Sunday, March 24, 2013

Going to the Chapel

10 - Regularly Recommitting to Marriage

I am officially in a stage of life where I appreciate the wedding ceremony more than the reception.  Now those people who have been at my table might beg to differ; I'm quite sure there are more than a couple of wedding videos out there that would confirm my overly good time at most receptions.  Let me clarify that I make sure to do my job as an attendee and enjoy the heck out of the celebration part of the wedding.  I get a sitter for the kids, eat gluten, drink wine, pleasantly gossip, and consistently work hand in hand with my sister in law to set up our adorable, funny, smart brother in law.  I do my fair share of laughing through (or at) the toasts (taking part in kind-hearted wagers on tears or embarrassing stories) and enjoy every bit of the dining, music, wine, and socializing, but I love the wedding ceremony...

One would think that it would get old (we go to a lot of weddings*), especially the repetition, but it doesn't.  I look forward to every one and get misty when I see the bride walk down the aisle with whomever is playing her supporting role.  I love to be at a wedding where the couple looks nervous until they see each other, and then a calm spreads over them; where they just adore each other, and can't wait to start the rest of their lives... together.  I love the re-commitment to my own marriage and family.

There has not been one wedding where my DH and I have not silently sat, hands clasped together, and renewed our own vows with the couple.  Some of the vows are traditional (as were ours - as wordy as both of us are, we figured, why mess with the tried and true), or entirely unique.  Some are confidently memorized while others are barely whispered through tears.  I love the personal touches and the joy of a couple surrounded by God and all of the people dearest to them; those ready to support and encourage them through the next phase of life.

Today, I'm thinking and celebrating my sister's wedding 7 years ago today, and with that, I went through some old boxes and found a crumpled, wrinkled, and water-stained copy of my toast:

Hi.  I am Kelly...  the Bride's only sibling, the Matron of Honor, and her dear friend.  I know that generally speaking, not everyone is as excited about giving a toast as I am about giving this one, but I can't tell you how long I've looked forward to this moment...

You see, generally speaking, the Bride and I are not your "normal" sisters.  We like each other a lot, hardly ever argue, and talk about a hundred times a day.  I love my sister and think that she is the best.  No one in my mind could make my sister as happy or appreciate her as much as she deserves...

And then I met... the Groom...  I have to admit that at first I was pretty skeptical;  I assumed that he liked my sister for her outward beauty but had no idea of her inner strength, creativity, generosity, and compassion.  As I watched them as a couple, I noticed that they talk abut everything, they care for each other, respect each other, and love each other completely.

And now, today, I look at the Bride and Groom-- both with their moments of matching laughter, tears, neurosisand ulcers (pause for laughter) --I can't help but smile and be excited for the them and this adventure they are about to start.

So, it is with great honor, great privilege, and great excitement, that I offer up this toast to my sister and her husband...

With each passing day:

May you grow to love, appreciate, and respect each other more;
May you cherish every moment together as the blessing that it is;
May you meet your trials arm in arm; growing stronger because of them;
May you toast your victories as a team and give each other support in defeat;
May your love be so contagious that it can't help but infect every life that you touch.

My Hope
My Prayer,
My Love,
And my Blessing,

Happy 7th Anniversary  


*Not everyone is "lucky" enough to go to as many weddings as me and my DH (it is actually a running joke with our friends that my DH must moonlight as a minister because we go to so many).  If it has been awhile for you, if at no other time, at least on your anniversary...  consider going through... together... 
  • your wedding / honeymoon albums
  • re-reading advice cards from your bridal shower
  • dusting off the video
  • visiting the church where you were married
  • dining at the restaurant of your rehearsal dinner
  • reenacting the place you proposed
  • dancing to your first song in the middle of the living room
  • going on your first date, again...
Oh - and if you were betting on my toast... I beat the Matron of Honor odds... NO TEARS.

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