The Other Side of Your Wedding Day: Stuff the Preacher’s Not Telling You

The Other Side of Your Wedding Day: Stuff the Preacher’s Not Telling You June 12, 2013

 My friends over at HerKentucky are doing a special series during the month of June about–what else?–weddings! For my guest post yesterday, I shared the wedding experience from the ‘other side’ of the chancel; the pastor’s perspective. Your minister might be too nice to tell you this stuff. But we all know, I’m not that nice! Here is some stuff that we are thinking as you plan for and enjoy your perfect day.

1)      We roll inward eyes a little when you say you want 1 Corinthians 13 read in the ceremony. Yes, love is patient, love is kind. We get it. But we have to actually SAY things in the service other than ‘do you take this man/woman, etc,’ and well…that little gem of scripture has done been said. It’s been said a lot. Give us something to work with, other than the magic of your love.


2)      We die a little inside when we say, ‘the church will provide a wedding coordinator for the rehearsal,’ and you say, ‘oh, no, my mother’s going to do it!’ Trust us. That will not end well for anybody.


3)      You are not going to shock us with your family drama. No matter how many crazy siblings, inappropriate uncles, or unconventional marriages you bring into the church, we have seen it all. Oh, and also? 9 out of 10 of us could care less if you are living together. And even if we did, we know you are lying when you talk about ‘my apartment.’  


4)      No, you cannot take down the purple Advent décor in the sanctuary and replace it with red and green stuff that ‘matches the dresses.’ Baby Jesus doesn’t care ‘what it looks like in the pictures.’ You want a church wedding? This is a church.


5)      If your cousin ‘who’s a Baptist preacher’ insists on reading something from Genesis, we get to approve which translation he’s packing.


6)      We triple dog dare you to question our fee. If you do, we will ask you how much you are paying the caterer, the band, the wedding planner, the hairdresser, the bar tender; and then we will gently remind you that while our services are the cheapest of any of these, we went to more school, and spent way more time planning for your perfect day.  Grace is free, but our time isn’t.

Also—eye rolling and inward groaning aside—from this day forward, til death do you part, we are invested in your marriage. We want it to succeed, and that’s why we’re blessing it. I don’t think the bass player feels the same way about the sanctity of this whole business.


7)      And finally, as you plan that perfect day, remember that:

“Perfect” is a dangerous word. For life in general, and for marriage in particular. Chances are, if you have unrealistic expectations of this day, you likely have some unrealistic expectations about marriage, as well.  Expect that there will be a big family meltdown, a major hair malfunction, and/or something in the neighborhood of a bird flying into the sanctuary and dropping an unwanted gift on your grandma’s corsage. Likewise, accept that you will gain a few pounds over the next 50 years, and so will your spouse; you will fight, you will lose money, you will face disappointment—possibly in each other. Life will get messy, and even the most perfect-est, magazine-worthy, color-coordinated and professionally choreographed wedding in the world will not keep that from happening.

So put down that Southern Living wedding edition, step the ^!%* AWAY from Pinterest, and get ready to actually BE married. For better, or for worse. If you go into your special, perfect day in full awareness of all the ways that the wheels can come off, then you will actually have FUN at your own wedding. You will see every little hitch and hiccup as a welcome and introduction to the full, joyful, and unpredictable life you are about to enter, with the person who is your soul’s delight.  Their shoes will not always match you hair accessories… in fact, unless you are getting married in high school (please, don’t) and you still have prom to look forward to (just,
please, no) then your attire will probably never match again. And yet… a life shared in love—in all its sacred messiness—is so much better than even the most ‘perfect,’ day you can imagine.

Because ultimately—even if we can’t read it without rolling our eyes a little—love gives you life. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things.

Love endures all things. Even the perfect blush and bashful wedding.

Love never ends.


How many people get to marry their brother? This is me officiating for my brother Chris, and his gorgeous bride Nicki.


…and my other brother Chris! (my husband’s brother) and his beautiful wife, Dr. Cristen. (who will be guest blogging for me next week. stay tuned!)


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