There’s an article doing the rounds on Social Media at the moment. It is titled “Why I Didn’t Invite Family Or Friends To My Wedding”. And that’s great.
But here’s why I did invite family and friends (and lots of them, we come from big families) to
my our wedding.
After four years of dating, despite being 21, we decided to get married. Aided by an unexpected proposal on a remote Cook Island beach.
We began talking about what kind of wedding we wanted. Well actually, I was just impatient to marry my love and get on with our married lives. We had been living in separate countries, attempting to live chastely for each other, and impatient covered much of that. When you know, you know.
From witnessing other strong marriages in our lives and through our knowledge of the commitment and life long nature of marriage, we knew that what we were undertaking was serious. It wasn’t to be taken lightly.
And so, we knew that we both wanted and had to invite everyone around us. People who had known us and shared with us our whole lives couldn’t be missed out.
Because though marriage is a bond between two people, it also is the creation of a family – both as one unit, but also as the coming together of two separate families. In Laws.
That marriage also relies on the support of the community around it. The strength of good family and friends who will give advice, share in joys and tears, tell you to pick yourself up and go back to the marriage in hard times, support in the raising of children and its inevitable ups and downs. And so much more. We need them. They need us. Our loved ones have as much right to celebrate in our joy (and their own joy in sharing in our lives), as we do to celebrate it in the first place (how’s that for a sentence?).
Though a wedding perhaps was more stressful with many people and much to organise, it also wasn’t the marriage. It was a once off memorable event that launched us into the biggest mission of our lives – our vocation of marriage.
We were celebrating ourselves, our connection and our future together – and that required loved ones to share in it.
It included fabulous memories of getting ready with my family and closest friends, nervously awaiting what was to come. Followed by a beautiful, hot and windy ceremony in a church where generations of both of our families have held events, both happy and sad, so filled with memories. We laughed through photographs. We talked to so many family and friends. We gave and listened to speeches and joked about drunk uncles and what was going on at the bar. Many of these stories are still relived frequently today.
And after it all, we had the relief of peace and quiet and no more wedding planning, a honeymoon and ‘married bliss’. In total, still remaining, the best week of my life.
We knew we had any weekend of our lives for a weekend or ceremony just the two of us. Sure, that takes a bit of effort and planning now that we have children, but what doesn’t?
It was the marriage that counted. The strength and love that I held and still hold for the man I married.
And that is why we invited as many people as we could fit into that hall to our wedding.