The Heart of a Wedding

Aug 14th 2010

We all understand the importance of first things. First kiss, the first year of school, first impressions, first day on the job… it’s all about getting a good start. Isn’t that why we put so much energy & attention into weddings? We want a good start to the marriage.

But let’s take a moment and ponder what is at the heart of a wedding. What elements are absolutely essential for getting that good start in your marriage? And what is optional?

For example…expensive clothes… the bride wears a beautiful dress that costs somebody a lot of money in the hopes that it will never be worn again… The groom wears a tuxedo… but generally he only rents it because it costs less money and frankly nobody really cares how the groom looks… The groom’s tux is optional. Frankly I’ve done a few weddings where it almost seemed like the groom was optional. Clothes are not optional but beautiful clothes are not essential.

Then you have receptions…all sorts of receptions, right?  Some receptions include full meals, dining and dancing… some reception are held in exotic places like Barns with Clem’s bbq served. Receptions are not essential to a good start….they are optional.

So many different elements that u could have in a wedding.  Ring-bearers, flower-girls, unity candles, bridal party, communion, music.  I did a wedding a few weekends ago that had none of those elements.  I’ll do two this weekend that have most of them.  But it’s all optional.  Even I the pastor am optional.

It’s interesting.. I’ve done dozens of weddings and in most weddings… incredible amounts of time are put into planning so many optional elements… but often a fairly small amount of thought goes into the one essential element of every wedding…

The heart of a wedding….is the vows.   A wedding is a vow…everything else is disposable.  Marriage begins with a promise and the heart of a wedding is the vow.

I remember my wedding day.  I wasn’t nervous at all. That morning, I was riding a cross-country motorcycle and jumping from a 30 foot bridge into a river — not nervous. I got dressed and went to the church — not nervous. I stood out on the platform and watched Lynn come down the aisle — pretty calm. We even sang a duet together, no problem.  But when the pastor said, “Please repeat after me…”  It hit me, on the scale of big decisions — this is huge. With God’s help, I am committing everything I am to this woman standing beside me.

Now if you know Lynn, you know that except for the day I committed my life to Jesus it was the best decision I’ve ever made.  I didn’t question whether marrying Lynn was the choice of a lifetime.  I was simply pondering the fact that I was making a whole-life, whole-heart kind of commitment. I do. As in all of me, forever, no matter what, with all my heart I do.   And I’m so glad I did.

The heart of a wedding is a vow… so I couldn’t help passing on these beautiful vows that John passed on to me… enjoy!