury it deep inside each time you feel hurt or frustrated. Then, wait two years, and have a full-on meltdown full of anger and tears.
*Please refer to #1 when deciding what time to use your kind words to express your emotions.
4. Put your loving Savior first.
This applies to those of us who believe that our first love and best friend is Our Sustainer. By design, we crave to be so loved and connected to our Warrior-Poet God. When we stop relying on the Spirit to meet our needs, we put impossible pressure on the imperfect human we chose to spend our lives next to.
When you start feeling like your expectations aren’t being met, evaluate your spiritual life. Are you allowing the Spirit to speak into you? Do you spend time in prayer? Are you in Sacred Scriptures? If your answer is "no," then wake up earlier and sit in the presence of the Creator who loves you with a love deeper than our comprehension. He gave his son up to ransom you. I love many people, but there is not one single person I would give my son up to save. Can you imagine how loved you are designed to feel? You could be filled and overflowing, but not if you are counting on your husband or wife to meet those needs.
Now, next time you are writing in a wedding card, I’ve provided a launch pad. You can be the guest with ease and joy, knowing you imparted wisdom on this happy couple.
Without your little snippet next to the Hallmark poem, their marriage wouldn’t have lasted two days. Nice work, You.
What are your wedding-card worthy lessons?
Hello, Friend, I’m so glad you’re here. I tried to write a professional little blip in the third person for this very location and failed. Miserably. Repeatedly.
I’m Danielle. Delivering photos to clients that accurately capture their story in beautiful photographs makes my heart sing. And, while I enjoy photographing my own children, I love getting away to shoot lifestyle sessions around Minnesota or hunker down in my office to write. My husband, children, and I live our beautifully messy lives outside the Twin Cities and I wouldn’t trade it. Contact me if you are looking for a Documentary or Lifestyle photographer for your family, senior, or newborn. I accept limited sessions, but would love to get your more information.
Danielle Geri Long
DanielleGeriPhotography@Gmail.com || (763)670-7657