I don’t take being invited to a wedding lightly. Especially ones that are small, intimate or even outside of the country.
Weddings, large or small, courthouse to cathedral are special.
It’s two people deciding to choose each other everyday, and while it seems like relationships are always under attack, its honestly refreshing to see people who truly love each other and have gone through the fire, unite.
Recently, my latest rash of friends who have been tying the knot and are about to tie the knot have something in common.
They were together at a minimum of 5 or 6 years and a maximum of 15, and each had an engagement that was probably less than a year before their wedding.
While many folks started the marriage talk once these couples passed the two or three-year mark (except the high school sweethearts clocking in at 15 years), these couples blocked out the noise and ran their own race at their own pace.
Hence, these weddings felt the most emotional, because as friends looking on over the years, you truly got a feel for their ups and downs, their patience with each other, the acceptance of flaws and the universal understanding that these folks weren’t going to leave each other. They were going to stick together, no matter what.
And while the length of their relationship and delay in “making it official” is often the source of jokes and even criticism, these couples played by their own rules. Isn’t that what marriage is? Learning what works for you and your partner and doing just that? Maybe these friends in very long-term relationships decided they wanted to master that.
And let’s face it. The more time you invest in someone, the more you don’t want to let them down or vice versa. It realistically takes time to work through that. Experts say, we come down off of the high of love at the 2 year mark. That’s when the decision to love someone really kicks in after your endorphins and hormones have slowed down and you’ve gotten used to the person. So for the folks who stick and stay, after the fuzzies have subsided, you’ve got something.
I’m not knocking any people who found love in 6 months and locked it down, and are making it work. But it seems like society gives folks taking it slow a much harder time. So this is why I do want to take the time to shout out people who took their time and got hitched at their own time table, even if within the couple, there was disagreement about the pace at which they were getting to the altar.
Or there’s fear. There’s money and feeling established, which seems to be harder and harder to do these days. The economy, student loan debt, high rent and mortgages are impeding the progress of our generation, it’s slowing our ability to get ahead and stabilize. It hinders our confidence in taking on another person.
We live in a society of instant gratification, and we often try to place that on relationships because, we like love, we like weddings and hey, if people like each other or get along in a year or two years, we believe it’s a miracle and folks should snap that person up right away.
But the prospect of marriage is a sobering experience, when you take away the fantasy of the big celebration and finding the love of your life. It’s one of the biggest choices a person can make, and most of us hope to only make it once.
It makes you take a hard look at yourself. It humbles you that someone has seen you for who you are and wants you anyway. They want to tell the world that you are theirs, they want to wake up with you everyday.
So cheers to my friends who took their sweet time. Their ceremonies were filled with so much love and it felt like a victory lap and a fresh beginning all at once. It’s a true celebration of an honest love that took so much time to nurture and build and is admittedly still a work in progress, with room to grow and improve.