At one point in my life I would have called myself a perfection, and, in some specific areas, I still am, but tonight as I unevenly put cupcake wrappers under jar lids for wedding favors, I realized that a perfectionist I am not. You see, I am getting married in less than five days, and I know, and hope, it will not be perfect.
If my wedding is in any way a microcosm of our relationship or the life we will have together, then it shouldn’t be perfect. We will have things go wrong that either need to be laughed off or worked through. Neither does it need to appear perfect as I hope we live a life that is honest and open to struggle and imperfection. This doesn’t seem to be what the world is saying about weddings though. People keep asking me if I’m nervous and not to worry if things go wrong. I’m not worried. I have two pastors, a groom, family, and chocolate cake. The rest is extra.
Pinterest, as well as other people, have suggested that there are certain things I need to have glued together or spent money on or worried about in order to get married. We’ve seen each other through a wide array of experiences, prayed about it, spoken with friends and family, and done premarital counseling without once needing a glue gun, and I think it’s gonna be ok.
You see, I feel like getting married is becoming the last thing on the list. It’s what couples do once every thing else is in place — the jobs they’ve been waiting for, the house, the perfect time. It’s become one of the last steps, and I’ve seen some people where this seems to have really worked for them. However, I see marriage as one of the first steps. A commitment that, even without having everything settled, we’re going into life as a team. That we will figure out some of the details as we go and that we will figure out the rest together.
I hope, in many ways, that our wedding will be a microcosm of our life together. We have benefited from the help, knowledge, and encouragement of two church families. We have had family and friends step forward to help. I could not imagine doing this in four months while finishing grad school and working without all their help. I hope that all their love and support shows in the glorious imperfection of the day. Because at the end of the day, this is just the beginning, and despite what the reception seems like, it isn’t just a party. A wedding requires community participation. Our family, friends, and church family will say that they will love, support, and pray for us. That they witness our marriage and bless it. It is similar in many ways to the congregational participation of baptism. In the same way, I hope that we are marked by grace and can be taught and encouraged by the family and friends around us. So at the end of the day, with the love and support of those there with us, that we will begin our married life together not as the last step in a list of life accomplishments, but as the first step of an imperfect adventure, marked by grace.