by Lindsey Jesionowski
You have probably noticed those reality TV shows that feature elaborate weddings. A staple in most episodes is a panicked bride, a spectacle fit for a celebrity, enough food to feed a small town, or sometimes all of the above. I do not think I am alone when I say I find myself often sucked in to these shows. They are sometimes funny, sometimes shocking, and mostly entertaining.
When I began planning my own nuptials a little over two years ago I, like all brides, wanted a nice wedding. I began to think about what things were important to me and what I wanted to include in the big day. I felt it was important for Rob to be involved in the planning, as well. As the process began, I had a thought: a wedding is a sacrament. When celebrating other sacraments like baptisms, reconciliations, and First Communions, there are not fireworks, flamethrowers, and other spectacles featured in these reality shows; the focus is on the sacrament and ceremony itself. I knew that is where I wanted the focus of our wedding day to be; this was a day celebrating Rob and me and the commitment we were making to each other before God in His church. Sure, this would be fancier than any First Reconciliation party (if such a thing actually exists), but I knew at the end of this day, Rob and I would be married, regardless of how elaborate our reception was.
Unfortunately, in reality shows, little attention is given to the planning of the wedding ceremony, itself. If you are planning a wedding, I am sure many married couples have told or will tell you that the day goes by very quickly. In my experience, this could not be truer. I remember my dad telling me that his wedding reception was such a blur. Between visiting with all the guests, cutting the cake, posing for photos, etc, everything ran together. What he remembered most was the wedding ceremony, itself. Since this is the centerpiece and reason for the entire day, Rob and I wanted to add special touches to the ceremony that we would remember for years to come. It was important for us to sit down together and choose the songs and readings ourselves. After reviewing all of the options for the readings and looking through our choices for songs, we picked what spoke to us and what we thought best reflected our story as a couple. To participate in a Mass that we had put together was something people do not get to do every day. It made the ceremony special.
Although it has only been about two years since my wedding day, like my dad, what I remember most (besides the fact that it was 100 degrees that day!) are the details from our wedding Mass. If I can offer a piece of advice to those of you who are in the process of planning your special day, do not overlook the Mass. Flowers, food, decorations, and cakes are all wonderful, but what transpires inside the church is the whole reason this day is happening in the first place. By focusing on the details of the Mass as much as you focus on the details of everything else for your wedding day, you and your bride-or-groom-to-be will be creating something truly special that you will be sure to treasure forever.
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