Not when you say “I do”

For us, thus far, October has been full of weddings.  In the past two weekends, we’ve had as many weddings, and while the two weddings couldn’t have been more different from each other, they’ve been filling my mind with thoughts of weddings and marriage and honeymoons and other such lovely things.  And very early this morning, when I was up nursing my little guy, I randomly started thinking of the wedding cards that we gave these two couples.

I really am not a fan of sappy wedding cards.  Judging from the selection at Hallmark, obviously lots of people love them and I’m happy for them, but I just don’t do all those paragraphs of sentiments that basically boil down to the fact that you hope they have a wonderful life together.  And due to that prejudice on my part, finding wedding cards to give to others is sometimes a rather hard job.  But several weeks ago, when shopping for cards for the two upcoming weddings, I came across the perfect one.  A simple front and all it said was “The moment you know you’re married is not when you say ‘I do’, but when you say ‘my husband’, ‘my wife’ and know that it’s gloriously true”.  I plucked two from the shelf and looked no further.

And in my sleepy state this morning, I realised how true that statement is, and in a way, how reassuring it is.  To know that if you don’t “feel married” right after you’re pronounced man and wife…that’s okay.  “Feeling married” will definitely come later.  For weeks after being married it thrilled me to call Aaron “my husband” and to hear him refer to me as “my wife”.  It still thrills me sometimes.

In so many ways, my wedding was all that I had dreamed of, if I had thought to dream of it.  As much as I wanted to get married, I wasn’t one of those girls who had her entire wedding planned out by the time she was 16.  Planning our wedding in three months, when during one of those months I was in Idaho (i.e. separated from Aaron and from the wedding location) was one of the most stressful things I had done up to that point.  However, I have an amazing family on both sides, and the wedding turned out wonderfully…as perfect as anything I could wish for.

But as perfect as it was, I spent most of the day in an unfeeling daze.  I know that sounds horrible since it was my wedding, but I was exhausted and to be honest, I think I was still somewhat in shock from being proposed to three months earlier.  Our courtship was such a whirlwind, and when we were married, Aaron and I had only known each other for seven months and two days.  As such, I still found myself often not being able to believe that this was me.

Aaron and I had decided to save our first kiss for the wedding.  I definitely don’t think that kissing before the wedding is a sin, it’s something that each couple needs to decide before God…but both of us felt that this is what we should do and we were very glad we decided to wait.  So, never having been kissed, I had heard all about how amazing first kisses were and to say that I was excited would have been a bit of an understatement.  However, I’ll be completely honest…I didn’t really feel anything the first time we kissed.  No electricity, no stars in my head.  And, that continued as we kissed for pictures and during the reception and such.  Now, that changed very quickly as soon as we left the crowds of people, but I remember thinking at some point during the meal, “Is this what kissing is going to be like for the rest of my life?”.  It was kind of a depressing thought.

Obviously, that isn’t at all what kissing has been like in the past year and a half that we have been married (and Aaron told me that he definitely felt something at our first kiss!), but I wish someone had told me that maybe my first kiss wouldn’t be so amazing.  Because then I would have known that was a possibility and wouldn’t have thought that what kissing was like in front of hundreds of people was what it was going to be like for the rest of my life.

And in my mind, this relates to the sentiment expressed on the wedding cards we bought.  Weddings are wonderful and all…but it’s perfectly normal to be in such a daze of tiredness and relief and I-can’t-believe-I’m-getting-married-ness that you don’t really feel much at all.  If you can move past all that and really feel every moment of your special day, that’s great…but if you can’t, don’t worry.  It gets much, much, MUCH better when you leave all the extra people behind and it’s just you two.

That’s why honeymoons are such wonderful things.

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12 thoughts on “Not when you say “I do”

  1. I guess this past weekend was popular, as I had several long distance friends who were married! I was even blessed to “attend” one, via Ustream…live stream on the internet, now isn’t that something?!

    I don’t go for the sappy cards either, but found a lovely one I’ve used for several friends now, based on how God is the foundation and “three become one” in marriage.

    *laugh* about the kiss. I rest assured that it only gets better after the first kiss. 😉

  2. Thanks so much for this post! I’ve often wondered if I would actually enjoy my wedding, or would it be too busy to really take in every moment. I guess that’s why I’ve thought that I would like to be kissed the day before my wedding, instead of the actuall day. What can one day hurt?

    I will always remember this post and try to be reminded that my wedding may not be wonderful, but what comes next will be with God’s help.

    1. Hello Jennifer,

      I’m so glad this post was encouraging to you! I didn’t want to give the impression that my wedding wasn’t enjoyable for me at all…it was, just not in the magical way you always hear about. 🙂

      And you’re exactly right about it being fine to be kissed the day before your wedding. I don’t think the point is the actual timing, but whatever you and your husband-to-be feel like the Lord wants you to do. I know that for my husband and I, we were very thankful to have waited until after we were officially married since in some ways, it kept us further from certain temptations since we wouldn’t even let ourselves go that far. I don’t know if that makes any sense…we just felt that it was the wisest choice for us since, like a good friend of my husband’s once said, “Kissing is the black diamond of banana peels”. Meaning (in case you aren’t a skier :)) that it’s the start of a very slippery slope. But again, that’s something that is between you, your husband-to-be and God.

  3. So true. I remember for a while when we were first married trying to figure out whose life I was living. It’s so surreal. Then, I suppose it’s kind of like emotional shock. If we understood the magnitude of what was actually happening and how much life was changing, we’d probably freak out and run. Gradual consciousness is much more graceful.

  4. I have to agree with you there; I’m not into all the sappy mushy cards either… I like them to be meaningful and kind of on the serious side.

  5. Jessica,

    Thanks for this. I am in the process of wedding planning and…well, I keep telling him I want to elope. Not because I don’t want a wedding, but because I don’t want to have all the build-up, all the “excitment” only to stand up there and never feel the “magic.” I don’t want to build myself up for that disappointment if it doesn’t come.

    Your words encouraged me and I will keep them in mind as our wedding draws near. 🙂

    God bless,
    Rachael Bowlin

    1. Rachael,

      I’m so glad this was an encouragement to you! I certainly know the feeling of wanting to elope :), I thought that often when I was planning my wedding. Through it all, Aaron and I often talked about how in some cases, the wedding isn’t really for the couple…it’s for everybody else…the couple just wants to get married! 🙂 So just make the most of it, and trust that the marriage is going to be infinitely better than any wedding ever could be. I’ll be praying for you…

  6. I just hopped over to your blog for the first time from YLCF, but I had to laugh at this post. We kissed for the first time at our wedding, as well, and I had the exact same thought process as you did: “Wow, this is really not that nice AT ALL.” There’s a photo from the second after our kiss and my face kind of tells the whole story.

    But, just like you said, it got so much better the minute we left for our honeymoon and sometimes I even can’t remember what made that first kiss so bad!

  7. I found your blog through YLCF and just had to say that I felt the same exact way about my first kiss on my wedding day! I was like, “Seriously? Is kissing really like this?…because it’s not that much fun!” Haha, that preception quickly changed for me as well. It’s good to hear that my sister and I aren’t the ONLY ones who felt that way on our wedding day 🙂

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