This is part of my #31Days series: taking a month to remember, recap, and relish.
I know I already had a post during these #31Days about when Ben and I first dated but recently I’ve been thinking about our marriage, and consequently, our wedding day. As you may have read in my rant on Sunday, I’m kinda mad at society for how much we undervalue parenting. If we undervalue parenting, how much do we lower the importance placed on marriage? It seems that we put such an emphasis on planning the perfect wedding that we neglect the years that come after in the form of marriage. This is, of course, one of the reasons the divorce rate is so high in our country. We spend thousands of dollars and multiple months planning the most wonderful 6 hours of our life (or so we think) and scoff at pre-marital counseling (or some form of intentional marriage preparation) because only people who really need help go to counseling (wrong!). As for our wedding day, we did spend some money to do it – though not as much as could have been spent because of all of the wonderful friends and family who pitched in their resources and talents. Honestly, that is what made our day so special…the many people I can look back on as having a hand in the day on which our marriage began. We had the pleasure of being led through marriage preparation with the couple that presided over our wedding (yes, we were married by a husband-wife pair). Not only did they help us uncover important things before getting married, they also set a wonderful example of how to use your marriage for God’s glory and to influence others for good.
To continue in this intentionality in marriage, Ben and I are part of a couples’ group that is focused solely on marriage (albeit we couldn’t go tonight for several reasons). We study books and sermon series in community in order to strengthen our marriages as well as have a safe place to bring our difficulties to people who have been walking and praying with us for years. The group has been together for 10 years though we joined only 5 years ago (when we got married ;) duh). In the time since we joined, there have been couples that have come in and out but the same core has remained. We only see each other twice a month but it’s intentional, meaningful, and rich…sort of like those friends you see a few times a year but always pick up where you left off. It’s also been fun because there have been several children born or adopted in that time so now we’re going through marriage with the chaos of children as well.
So where did it all formally start (before God and 300 (!) friends and family members)? At the gorgeous home of a family who’s son and daughter I went to high school with. The day was that much more beautiful because God blessed us with the most amazing weather that August Saturday 5 years ago. We were such babies back in 2008 but we look better with age, right? ;) I’ll caption each one but this is more of a photo-essay than a written post. Sit back, relax, and take a trip down memory lane with me!
(reminder: click on any of the pictures, collages or otherwise, to view larger)
Our uh-may-zing photographer was one of Ben’s floormates from good ole Ashton Hall when we were at SPU and we had so much fun having him capture our day. If you click over to his website and select “moments,” some of our wedding photos are part of this section of his portfolio!
Here’s a collage of my favorite black and white pictures…
And here’s a collage of my favorite pictures in color…
And here’s a look at all the family members who traveled from near and far to support our marriage…
I’m ending this trip down memory lane with my favorite picture of the day: we both look so happy and my smile is bursting off my face.