By Brian Niemiec
The last two days have seen posts on marriage by two remarkable women. One of them, Ellen, happens to be my fiancé, so I have a unique insight into her post. I have been planning a wedding with her now for a couple months and there are so many things wrapped up in this whole process.
Guys, it is your wedding too. Last month I called one of the hotels we are thinking of using for the reception. The lady on the other end was very helpful and pleasant, but seemed taken aback at the beginning of the conversation. When I questioned her about it, she explained, “Well, we normally don’t hear from a lot of grooms. Normally it is the bride or her family that contact us.” As Ellen mentioned, this is her second time through planning a wedding (backstories to come in later posts) so she knows what needs to get done, but I want to be a part of the process. I want to know what’s going on. Gentlemen, this is your wedding too. That not only means being proactive in the planning, but it also means having an opinion.
You have to care, even when you don’t. I don’t like cut flowers. I have no opinion on center pieces for the tables. Color schemes are so foreign to me that dressing myself on a daily basis is a huge challenge, and the fact that we are going to look at paper for the invitations next month is so fascinating to me because I am excited to see what we could possibly talk about for an hour. I mean it’s paper!
However, since this is my wedding too, I want to be there in the conversations for those decisions. I want to be there because every part of this wedding – from engagement party (Does anyone know what happens at those?) to who is in the choir at mass – is a reflection of the beautiful sacrament that is going to take place next summer.
In the end, it is about you, your spouse, and Jesus, and that makes the whole day important. I told Ellen when we got engaged that I had very little preference for what happens on our wedding day after the mass. I said that partly because I knew we had similar ideas about simplicity, and partly because what I really cared about was the ceremony. That is when I thought the rubber really hit the road. That was the time when we celebrate our union in Christ. That was when we thank God for bringing us together.
Yet I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the wedding feast at Cana. Jesus turned so much water into wine that everyone on our invite list (and there are a lot) could drink their fill, and we would still have cases left over. There is an overabundance in that story and the same can be seen in marriage ceremonies throughout history across cultures, religious, and economic resources. Is excessiveness to the point we see today in some weddings the same as past expressions? No. Ellen and Sara have already covered that. Celebration befitting the overabundant love of God present in a special way on that day? Absoluting!
After all, I am super excited to marry someone I so dearly love. I am incredibly honored to become a member of an incredibly loving, caring, sometimes loud, but always fun Romer family! And I want that joy to be present in that day, at the mass and reception because I don’t think you can separate the two. I would be happy with a BBQ in the backyard with Nick and Nate grilling or I would be happy with a reception in the parish center of the church, but wherever it takes place and in whatever form the reception is important because the wedding is important. God has uniquely entered our relationship, and that is such a great joy that needs to be shared by those around us. So, gentlemen, I know wedding planning seems stressful and silly sometimes, but you need to care. Both the ceremony and the reception are important. Plus, you may get to eat the cake you want for desert, and that is always a big plus!!