I hated my wedding dress.
Well actually, I loved the dress a lot. When I saw it in a picture for the first time, I knew it was the one I wanted. The problem was, I hated it on me. But I had ordered it immediately and spent no time looking at what else was available, or seeing what dress was best for my body type. And so wedding day comes and I’m so self-conscious (because, hello, have we met?) and wishing I would’ve shopped around. (Like Mama said I’d better.)
I loved my flowers.
They were eggplant-black calla lilies and simply breathtaking. For a February wedding, I thought it was a perfect contrast to the ivory dress. I think they ended up costing as much as my dress, I can’t be sure. But they were worth every single penny.
I hated my make up.
Greg’s never been a huge fan of a lot of make up anyway, so I was going for a soft-palette that I did myself and that included a nude-ish lip. The problem was, I brought no other make up to the church. And suddenly my whiteness in early February while wearing an ivory dress with soft make up and a nude lip made me look very, very pale. So I borrowed some lipstick from my friend to brighten things up a bit, and it wasn’t a color I usually wear, which made me self-conscious (because, hello, have we met?).
I loved our music.
A brother and sister duo sang all the music and even the song I walked down the aisle to. Their voices were beautiful and matched our unusual selection of songs perfectly. Hearing them sing us down the aisle as Mr. & Mrs. to some Stevie Wonder put a smile on my face that still appears when I think about it.
I loved the groom.
I loved his highlighted hair and clean-shaven face (which I now like scruffy instead). I loved how he stood proudly at the front of the chapel with a small white calla lily boutonnière. I loved how he whispered funny things to me during the ceremony and we awkwardly stared at each other during slow parts and I was so relieved we were laughing…being us…even at the altar.
The thing about my wedding day is that it wasn’t totally perfect. I missed loved ones who couldn’t be there. I was self-conscious and practically dragged (drug?) my dad down the aisle because seeing everyone watch me freaked me out. It wasn’t a fairy tale, I didn’t feel like a princess, it wasn’t everything I ever dreamed of. (Mainly because I never actually dreamed about my wedding day, to be honest.)
But the marriage…oh, the marriage. Not perfect — but perfect imperfection.
We celebrate 11 years of marriage today. Eleven years since that not-so-perfect dress was put on my not-so-perfect body and I not-so-perfectly said vows that I meant with my whole heart.
And as I do every year, I kick myself for not shopping for dresses or hiring a professional person to do make up. And then, as I do every year, I wave away those thoughts as the memories of these past 11 years flash in a rapid slide show in my mind…
…our first days in our house as husband and wife
…our early days figuring out ministry together
…finding out I was pregnant for the first time
…curling up on the couch to watch ridiculous TV and eating take out
…taking our daughter for walks at the park
…boxes of Little Debbie oatmeal pies
…the times Greg wouldn’t let me have a pity party
…the times he gave me space to process, mourn, cry
…the laughter, OH THE LAUGHTER
…Georgia football games
…his strong fingers entwined in mine as we grab toilet paper in bulk from the warehouse store
…pushing him out of bed accidentally when he snored too much
…his strong arms holding me after my first miscarriage
…the mediocre dinners and uninspired grocery shopping he puts up with
…unending support toward my dreams and callings
All the good, the bad, the ugly and the great that make up 11 years flood my mind and heart until it could burst.
I’m so lucky to do life with this man.
A wedding day is important and by all means, make it as perfect as you can. But it might not be a fairy tale you’ve dreamed about always. You might be self-conscious about showing your arms in your dress and wishing you had ruby lips to say “I do” with while missing people close to your heart. It might all be awful or it might all be perfect.
But it’s all the other days that really, truly matter. Your wedding — it’s not everything.
Everything starts the day after the wedding and the day after that and the day after that.
Everything is the mundane that’s made extraordinary simply because you’re together. (click to tweet that)
Everything is realizing you’d rather spend one day at home doing nothing with him than spend a thousand days of exotic adventure without him.
I cannot imagine doing life without this man.
We celebrate 11 years of imperfect perfection today. And while we’ll celebrate and look back, mostly we’ll laugh and look ahead. And while we’ll reminisce, mostly we’ll dream. We’ll dream of all the extraordinary mundane-ness we’ve yet to experience together; of all the bulk toilet paper yet to buy; of the football games and mediocre dinners and snoring left to endure.
We’ll look ahead and dream and laugh about all of it.
And we’ll love it.
What are you thankful for this week?