Marriage is about becoming a team. You’re going to spend the rest of your life learning about each other, and every now and then, things blow up. But the beauty of marriage is if you pick the right person and you both love each other, you’ll always figure out a way to get through it. – Nicholas Sparks
Some people who know me and know what I’ve been through over the last year might be totally surprised to learn that I haven’t given up on the idea of marriage. In fact, I’d get married again. Maybe I’d elope next time round, but that’s a whole different blog post.
What I want to focus on is what I think a healthy marriage should be, and what I’d strive for should the right guy happen to pop the question in the future.
They say that your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life. I’d have to disagree. I found it stressful, expensive, and I hated being the centre of attention. There was a lot of hype surrounding it. I wanted a kick-ass wedding ceremony with all the trimmings and I was definitely more concerned about my guests’ happiness rather than my own…In retrospect, the focus shifted from the marriage itself to the party…but now I understand, this isn’t what it’s all about.
It’s Not Just The Present
When you rock up to the church or wherever you choose to get married, you promise each other to stick by each other’s side for better for worse, though sickness and in health…you know how the rest of it goes.
Yeah, the bride does need to show up and vice versa, but it’s not about the present – it’s all about committing to your future.
Today people still comment on how much they enjoyed my Greek wedding, and I’m glad they did. But there’s so much more you’re committing to than the present – you’re committing to your future. The wedding day, in my opinion, is about showcasing your love not how much you have in your bank account, which sadly many forget.
Marriage is about committing to creating a future together. Kids, homes, pets, travel, ageing family members, big moves, lost jobs, loss, sickness…the list goes on. To me, the vows you exchange shouldn’t just be words uttered in ceremonies, they’re guidelines that help shape your relationship in the years to come.
A Wedding License is Just Paper
As much as I’d love to believe that a marriage license means 100% commitment for the rest of your life, it doesn’t (I’ve learnt this). Every day people get married and every day people also get divorced.
Just because you threw the wedding of the year, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll remain married. In the same breath the romantic in me also believes that it’s possible to meet a person, fall in love and marry within just a few months, and then go on to celebrate your Golden Wedding anniversary together…
Some people may even choose to skip getting married entirely and still commit to each other 100%. I guess what I’m trying to say is this – making a commitment is by choice. It’s not a one-off choice you make. It’s a choice you make every single day of your life, and let’s be honest, a piece of paper doesn’t hold so much power.
The Wedding is a Recital
I do love the idea of having a wedding, but today it’s become a massive production, so much so some people have forgotten the true meaning of getting married. Personalised sweets, custom-made dresses, letterpress wedding invites…you can have as little or as much as you want…but today, weddings are events; it’s a multi-billion pound industry that continues to thrive.
Many people make the mistake of trying to impress others. I too did this. I obsessed over minor details, details that clearly didn’t matter a few years later down the line. If I were to get married again (and I hope one day I will), I want the focus to be on what’s important to us, not others.
Details will always be details. But the way I see it is that your wedding day is just another way of practising for other things you’ll have to face together as a couple in the future, such as learning how to save and budget accordingly, compromising, listening to each other, making joint decisions and so on…surely all of these things are more important than the actual wedding party itself.
But this is what I feel most strongly about…
There shouldn’t just be one best day…
“Best” is a superlative, and therefore we should only use it to describe one thing. But surely we should be aiming to have as many of these days in our lifetime as humanly possible.
Back in the day, I used to say my university years were the best years ever. Now I’ve grown up, I look back and say “Yes, they were great, but they weren’t the best”. Because when you think about it like that, it’s depressing; it suggests there will be no other days or moments that will surpass it.
Your wedding day should be a beautiful day, but not the best day of your life. It should be an awesome way of kick starting a wonderful new chapter of your lives and relationship, because ideally, there should be plenty more ‘best’ days on the horizon.
A marriage should be just as beautiful as the event. Devote that same amount of energy, time and intent to still embracing and holding hands lovingly year after year when you celebrate each anniversary because the grass isn’t greener on the other side, it’s greener where you water it.
PS. I hear eloping is in…just saying! 😉