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.
If you bring the happy, your day will be beautiful.
(Thank you Brian Schindler for capturing these beautiful memories.)