I was married once before. It didn’t work out. Blame it on the pain in my heart for failing my own relationship, but the wedding after my divorce was actually really hard for me. I was hurting a great deal. Struggling with my own issues, I had a really hard time being present in the moment and celebrating with everyone else. But this time around, things were different. I was different. Life was different. And the love the two people getting married shared felt pretty different to me too.
I’ve known Lauren my whole life. She’s like a sister to me. But even though I am the older one, she’s the one always teaching me big important life lessons that I didn’t think even existed. And her wedding was no different. This past weekend Lauren and Kyle tied the knot. I officiated the ceremony, was in the bridal party and was so super full of love the whole entire weekend.
The Truth About Weddings
Weddings are whatever you want them to be. They can be a time to mope and feel bad about the life you want and don’t have, or they can be a time to celebrate something truly special for someone you love. This time around I was so clear headed and balanced in my own life, that taking time to celebrate and join in on the weekend fun was easy for me. It came natural. I didn’t even have to think about it. And because I was so open and appreciative of the special moment I was sharing with my friend, I learned some pretty kick ass lessons.
Lesson number one: If you spend your time worrying about what other people feel and think, you won’t enjoy your life. The same goes for your own wedding. My friend Lauren was a total rockstar when it came to enjoying her special day. She didn’t worry about whether the food was good for other people, or if her guests were having an awesome time. Sure those are things she took into consideration when she planned the day, but on the actual day of, she was focused on herself and enjoying everything she worked hard for. And rightfully so! When you are constantly wrapped up in the worry of whether other people are getting what they need on your special day, it is so hard to really take in the special celebration that is truly all about you! And the same goes for life. If you are always worried about other people, finding true happiness isn’t really a possibility.
Lesson number two: Failing once does not mean that you will never get what you want in life. Lauren and I are similar in that we have bot had serious relationship in our pasts that didn’t end well. The wedding I went to soon after my divorce was hard for me. It was like I was in a full blown nightmare reminder of everything I thought I could never have: happiness, true love, pretty things, smiles etc. I was jaded to say the least. Feeling happy and celebrating true love when you don’t have it is a really hard thing. But seeing Lauren and Kyle on their special day I was reminded of something: True love exists.. and sometimes you have to go down a weird unexpected road to find it. Just because you have a past failed relationship doesn’t mean you are forever branded as an unhappy unmarried incapable of love individual. That’s just not the case. This goes for anything in life really.. you have to believe that just because you don’t get what you are searching for on the first try, doesn’t mean you stop trying entirely.
Lesson Number Three: Life and Love Are Adventures. This was a common theme in Lauren and Kyle’s wedding and something I truly never ever want to forget. Love is not some sort of achievement. It isn’t something you just check off your list of accomplishments in life. It is a continual endless adventure full of possibilities. When you look at love and marriage as something you need to “complete” or “finalize” or “get to the top of,” you don’t appreciate the hike or the journey along the way that you took to get there. I used to be so serious about wanting to get married and rushing for that proposal on the rise, but I realized something so wonderful at Lauren and Kyle’s wedding: From the moment you fall in love, you are on a journey. And it isn’t about the destination.. it’s about all the wonderful adventurous moments worth celebrating on the way there.
Wedding Lesson Number Four: The Gift of Giving is A Beautiful Thing When You Expect Nothing in Return. For Lauren’s wedding I planned a lot of little special things for my best friend. I wanted to do as much as I could to make her day memorable for her. It was the first time in a while that I reminded myself ahead of time to give and show love without expecting anything back. That is what love is. And when you love someone, gift or no gift, you should show that love without expecting anything back. Lauren and Kyle are so kind and caring towards one another it just reminded me that it is okay to be vulnerable in love and in life. It is okay to show affection, to be warm and kind and to do it just because that is who you are and what you feel. Sharing my special gifts with Lauren on her wedding day warmed my heart.. and I didn’t need to get anything back to feel that love.
And Lesson Number Five: Being Yourself is The Key to Happiness. This was a special weekend for me. I was surrounded by people who I love so dearly, but who I also haven’t seen in such a long time. I was worried about so many things the days before the trip: Will my boyfriend have a good time? Will I be a good officiate? Will I look okay in my dress? Will I say and do the right things and not embarrass myself? But once I got there, I just decided to be myself. I decided I was going to relax, have a good time and not worry about what other people think. This goes back to my first lesson on the list, just tying everything in here.. but the truth is … when you are truly being yourself and not caring about what other people think… Life is full of fun beautiful memories that just mean SO much more than any fake memory could.
So Live life, be you, and be full of love.
And yes… our bridesmaid’s dresses were rocked with converse sneakers. Because my best friend is a total badass who doesn’t give a shit about heals.
The Wedding Look
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