Every girl dreams of her wedding day. Disney movies, romantic comedies, and Nicholas Sparks novels set expectations in our minds for what a path to marriage (and even what a wedding day) should look like. But you know what’s so much more important than a wedding day? A marriage.

I used to love weddings. Well, I still love weddings. But now, as someone who’s married, I love weddings for a different reason. I used to love weddings for superficial reasons – for the details, the flowers, the centerpieces, the wedding dress, the venue, and even for the photo locations (don’t get me wrong, I still love all of those things, too!).

But now, when I start talking with a bride about her wedding day, instead of immediately asking for the details – I ask about the couple. I want to know the story that led to that monumental moment where the two will make a commitment to trust, love, respect, and honor each other for all the days of their lives. I want to hear what they love to do together, how they met, what he loves most about her, and so on. I want to celebrate them, because, let’s face it – getting to that point can be difficult. Choosing to love someone can be challenging sometimes – because really, after you get married, you realize that loving your spouse is a choice.

I’ve only been married for close to a year now, and don’t get me wrong – I absolutely LOVE my crazy extroverted redheaded husband – he’s my best friend and the love of my life! But sometimes, loving him day-to-day isn’t easy, especially when I let my own selfish desires overshadow what’s best for us as a couple again and again. I would’ve never been able to realize this if we hadn’t had so many wonderful married people pouring into and investing in our relationship. “We all need someone who inspires us to do better than we know how.” (Anonymous). And how much more important is it to have people in your life who can lead you in the right direction in a relationship that (should, God-willing) span the entirety of your life!

So really, when it comes down to it, my love for weddings is a bi-product of my love (and passion) for marriage. There’s so much more to a wedding day than the wedding itself. Whatever I can do to uplift, encourage, and serve people on the journey towards marriage is EXACTLY what I want to be doing. Because marriage rocks.

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