I love to look at them.
Beautiful people in fancy dress. Happy smiles and shining eyes. Family and friends gathered to bless the couple as they move into a new phase of life.
I enjoy peeking over my own wedding pictures from time to time. It's fun to recall the details of the day's events.
Blue sky and sunshine in the morning which turned into an ice storm during the ceremony (December wedding in Michigan).
The way the candles made the sanctuary glow.
The beauty of the poinsettias, wreaths, and Christmas trees where we stood to speak our vows.
The joy of walking down the aisle with my beloved as "Mr. and Mrs. McGuire".
Every detail of my wedding was as I'd hoped it would be growing up.
What I wasn't prepared for was life beyond the pretty pictures.
Wedding's are the pomp and circumstance. The ritual which announces to the world a covenant has been agreed upon between a man, woman, and God. A marriage is the day to day walking and working in the relationship.
Not an easy task but worth it.
So many people go through the ceremony with a similar expectation as I had so long ago. They try to hold onto the giddy, fairy-tale feelings inspired by the wedding. When reality of living with another human being comes crashing in a few months or years later...well...it can be discouraging.
But take heart, friend. God has a purpose for relationships and marriage if we give Him a chance to help us learn it.
Marriage has taught me how to be more patient, kind, and gentle. I'm learning not to hold onto stupid things which don't matter and rejoice in the tiny victories.Through trials and tears I've learned how to grow beyond the confines of who I thought I was in my own musings. I've discovered how to let my husband be who he is and not what I want him to be.
Still I'm glad I have my wedding photos.
I look back at my younger self (giggling at my husband's "Flock of Seagulls style" and my "Sheena Easton 'do"...not to mention the puffy sleeves of a 1980's gown!) and see how far my husband and I have come. We aren't those fresh young faces with idealistic visions anymore. We've matured and discovered the richness of being a friend and lover in covenant partnership.
Pretty pictures aside, I look forward to the future with my beloved because I've learned not to hold onto the past.