If You Bring The Happy, Your Day Will Be Beautiful

I never thought or dreamed in a million years that three of my kids would get married in the same year.

Our oldest daughter, Hope, wed in February with an elegant, formal, uptown wedding complete with the unexpected twist of playing corn hole in our formal gowns.

Ashley, our middle daughter, will get married in the Alabama countryside next month with market lights, vintage furniture, a pizza and hamburger reception, and her favorite popsicles and donuts instead of a cake.

And our son, Jackson, will say “I do” this fall in a lovely garden ceremony in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Three kids. Three completely unique weddings. Three different states. All in one year. Hello 2016, you are amazing.

So, needless to say, we have been knee deep in all things wedding over here at the TerKeurst home. Our sticky farm table that just yesterday was full of coloring books, Candyland game pieces, and Legos is now full of white invitations, pictures of possibility for every celebration detail, and a glue gun that might have burned off one of my fingerprints during a wedding craft situation.

But more than helping to plan the weddings, I want to prepare my kids for their marriages.

I’m especially wanting to prepare them for day one of their marriage. And I’m quickly learning that weddings are perfect for teaching young couples a crucial lesson:

The most happy couples are the ones who are most able to embrace imperfections.

Honestly, I’m still learning this lesson myself.

Whether you are the mother, the bride herself, or a hopeful soon-to-be-bride, can I take your hand and whisper a truth we all need?

No wedding is perfect.

The more we resist this reality, the less we’ll enjoy this most special day. But even more tragic for brides, the less you’ll enjoy your marriage.

There’s a little known secret about imperfections. What makes things most beautiful, most memorable, and most notable are the unexpected gifts wrapped in imperfections.

Do you want to know one of my favorite memories of my entire wedding? It’s the only detail brought up time and again at family gatherings. My youngest sister, who was only two years old at the time of my wedding, belted out the Happy Birthday song during the lighting of the unity candle. It was obviously unplanned, but became a completely delightful gift of imperfection.

Of course, some wedding day imperfections aren’t nearly as cute and are way more distracting than a two-year-old’s song. I get it. But I can’t change it. Not for my kids’ weddings and not for yours. The unexpected will happen.

But here’s the great news. Imperfections help others uncross their arms, relax, and giggle. People will love you even more when they see you display grace in a tough place.

At Hope’s wedding, we had a slightly alarming incident where one of the guest’s dresses caught on fire after it got too close to the candles that lined the aisle.

But when I asked Hope about how she felt the wedding went, quirks and all, she said: “Mom, you prepared me in the best of ways for my wedding day. You instilled in me the heart of happiness no matter what happened. Your constant reminder of, ‘if you bring your happy, your wedding will be beautiful’ rang in my head for all of our wedding weekend festivities. I could’ve easily focused on something that didn’t go ‘right’ and let that ruin the moment for me… instead I laughed off the imperfections and thought to myself, ‘this will be a great story one day.’”

So embrace the unexpected.

Smile at the crazy.

Laugh at the unplanned.

And relax.

If you bring the happy, your day will be beautiful.

(Thank you Brian Schindler for capturing these beautiful memories.)


  1. Judy Bigney says

    I just want to thank you not only for your helpful, wise words, Lisa, but for sharing with us some pictures of your daughters wedding. It tells me how much you think of us to be willing to share these precious moments with us!! Hugs back to you!!! Thank you!

  2. Dyana Bounds says

    Stunning photos! What a treasure Hope’s words to you must have been. Yes, you most certainly prepared her in the best way possible! Congratulations!

  3. Myrian says

    Hi Lysa. My marriage has been struggling and I am turning to God for His strength to get through each day, especially for my kids. I feel like I cannot go any further and just drained. My husband has become dry spiritually and because of this, I am the one putting all into this marriage. Please, please keep us in prayer! Anything you can send me or us to help us through this? Thank you for your prayers!

    • Lysa TerKeurst says

      Hi, sweet Myrian! We will absolutely be keeping you and your husband in prayer! And we will send you an email today with some links that may be a help to you.

      Much Love & Many Prayers,
      Lysa’s Ministry Team

  4. says

    Thanks for the reminder, Lysa. My husband and I got married over 7 years ago in his oldest son’s very large backyard. Somewhere around the prayer, his 2-year-old grandson got on his battery-powered 4-wheeler and nearly ran into the arbor of lights and greenery. It was – and still is – one of the most precious moments of the whole ceremony, and the one we all remember the best! Blessings to you and your children as they begin their married lives.

  5. Sherry says

    Such a beautiful wedding, congrats to Hope and may bless her marriage. I hope to see the photos of the weddings of the your other children as well.

  6. Cindy says

    Thank you for being so willing to share your life, heart and home so lovingly and transparently, Lysa. Everything looks wonderful. Thank you for being so “you” with all of us. I agree with Sherry, would love to see photos of your next two 2016 weddings ( just because we feel like we’re part of your extended family).

  7. says

    Ugh. The sticky farm table once covered in games….THAT is messing up my make-up as our 5 are quickly moving into adulthood. I keep saying it feels like someone left the front pasture gate open and they keep finding their way out!

    Most BEAUTIFUL pic — you and Art smiling casually in the candlelight!

  8. says

    Those pictures are amazing. How beautiful is that bride, wow. I love her vintage dress and the whole thing was so beautiful. A dream come true for her I am sure.

  9. says

    Beautiful photos!!! I love the b & w of you and your lovely daughter. The lesson is great . . . but what in the world is corn hole???

    Honestly, I don’t know what that is.

  10. Monica says

    Thank you Lusa for sharing this wonderful moment and beautiful pictures with us. I think the bring your happiness attitude can be applied to everything the we do. I know for me i can focus on wanting evrything to be perfect that i forget that circumstances or unplanned things can happen and i let it get the best of me. So thank you for the beautiful reminder

  11. Pat T says

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures from Hope’so wedding. May the loving arms of Jesus surround them and guide them every day of their lives together.

  12. Cindy LaPoint says

    Thank you Lysa for your timely post. Our daughter will be getting married in Ballantyne in June and sometimes the planning, as wonderful as it all is, can become overwhelming. This week we made tux decisions,went to food tasting for the reception and finalized plans for the rehearsal dinner. So much to do…so little time! As we were going through all this, I reminded my daughter and our soon to be son-in-law that during the actual wedding day, they need to stop often and take in the moments that will make up their important day. So many blessings!
    Please keep them and us in your prayers. As we will with all of your weddings coming up soon!

    • Lysa TerKeurst says

      Stopping to pray for you all, Cindy! Praying it will indeed be a beautiful day filled with precious memories!

      Love & Prayers,
      Lysa’s Ministry Team

  13. says

    Absolutely beautiful pictures! You have a beautiful family, and have done an amazing job as a mom! Your daughters words to you are a testimony to that fact! 🙂 Congratulations, and best of luck on the 2 upcoming weddings.
    Btw, I would love to see women playing corn hole in formal gowns! That’s hilarious! 🙂 Sounds like something my family would do. 🙂

  14. Louisa says

    Beautiful pictures….

    SO needed to hear the bring your happy….our daughter is getting married soon and there has been no happy in her decisions to leave our family out of the planning.

    Thank you for sharing!

  15. says

    Thank you for sharing your daughter’s special day with us. What beautiful pictures and exquisite memories. And thanks for sharing some good advice.


  16. Libby Hueschen says

    Thank you for sharing the photos from Hope’s wedding. She was a gorgeous bride and you have a lovely family!!

    It was so special that you shared this family memory with everyone. Thank you for giving so much of yourself.

  17. Jennifer Callahan says

    Oh Lysa! Thank you for sharing photos, and your beautiful wisdom and messages! Truly, beautifully said.
    since my own wedding was riddled with imperfections – I share this with all new brides to be: Things WILL go wrong, and they will make the most wonderful memories! I love that you bring that into the marriage as well…you are so wise!

  18. anitha says

    Lysa – you have such a way with words. “If you bring the happy, your day will be beautiful.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and these beautiful pictures! Congrats to your daughter and the entire family!

  19. Kimberly Tice says

    Hi Lysa,
    The pictures of your daughters wedding are amazingly beautiful. You must be so proud.
    I can truly relate to you about kids all getting married at the same time! Our middle son is getting married in Tennessee in June, (destination wedding), and Our youngest daughter is getting married in Monroe, NC in November! Our oldest got married in High Point last year….We have recently relocated from Charlotte to Huntsville Al. but Chelsea’s wedding is still in NC. I was reading about your Ashley and was wondering about her reception! We are having a barn wedding for Chelsea and wanted to do something different for the food. When I saw that she is having pizza and burgers it struck such a cord!!! Can you possibly give me the name of her caterer in (I’m assuming Birmingham) isn’t that where they are locating to?
    Any help in on this is greatly appreciated.
    Thanks for helping a mom out….. Blessings Kimberly

  20. Jules M says

    Beautiful photos & such a wonderful celebration of love and family. My parents married 3 kids within a year and a half…two of married 11 weeks apart. There were times when it was crazy but I’m so glad that we had so much time with our family in that time frame. Enjoy it. This is just a beginning. Wishing them all lots of love, friendship and happiness.

  21. Donna says

    Thank you Lysa for sharing these wise words! My daughter is getting married this summer and she actually sent this to me and said Mom, we will bring the happy!

  22. April Plank says

    Congratulations and God’s blessings on the Terkeursts newlyweds in 2016! Where did the time go….just yesterday all the kids were playing mini golf at COTW and now weddings. The family is beautiful and the brides stunning…inside and out. With love and prayers for blessings on all from Bob and April, Justin, Danae, Chad, Chelsea and Cayden Plank xo