For the Bride That's Worried About Her Wedding Click To Tweet
It's been nearly a whole year since our wedding. With it being summertime, I've been reminiscent of last summer and all the time I spent perusing antique shops for decorations, meeting with my florist, sampling cakes and desserts, sucking it in for dress fittings, you know, everything that comes with planning a wedding.
I had such a vision of the day yet I constantly felt convicted to focus on the marriage more than the wedding. For several months, that felt like a breeze. I read books, consulted trusted mentors, prayed with Matt, prepared our vows, and more. Maybe you can relate.
Last year, as July neared a close, much as it is now, and as August rolled in, the wedding was suddenly within four weeks of my grasp, and I noticed myself coming a little unraveled.
I began to worry about the silliest little details more than I had before. I saw some of my other friends get married and began to worry that my wedding wouldn't be as beautiful (that's lame, I know. Comparison is a beast, I'll tell ya). I worried that my dress wouldn't fit right and that my hair wouldn't get done on time. I worried about the weather and the flowers. I worried that my guests wouldn't have fun.
I was also afraid of what might happen with my husband's career. At the time he was playing with the Steelers and I kid you not, we were told they would make final cuts on the weekend OF our wedding.
So, we were preparing for all kinds of emotions to be lumped into one weekend. We'd either be super duper happy because we would be married AND he would find out he still had a job or we'd still be happy that we would be married but also fighting off disappointment if we found out that he didn't still have a job.
I was barely making much myself and worried that we wouldn't be able to make ends meet if he got released (side note: players do not make NFL salary until they make a final roster, so contrary to proper belief, he wasn't making much as a rookie free agent)
Thankfully, the Lord spared us a little grief as he ended up getting released about two weeks before our wedding. As upsetting as that was, we were at least able to process it a bit before the big day and then were able to be present the day we said our vows.
Anyway, my point is that the few weeks leading up to our wedding held major uncertainty and I started to feel the stress and pressure. It got to me, as it does for many brides.
It had been a particularly rainy August, too. With an outdoor vineyard reception planned, I was beginning to worry that our tent would flood if it rained on our wedding day.
Deep down I knew to trust God. But when it came down to it, there were days I just couldn't let go of wanting to control everything. I wanted a backup plan for everything. I honestly almost got wedding insurance (yes, that's a thing) just in case, you know, worst case scenario, a freak storm came and ruined it all.
By the grace of God, something inside of me consistently reminded me to let go each time I almost bought that silly insurance. I worried, but it didn't totally overtake me 😉
The day after Matt was released from the team, we had just under two weeks until the big day. And I really began to feel myself worry. Anxiety plagued my heart and I didn't feel the joy or excitement I really should have been feeling.
That was the day I decided I wanted to stop talking about letting go and actually let go. I'm a visual person, though. The whole concept of letting go doesn't work for me. I actually have to do something tangible to let go and release whatever it is I'm grasping so tightly to. Just praying about it in my head wasn't cutting it for me. I needed to do something that I could feel and see to make a full shift in my mindset.
And now I want to share what I did with you because if you're anything like me, you desperately wish you didn't worry. You know deep down that what matters most is your marriage and the man God has blessed you with. But still, you've got that itch that dares you scratch it, that itch that dares you not to trust but instead to control.
It's time to put that itch to rest. It's time to really focus and really let go of all that COULD happen and live in the beauty of what IS happening…because GIRLFRIEND, YOU ARE GETTIN' MARRIED!
So, when the worries and stress really got to me, when I totally lost sight of the fact that it's a privilege to even have a wedding in the first place, here's what I did:
I grabbed a pen, went outside, and began to write down a very specific list.
I'll admit, it was a lengthy, incredibly honest and vulnerable list.
Every single thing I felt nervous or worried about and knew I needed to trust God went on that list. I called it the, “Wedding Trusts in God,” list.
Here's what was on it:
I trust You with my heart.
I trust You with my fiancé's heart.
I trust You with our families.
I trust You with our pastor.
I trust You with our guests.
I trust You with safe travel of everyone.
I trust You with the weather.
I trust You with the timing.
I trust You with the details.
I trust You with our health.
I trust You with our conversations and words.
I trust You with our bridal party.
I trust you with our vendors.
I trust You with our locations and commutes.
I trust You with our vows and ceremony.
I trust You with our finances for the wedding and after we get married.
I trust You with the food.
I trust You with the music.
I trust You with the video.
I trust You with our apparel (you never know, the tailor could have stitched something wrong!)
I trust You with any mishaps that may arise.
I trust You with our joy and laughter.
I trust that You will use us to witness to unbelievers.
I trust You with the safety and responsibility of all.
I trust You with my patience.
I trust You with my hair and makeup.
I trust You with our getaway car and drive.
I trust You with the final preparations.
I trust You with our wedding night.
I trust You with our emotions, fears, and insecurities.
I trust You with the serious parts of the day.
I trust You with the fun parts of the day.
I trust You with our prayer and worship.
I trust You with our marriage.
I trust You with our life.
After doing this, it was like a huge burden was lifted off my shoulders. All the things I was trying to carry but couldn't actually control no longer weighed on me. Writing it all out and handing it to God like that helped me remember that my wedding day would be exactly how God dreamed and created it to be since the beginning of time.
Realizing that he knew every single one of those detail long before I was ever born helped me remember that me thinking I had any control of it beyond deciding on flowers and playlists that I liked was a total waste of energy.
And guess what? The day turned out better than I could have ever expected. There's no such thing as a perfect day but it was pretty close. The tangible things, like the weather and flowers and details turned out absolutely beautiful and everything went smoothly.
But even if it hadn't, I realized later that it wouldn't have mattered.
Because the intangibles, the things that you really remember when it's all said and done, it's the intangibles that matter most–the stuff you couldn't plan for if you tried.
Think about it…
The way you feel when read a letter from your groom, just before stepping into your gown?
The way your stomach does flip flops as everyone stands up and as you see your groom for the first time? The tears streaming down your mama's face as dad gives you away?
The cartwheels and funny dances your bridal party does when they're announced? The laughter you share as you shove cake in your groom's face when he totally didn't expect it? All the little kisses you steal throughout the day?
The tears you make your dad cry when you surprise him with a memory video before the Father-Daughter dance? The hugs you see your family share? The funny way your friends shove food in your mouth all day long as you take pictures, dance and mingle?
All the hugs and joy and laughter you get to witness everyone share? The people that spend so much time, money, and effort to travel and just be there?
The laughter that erupts the moment you shove cake in your new hubby's face when he totally doesn't expect it?
All the little kisses you get to steal throughout the day, somehow drowning out the noice and laughter and movement and for just a second, time stands still?
The moment you sneak away for a minute, just the two of you, and look back at your party, listen to the sounds of laughter and music, and see it all happening right before your eyes–just a blip in time but something you'll never forget?
The laughter and joy of your family and friends that dance into the wee hours of the morning (long after you and your groom leave) simply because they're having such a blast?
All the awkward dance moves you try out because life's short and you just got married, so why not?
The moment it all comes to an end and you ride off with your best friend as your best people send you off into your future with glow sticks and hugs and high fives?
Those are the things you can't plan for but the things that make an imperfect day so perfect. Those are irreplaceable and intangible things, moments God has so sweetly dreamed up and set in motion already. Those are the things that will make you feel something. Those are the moments you'll hold onto.
So, Worried Bride, hear this: I'm not saying that by writing out a list like this and handing it over to God that everything is guaranteed to go perfectly on your wedding day. It doesn't mean you're for sure going to have perfect weather or that your DJ won't accidentally mispronounce your new last name.
But I do believe that if you rest and abide in trusting God with it, if you can believe that your day has already been dreamed up and created by not only the best Wedding Planner out there but the Creator of Marriage Himself, it's going to feel more perfect and joyful than you could have ever asked or imagined if you were obsessing over every little detail the day you step into a white dress and walk down the aisle to your future.Your day has already been dreamed up and created by not only the best Wedding Planner out there but the Creator of Marriage Himself Click To Tweet
A wedding day is a blip. It's a memory that you want to cherish, not control. It's a moment in time where your heart becomes one with another. And as you walk down that aisle, you won't notice how perfect your bridesmaid dresses look. You won't be thinking about your hair. Your heart is going to be beating so fast, your smile will be so full of light and love, and your feet will feel light as you float down the aisle to your future.A wedding day is a blip. It's a memory that you want to cherish, not control. Click To Tweet
And if it rains, then God's crying tears of joy over your day.
So when you begin to worry and when the stress gets to you, write down a list…with the big things and the little things and even the things that you know are silly to write about.
And pray this prayer:
Prayer for the Worried Bride:
God, the wedding is right around the corner. In all the preparations, my heart has become clouded. But I want to take a moment to pause, to sit with You, to trust You, and to hand it all over to you. The past several months I've been trying to control the details. But there is so much I simply cannot control. And I need to allow my heart the freedom to really let go and celebrate the JOY you give in this season. And to stop and ask that regardless of what goes “right” or “not right,” that I have the vision to see the bigger picture, to celebrate the moments, to soak up all the joy, and that above all else, see and notice Your presence there with me.
I pray you make Your presence so thick and tangible and felt by all who are present on our wedding day. That is my one request. If You are there, it will be perfect. I know that if I feel you, our wedding day will be exactly like it should be and exactly like you've created and dreamed it to be since the beginning of time. You've had this so in your hands since before we ever met and before we were ever born and knowing that, I believe that I have the freedom to really trust you with it.
I pray you anoint every facet of our wedding day and of our life together. May our words, actions, and love bring powerful witness to Your name as we dwell in your unending faithfulness.
So, I trust in You. Really trust in You. Not just in some conceptual, theoretical way but in a totally real, I'm-laying-this-all-in-your hands kind of way.
I place our day, our union, and our marriage in your hands.
Bible Verses to Meditate On:
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the meetings of God's holy people.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
“He is faithful and just to work all things for the good of those who love Him.” Romans 8:28It's the intangibles, the moments you can't plan and can't control that matter most Click To Tweet
Thank you Nathan English Photography for these photos!