Marriage is choosing someone again and again to love and to cherish with each new dawn.
Last night before licking the envelope shut, I wrote that quote on a first year Anniversary card.
We all know the amount of work, time, energy, money, stress, choices and planning that goes into a wedding day. For Pete sakes, I meant to say we all understand the ENORMOUS amount of thought and planning and effort that goes into making one day of celebration happen. The money spent on some of these parties is breath-taking. The people involved and invited count in the hundreds per event. Not only do the bride and groom take a honeymoon, I have heard of Mothers and Fathers of the happy couples taking a holiday after, to rest and recover.
What if, all the people who actually attended the celebration were called upon to lift up the couple each year ever after? Oh wait, in some ceremonies they are. Will you support, lift up, pray for and encourage this couple for all the days of their lives? We will!
What if that meant, each of us who had a part in the wedding, either by cutting cake or sewing a dress or sitting in the congregation or sending a simple card were expected, yes expected, to hold the newly wed couple up and honor their commitment?
What if every single couple celebrating their anniversary, got as many cards on their anniversary as they did on their wedding day? Today, July 15th would have been my grandparents 77th wedding anniversary. Will we place so much importance on our anniversary that others will remember the date, long after we are gone?
What would happen, if you looked up their bridal registry and purchased a small plate or dish, brought it home, cooked a really thoughtful meal, invited the young couple and served cookies on their “pattern”. A surprising and thoughtful take home gift.
Now, I am not saying that if we all gave out that much good karma and energy that there would be fewer divorces and happier couples………..but on the other hand………..there is power in numbers and the positive energy certainly couldn’t hurt.
On the flip side of this conversation, I am having with myself….. What if the couple placed as much value on the 1st, 3rd, 22nd or 32nd anniversary as they did on the wedding day?
What if each couple, saved up vacation time and took a half a day off of work, early on their anniversary? What if for that one day a year, each polished the apple a bit? She has her nails done, he gets a fresh haircut. What if they planned an overnight somewhere new and refreshing? What if they made their own cards for each other? What if they came up with sincere and heartfelt small gifts for one another? What if for just that one day out of the year, they made the celebration of pure importance? To the exclusion of all other invitations. Sorry, we can’t come to your BBQ, it is our anniversary and we will be celebrating. AND the others, would nod understanding the importance and value that the couple has placed on their union.
I am not saying that every couple should rent a tuxedo & shoes or put on an ivory dress and invite 200 people to their first anniversary dinner. I was just toying with some thoughtful and planned out ideas. Say for instance while talking and test tasting food with the caterer, how kind and thoughtful would it be to plan that first anniversary dinner? Maybe if they enjoyed huge, sumptuous steak sandwiches in their hotel room after the big day, every year to follow they enjoyed steak sandwiches? What if the couple wrote down the name and address of the wedding planner and sent her/him a thank you note a year later? What if they had a copy of their wedding ceremony and re-read it each year?
I find it interesting, that young couples are willing to spend hours planning for one single day and then somehow in the “busy” and hustle and bustle of everyday LIFE, they fail to celebrate and place value on their commitment to one another, on “their” special day. NO, not two weeks from now, when we have time. THE DAY! Remember they had several and I am sure some heated discussions about what day they should get married. Apparently, they chose that date for a reason.
Now, I know, there are some that say, we don’t exchange gifts. We don’t do cards. We don’t make a big deal out of it. WHY NOT?
You expected me to buy a shower gift & give it, plan to take your special day off, pull on undergarments that take an enormous amount of effort, have my nails painted, buy a pretty dress, find matching earrings to go with said pretty dress, slap on some make up, fluff up or calm down my hair, lay out cuff links & matching socks for my better half, buy a gift, buy or make a card, drive hours or fly, find parking, walk in very high heels, sit like a lady in 95* weather or freeze under a beautiful but useless pink wrap, raise my glass to your “special” union, wait 2 hours to see you cut into that delicious smelling cake, drive home, fill up the car with gas, take off before mentioned undergarments…………………..and YOU DON”T WANT TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF IT?
WHY NOT? Why was it so important for you to pay thousands, yes, thousands for a photographer, pay for an event planner, research & sample food, look for the perfect shoes to get married in, view and judge florist after florist and yet, 364 days later……………you DON”T DO GIFTS!
Big news flash, IT IS A BIG DEAL. I used to say to young couples you are of value and your marriage is worth the effort. Or is it? Maybe I see it as a sacred and sincere celebration of two people. Maybe you do not. Maybe it was all just an illusion. Maybe you just wanted a party and you really didn’t place as much value on the union as I did.
Was it just a big party? Was it just for show? Was the food important for your guests or for you? Were the wedding favors you gave away, thoughtful, kind and charming or did you see them in a bride magazine and thought they would go with your “theme”? Yes, I was once a 12-year-old girl, who brought home grooms cake tied in tulle and tucked it under my pillow for sweet dreams and wishes for my Prince Charming.
With all that said, I for one love the celebration year after year. It feeds our souls. By celebrating with Mr. Right, we add layers and layers and layers to something that is already grace filled and good. Really good.
I am truly happy to plan out anniversary gifts or cards to help others celebrate. I get a giddy feeling in my stomach when I wish another couple, warmest congratulations on year, fill in the blank.
It is not the love that sustains the marriage; it is the marriage that sustains the love. bonhoeffer
In a few days, a wonderful young couple will be celebrating their first anniversary. We lift up our glass to you K & S. May you celebrate with reckless abandon! You have many, many people lifting you up and standing in your corner. (They may not have read my blog yet today and don’t know they NEED to join with you in celebration.) May you have a million more good days than bad in your fresh young marriage.
Here’s to you both and your celebration of love. May you continue to cherish each other for all of time. May your anniversary celebration be worthy of your love. We are in your corner. We are waving our sticks with ribbons and jingle bells on them, celebrating you!