It’s possible an absolutely brilliant, inspired wedding ceremony is happening about now, just as you and I sit down to have our weekly time together.
I actually can’t tell you the name of the couple getting married.
Our paths crossed a couple of weeks ago as my family spent some time on a beach in Southern California.
Hard to miss these two gorgeous people who looked like they stepped out a picture frame you buy at a department store.
Gorgeous, except for their furrowed brows.
“What’s wrong?” I had to ask.
“We’re getting married right here at this spot in a couple of weeks,” the man explained.
“We’re here to check out the venue,” the woman chimed in, as they look concerned at the roaring surf.
“We’re worried the crashing waves will be too loud to hear our vows,” he explained.
“Most brilliant thing you can do,” I assured them.
They looked at me like the crazy lady who talks to strangers, which of course I am.
I explained how my husband and I got married two years ago next to a waterfall in North Carolina.
“Just like you, we scouted that location two weeks before we wed. We thought it was perfect. A mild flow cascading over some giant boulders into a peaceful pool down below where we would stand and say our vows.”
“That sounds wonderful,” the bride-to-be said.
“We thought it would be, too,” I agreed. “Only, it rained for the next two weeks solid. When we came back with our girls and an officiant to do the wedding, that peaceful pool had grown into a lake. The simple waterfall looked like a million fire hydrants roaring on full blast.”
“What did you do?” the future groom asked.
“We went ahead with the wedding,” I shared. “My husband and I had to hold onto each other for dear life just not to fall in, which turns out to be a good analogy for married life.”
“And the vows?” the young woman asked. “Could you even hear what the other was saying?”
“Not a single word,” I replied. “That’s what made it perfect.”
Two years into marriage, here’s the thing I’ve figured out about wedding vows–
It’s all well and good to promise all sorts of stuff, romantic, devoted, and cute.
Truth is, though, you have no idea what life is going to serve up, what surprises you’re signing up for.
“When did I promise to let one of your ailing pet chickens spend the night inside the house instead in the coop where she belongs?” my husband asks.
“You don’t remember that part of the waterfall vows?” I ask innocently to end the conversation.
“When did I agree to go to bed with a loud, crinkly bag of frozen peas icing down your sore shoulder?” I asked the other night.
“Waterfall vows,” he said.
He had me.
And of course, that’s just the small stuff. Families, schedules, quirks, stress can make this marriage thing challenging.
To the couple getting married on the beach, I say, “Let that ocean roar!”
To engaged couples, forget stressing over the dress, the cake (well, make sure there is good cake,) the bridal party. Get somewhere loud. Book a marching band,
a wood chipper,
to fire away while you say your vows.
To my husband, I shout, “Thank you for the two best years of my life!”
Oh, and Honey, the laundry needs folding.
Remember, how you vowed to always do the laundry?
What about your vows? What wedding mishap worked well for you?