What 2020 has reminded me about Marriage

I just wanted to write a blog post to all my 2020 brides who are just completely stressed right now with wedding plans and plans being completely CRAZY.  And then I just wanted to throw out something God has been teaching me and my heart about marriage as I am walking right alongside you hoping my wedding doesn’t get changed. God has just completely used COVID-19 to show me as a bride and as a wedding photographer what marriage TRULY means and redirect my eyes on HIM, rather than a day.

But first and foremost, you are allowed to feel whatever you are feeling. You are allowed to grieve. Your loss doesn’t have to be belittled because of others’ loss. We are all hurting and affected right now but my heart goes out today for my brides who have dreamed, planned, and spent hours, years and months planning the most special day of your life yet. If you are like me, you have dreamed of this day since you were a little girl, you have dreamed and planned and imagined every moment perfectly. You have spent MONTHS and HOURS planning a day that may not happen now. And my first response is this –

I am SO sorry, it breaks my heart that you are having to sacrifice your plans, come up with backup plans, envision your day completely different, or start all over.

You are allowed to grieve those plans, as long as you don’t stay there.

Because your wedding is not about that one day and the decorations or the plans or the vendors or the venue. Your wedding is about celebrating a MARRIAGE. I, too am in the middle of planning a wedding that I am not sure will even happen so you are not alone. The other day I had to redirect my heart and my focus on the reason for weddings. My best friend sat with me as I stressed about details and planning and what to say to my brides who are having to cancel their weddings or reschedule or get married completely alone. She said something so beautiful. Our world has shifted into this wedding, party, self-centered culture. We have made weddings a PARTY, an event, a production filled with pretty decorations, nice food, tons of alcohol and pretty photos. We have made weddings “all about the bride” or “all about throwing a perfect party.” While all of these things are wonderful and good – this is NOT the purpose of a wedding. Our culture has completely changed our view and the meaning and reason for a wedding in the first place. Marriage is supposed to be a picture of God’s relationship with us, the bridegroom coming for His bride. It is the most intimate and beautiful thing we can do as humans and it is meant to be a symbol pointing us to Jesus and His love for us. Marriage was designed by God and the purpose of a wedding is to represent a covenant being made under God in front of witnesses who are there to stand by the couple and encourage them to continue to walk towards God and honor God in this new union for all of their days. This is the true purpose of a wedding. It is not about how much alcohol you serve your guests or how nice the food is. It is not about the décor or colors or the dress. Our views have been SO shifted from the very real and very beautiful purpose of marriage.

Right now, in the middle of all of this craziness, in the midst of plans changing and our idea of a wedding maybe changing completely, as believers I think this is such a beautiful time to redirect our view of marriage and weddings altogether.

At least for me, I LOVE weddings. I love all the extra fun things that come with it and I have been so easily sucked into this meaning that our culture as given weddings and I think this pause that COVID-19 has put on all off our lives is a beautiful opportunity to re-evaluate my meaning of marriage and the real purpose for my wedding in general. Because no matter what happens with wedding plans, marriage is still good and God’s meaning for it and the beautiful and unending love He has for His bride will never change.

While all this is happening and affecting so many people I just wanted to write a blog to MY brides that it is hurting and affecting. I love all of you and if you are or were supposed to get married during all of this craziness I just want you to know you’re not alone and your feelings are valid. Redirect your heart to the TRUE and beautiful meaning of marriage. And then just know that you have options and this does NOT mean the end of your dream wedding.

You are loved, you are known, you are seen.  We are all in this together!!