If you’re over my wedding posts, I get it; I’m over them, too. But if I could plead with you to read one last thing, I promise you can ignore all future post from here on out. You can even un-follow me if it makes you feel better.
Just please…. read this one.
Sure, planning a wedding is a time where you become obsessed with details, fall into poverty seemingly overnight, and annoy everyone within a 5 miles radius because you can’t stop talking about your wedding (trust me, no one actually cares about your colors. They just ask to be polite. And they hope the answer is short). Not to mention every single relationship in your life is tested for its strength and durability (Raise your hand if you want off my crazy train!).
But it’s also a time of deep significance. Of moments and plans that carry meaning along with them, often more than meets the eye. It’s an opportunity to share who you are, who you are marrying, and who you are going to be from this day forward.
I have researched traditions, looked deeper into my family history, and gave more thought to the “little stuff” than I ever really intended to. And I would be truly remiss if I did not share with you the deeper meaning and the “why” behind some of our wedding plans.
This is why…
We Are lighting a Unity candle:
The unity candle we are privileged to use is the same candle my parents lit to symbolize their union almost 28 years ago. I am so honored that Adam and I get to light the same wick on the same candle, making the same commitment of oneness, symbolizing the joining of two very different lives into one.
Not that their marriage has been perfect (and they would be the first to tell you that) but to say they have made it through thick and thin is an understatement. They have faced almost every storm life could throw at them, and at the end of the day, they have chosen to honor their marriage commitment and stand by each other’s side. That is a beautiful and rare thing.
And while I don’t strive to have their marriage…we will have our own…I do want to strive for the longevity and forever of their promises to each other. And that is what this candle symbolizes to us.
We Are Singing the Doxology:
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son & Holy Ghost. Amen.”
This short and sweet song has held tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. We have sang this in beautiful harmony (or at least gave it our best shot) around thanksgiving feasts, before meals at family reunions, and at the funeral of our matriarch-my grandmother, Florence. She passed away when she was at the well-lived age of 91, full of life and stories, leaving behind so many memories and a rich family heritage.
To hear these words sung reminds me of my roots, that I came from a family that glorifies God. It brings me comfort and yet I cannot help but tear up as the memories over the years flood my mind of all the times we have sang this together. Through celebrations and mourning, through times of joy and times that just…are.
So, at the close of our wedding, my dear cousin will be leading us in singing this short hymn. And I will store in my heart yet another time, brimming with wonderful memories, praising God for the blessings He gives.
We are Using Honey & Beeswax candles for our favors:
I spent more time thinking about what our wedding favors could be than any one person should. For whatever reason, it felt like a challenge to me to get something that fits into all of these categories: useful, charming, appealing and (here’s the clincher) cheap.
I found this fantastic, local shop that harvests honey, makes beeswax candles, and accommodated all of my requests for a more than reasonable price. I am such a fan of shopping local, and I think it benefits the economy in ways we don’t even realize.
Don’t get me wrong, my carbon footprint isn’t very small. I still buy produce from Wal-Mart and drive 20 minutes to get just lip gloss from Target, so don’t think I’m riding my bike to the local farmers market each week with my entire shopping list and making my own conditioner (although I greatly admire those who do!). I just think, making a difference when you can is better than not at all.
Also, honey is the fruit of loooove, according to the epic romance story in the Bible…
“I went to my garden, dear friend, best lover! Breathed the sweet fragrance. I ate the fruit and honey. I drank the nectar and win. Celebrate with me, friends! Raise your glasses—“To life, to love!” – Song of Solomon 5:1, The Message
Close the Sunday School books on that chapter, teachers. That is some real lovin goin on! Metaphors galore, and I think it’s fantastic.
Adam is Dancing with my Mom:
As some people already know, we both have experienced loss. I lost my sister to cancer nearly 12 years ago, and Adam lost his mother to cancer, just 2 years ago. His loss is much more recent and raw than mine, but both have played a part in planning our wedding. Linette (my sister) and Dianne (his mother) will be remembered and honored throughout our day.
Adam has asked my mom to do the honor of dancing with him during the mother-son dance. They are dancing to the sentimental song, You’ll Be in My Heart, by Phil Collins. Sweet lyrics about a parent, child relationship that extends beyond the tangible realms of this world. They will be both mourning their losses and celebrating new relationships, because I believe life always comes after death.
I will have beautiful lace wrapped around my bouquet, as well as the girl’s bouquets. We are using the lacy fabric from one of my sister’s flower girl dresses she wore as a child as a tender reminder of her presence.
With that said, I more than anything want the day to be a celebration of what is, not what could be or should have been. Each person experiences things I believe we were never intended to suffer through. But if we’re talking about what we deserve, I’m not sure I’ve earned this magnitude of a celebration or this wonderful of a man.
Death and life. Tears and joy. Undeserved pain and unmerited goodness. We will be celebrating the joining of our lives and the richness of life and blessing all around us.
Are NOT doing a garter toss:
I don’t have much to say on this one other than neither Adam nor I have ever enjoyed being a part of this tradition. For those of you brave enough to start your wedding day with your husbands head up your dress as he fishes for your garter, hats off to you. I have seen this done tastefully, hilariously, and borderline (if not completely) embarrassingly, and we just decided it just wasn’t for us.
So singles, sweat not. You will not be under the spotlight and we will let your relationship status remain anonymous at our wedding. But have a blast when you are called to catch the bouquet at another wedding, because they have chosen for that to be a special part of their day.
I Am Wearing Blue Shoes:
Something borrowed, something blue, something old, something new…
As tradition goes, the “something blue” symbolizes purity, love and fidelity. In hopes I’m not over-spiritualizing every little detail, I do love the opportunity to use this symbolism on our wedding day! I can not think of a better way to walk than in loyalty, setting myself apart for my man and only my man. May the steps I take toward him on our wedding day be the same steps I always take…in love and in faithfulness, towards Adam and only Adam.
Have a Wedding Cake that’s Funfetti:
You heard me, FUNFETTI. Because my husband-to-be loves funfetti, and I love that he is a man of simple joy. I actually think it was his only request throughout this entire process (Dear Lord, teach me to be more like Adam!). So we will be a first in the books for our wedding cake maker and enjoy our elegantly decorated, three-tiered cake of deliciously flavored, colorfully sprinkled goodness.
Are taking Communion together:
“I believe that bread and wine is for all of us, for every person, an invitation to believe, a hand extended from divine to human. And I believe that Jesus asked for us to remember him during the breaking of the bread and the drinking of the wine every time, every meal, everyday- not matter where we are, who we are. What we’ve done. Holiness abounds, should we chose to look for it. The whisper and drumbeat of God’s Spirit is all around us, should we chose to listen to them. The building blocks of the most common meal-the bread and the wine-are reminders to us: “He’s here! God is here and He’s good.“
Thank you, Shauna. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I don’t believe communion is reserved for churches or mass or to be solely administered by reverends or priests. So Adam and I will take part in a very special and very purposeful tradition by practicing remembrance through the simplicity of bread and wine.
Because God is here. And my friends, He is so good.
To life….to love!