Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Marriage vs. A Wedding

I don’t want to talk about what happened yesterday. I’m not even going to name names. But yesterday’s events got me thinking and I keep coming around to one thought: There’s a difference between a wedding and a marriage, people. If you don’t know what it is than you don’t deserve either! I’m not going to single out any particular person, because I don’t think yesterday’s news was anything new. But I want to know why more people are not spending more of their engagement preparing for their marriage? I don’t mean booking florists and tasting double fudge cake. Why are more people not sitting down and talking to each other? Really? I'm floored that people don't do this.

Keith and I had to go through marriage preparation before our wedding. We woke up early on Saturday mornings to meet with the deacon, we spent an afternoon conferencing with other couples and we traveled to Boston to meet with our priest. We put several hours into our marriage prep. We even took a standardized test with sharpened number two pencils, answering questions about our relationship. The deacon made us sit in two separate rooms. I joked about it, but our answers gave us insight on which topics we were on the same page about, and which we weren't. After the test, we talked about money till we were blue in the face. We talked about how our families resolved fights and how we would. We talked about how we feel about the other doing things on their own. We talked about how we would make decisions and then we talked about money again. And when we were done, we tasted cake and shopped for ties and selected music. There was time for everything.

It’s easy to get caught up in planning a wedding. There’s a lot to do and it can be distracting. But what it comes down to is this: A wedding is just a party. A marriage is what happens at a wedding, and that does not get packed away with the dress and it’s not supposed to shrivel up like the bouquet. And those pictures that you’ll have forever, well you’re not supposed to put your marriage in a pretty bound book and only take it out when company comes over.

 I’m not claiming to be perfect, or have a perfect marriage. My wedding is done, gone, over with, but my marriage is still in its infancy. We’re learning new things every day. But I'm proud of myself for realizing the difference between the wedding and marriage, and deciding that when I walked down the aisle there would be no walking back. I went to an awards dinner last night and one of the recipients got the biggest round of applause for being married for 68 years. Of all his great accomplishments, he was the most celebrated for his marriage. That made me happy, especially on a day when all marital hell broke loose all over the internet.

That's all I got. Feel free to add your two cents! 


  1. You should be proud...

  2. I really love your thoughts about marriage.You seem grounded.

  3. Your observations and perspective are spot on. Thanks for putting into words what I have been thinking.