It's amazing to think about the amount of time that goes into planning a wedding day. The hours and hours of creating an ideal celebration of the beginning of forever. The thought that goes into every detail - the photos, the flowers, the food, the invitations, the guest list, the registries, the venue. The list seems to never end. I think every girl has an "ideal" wedding in their head. The kind that you see in magazines and trendy blogs - where everything about that day is an expression of not only who you are as individuals but who you are together.
This weekend I got the opportunity to photograph a wedding in Austin TX with a photographer I have always admired and alongside some of the best videographers in the country. If I could even begin to do justice to what I saw, and the experience that they created, I would try. It was like someone had taken an Anthropology store and turned it into a wedding venue. I have seen a lot of weddings, but I have never seen anything quite like this one. There is no telling how much time they spent creating their vision.
I was amazed, and at the same time I was overwhelmed with sadness. As much as I wanted to be happy I couldn't seem to find that emotion in a single bone in my body. I felt a rush of emotions as the pastor started talking. It was as if someone had just stabbed me - hands sweating, huge knot in my throat, chills. My mind racing back and forth to memories of watching some sweet friends get married on an iphone in ICU, the excitement I had after Brandon started recovering and I began to envision what such a day would look like, the conversations of what forever held. Then came the tears. Instead of rejoicing in one of life's most treasured moments I was so angry and so afraid. What does forever look like now? Why do I even have to ask this question at 22? How will I ever give my heart to someone again, and if I do, will I ever be able to love someone without reservation like I was able to with Brandon? How will I ever get over the fear of losing someone again? I was overwhelmed.
As I was driving home I was talking out loud to God (a strange habit I have - I guess I think He gets a better idea of how I'm feeling if He can actually hear the inflection in my voice?) trying to process everything I had seen. Why do we have such extravagant weddings that we spend thousands of dollars on and months and month of planning for one day? One day! Don't get me wrong, I think its such an amazing blessing to share with your friends and family and its important that its special, but its one day - why does that take 8 months to plan? What if we invested the kind of time that we do into that one day into every single day of our marriages? What if we worked that hard every single day to let our wives/husbands know how much we love them? I think its fair to say that our relationships would look drastically different. Then I started to pour my heart out...something I haven't really done with the Lord since Brandon died. My hurt, my anger, my frustration with His will and how this was good (although I don't blame Him for wanting Brandon all to Himself). I shared my fears about the future, and what that held. I cried, I yelled, I wrestled, and then I just sat in silence.
If I could rewind time 4 months I would have married Brandon in that ICU room. There wouldn't have been months and months of planning some extravagant event. There wouldn't have been music (with the exception of the i.v. machine going off) or dresses or tuxes, flowers, or food. Just us. That would have been more than enough.