Not when you say “I do”

For us, thus far, this month has been full of weddings.  In the past two weekends, we’ve had as many weddings, and while the two weddings couldn’t have been more different from each other, they’ve been filling my mind with thoughts of weddings and marriage and honeymoons and other such lovely things.  And very early this morning, when I was up nursing my little guy, I randomly started thinking of the wedding cards that we gave these two couples.

I really am not a fan of sappy wedding cards.  Judging from the selection at Hallmark, obviously lots of people love them and I’m happy for them, but I just don’t do all those paragraphs of sentiments that basically boil down to the fact that you hope they have a wonderful life together.  And due to that prejudice on my part, finding wedding cards to give to others is sometimes a rather hard job.  But several weeks ago, when shopping for cards for the two upcoming weddings, I came across the perfect one.  A simple front and all it said was “The moment you know you’re married is not when you say ‘I do’, but when you say ‘my husband’, ‘my wife’ and know that it’s gloriously true”.  I plucked two from the shelf and looked no further.

And in my sleepy state this morning, I realized how true that statement is, and in a way, how reassuring it is.  To know that if you don’t “feel married” right after you’re pronounced man and wife…that’s okay.  “Feeling married” will definitely come later.  For weeks after being married it thrilled me to call Aaron “my husband” and to hear him refer to me as “my wife”.  It still thrills me sometimes.

In so many ways, my wedding was all that I had dreamed of, if I had thought to dream of it.  As much as I wanted to get married, I wasn’t one of those girls who had her entire wedding planned out by the time she was 16.  Planning our wedding in three months, when during one of those months I was in Idaho (i.e. separated from Aaron and from the wedding location) was one of the most stressful things I had done up to that point.  However, I have an amazing family on both sides, and the wedding turned out wonderfully…as perfect as anything I could wish for.

But as perfect as it was, I spent most of the day in an unfeeling daze.  I know that sounds horrible since it was my wedding, but I was exhausted and to be honest, I think I was still somewhat in shock from being proposed to three months earlier.  Our courtship was such a whirlwind, and when we were married, Aaron and I had only known each other for seven months and two days.  As such, I still found myself often not being able to believe that this was me.

Aaron and I had decided to save our first kiss for the wedding.  I definitely don’t think that kissing before the wedding is a sin, it’s something that each couple needs to decide before God…but both of us felt that this is what we should do and we were very glad we decided to wait.  So, never having been kissed, I had heard all about how amazing first kisses were and to say that I was excited would have been a bit of an understatement.  However, I’ll be completely honest…I didn’t really feel anything the first time we kissed.  No electricity, no stars in my head.  And, that continued as we kissed for pictures and during the reception and such.  Now, that changed very quickly as soon as we left the crowds of people, but I remember thinking at some point during the meal, “Is this what kissing is going to be like for the rest of my life?”  It was kind of a depressing thought.

Obviously, that isn’t at all what kissing has been like in the past year and a half that we have been married (and Aaron told me that he definitely felt something at our first kiss!), but I wish someone had told me that maybe my first kiss wouldn’t be so amazing.  Because then I would have known that was a possibility and wouldn’t have thought that what kissing was like in front of hundreds of people was what it was going to be like for the rest of my life.

And in my mind, this relates to the sentiment expressed on the wedding cards we bought.  Weddings are wonderful and all, but it’s perfectly normal to be in such a daze of tiredness and relief and I-can’t-believe-I’m-getting-married-ness that you don’t really feel much at all.  If you can move past all that and really feel every moment of your special day, that’s great…but if you can’t, don’t worry.  It gets much, much, MUCH better when you leave all the extra people behind and it’s just you two.

That’s why honeymoons are such wonderful things.

originally published at Something Simple


  1. My husband and I saved our first kiss for the alter and I am not sure if I figured it out on my own or someone told me but I didn’t have huge expectations for that first kiss. As a result it exceeded expectations.:) Kissing did get better with time as well and we had a wonderful honeymoon. The kiss I remember most clearly from the wedding was right after walking down the aisle with my new husband trying it out the second time was great.:D

  2. Such a good post! πŸ™‚ I agree with it so much. Our first kiss was not on our wedding day and I’m glad of it. It was awkward and there weren’t any sparks or fireworks…but kisses today? Wow. πŸ˜‰ It definitely does get better with practice.

    Our wedding day was wonderful, but being married is better. We had a long enough dating relationship and engagement for us to feel like married life was just how life should be. It was good, better and finally felt like home – but that was after being a couple for over two years and engaged for 9 months of it. πŸ™‚

  3. I appreciate your thoughts on weddings. I totally agree. I am not a really sappy person either, so I didn’t get very sentimental or mushy about our wedding. In fact, I too, was in a bit of a whirlwind, marrying someone I really didn’t know well, with only a 3 month engagement! Very similar situation. We actually saved our first kiss for after the wedding, and I am so glad we did. Honestly, though, I didn’t feel a whole lot on our first kiss either, but they do get better πŸ˜‰ My husband told me he felt something, though. I guess us girls take longer to warm up!

    Anyway, it is true. Fairy tales don’t always unfold just the way you’d expect, but it’s the end result that matters. Not whether you felt everything you were supposed to feel on your wedding day. I knew well enough to know that love isn’t always a mushy feeling–it’s what you “do” that matters. And I knew the feelings would start to build over time, and they definitely have!

  4. Thank you so much for your raw honesty! I have been married a year and a half now and I would like to give you a standing ovation! I had an experience similar to yours and can say, yes, it is much better after you leave the crowds behind! I was in that wedding-day- daze that you spoke of! And yes, I still get a thrill out of saying ‘my husband’ and hearing him say ‘ my wife’.

  5. I’ve seen a couple of those cards on this side of The Pond. I think they’re precious! They make a single girl melt anyway! πŸ™‚

    As I get older and more aware that my maybe-sometime-future wedding won’t be The Climax of my life, I love hearing wives say that everything gets better after the big day. I’m still looking forward to that day, but … afterwards more, I think, because real life is about socks and lunches and living and loving and laughing together – not just walking down the aisle together. Although I still think THAT sounds like fun too! πŸ™‚

  6. When I turned thirty years old, I decided that if I ever get married, I don’t want to go through the stress of planning a big, fancy wedding. I want something simple and small. One of the girls from my old Sunday school class decided to go to a wedding chapel in Gatlinburg, TN… If I ever meet the right person, I just want to focus on the relationship instead of having the perfect wedding…

  7. Thanks for your honesty! It is good to hear about some of those little details and the challenges that a real-life bride faces.

    I’m like you and have never really been into wedding planning. Although I can picture a little bit what I imagine it to be like (1 month away), I have no desire to pore over bridal magazines, pick out a color scheme, etc. I want it to be a special day, but I don’t want to spend it obsessed with flowers, photos, and seating arrangements.

    Sounds like that greeting card expressed the right values. I agree that it’s hard to find good cards. Here in Russia I find that along with them being too sappy, it’s hard to find a card without champagne glasses on the front. Not that I’m judgmental towards anyone drinking champagne, but it seems odd to make it a wedding symbol.

  8. LOVE this!! Thank you. πŸ™‚ I’ve learned so many things in the wake of a broken engagement a year and a half ago…and this is one of them: that it doesn’t have to be perfect, feel perfect, or look just like the movies/books! πŸ™‚ Wish I had known all that in my heart as well as my head back then…but God is still good and I’m thankful for the lessons. πŸ™‚

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