Viva Las Vegas
I remember planning my wedding 9 years ago. I remember debating over every detail. I remember arguing (sometimes flat out fighting) with my soon-to-be-husband about whether or not to have an archway with his 6’4” frame. I remember spending hours focused on the event, instead of the marriage.
My best friend has been in more than 20 weddings in her 31 years of life. She has sat with brides picking out the details. She has spent more money than you can dream of on bridesmaid dresses, jewelry, shoes and the list goes on. She has spent hours on the event as requested by more than 20 brides. Yes -- I said "more than 20" twice in one paragraph and now 3 times.
So, when it was her turn to be the bride, she chose to keep her priorities in line. She focused on her soon-to-be-husband and their future together. She forgoed the wedding and all of the hoopla the comes with it.
They packed up their bags and headed to Las Vegas. My husband and I were honored to be invited (honored does not describe how special we felt). She and Lance, her groom, had a simple ceremony at the Elvis Wedding Chapel. It lasted less than 10 minutes. They did not worry if the right music was playing or if the candles stayed lit. There was no slideshow or live music. She did not worry about the order of her bridesmaids or if the flowers were wilting. She focused on Lance and their marriage.
If you are worried that her wedding was not personal, do not fret. Julie picked out her dress and shoes with her mom and sisters a week before the big day. I fixed her hair and her makeup was perfect. The ring was a surprise to her. The chapel provided a photographer and a video of the ceremony for all of the family to watch.
My personal favorite part was that Marc prayed for them during the ceremony. Part of his prayer was recognizing that only God can unite them in marriage. It reminded me that it didn't matter where they got married because God is everywhere and he will walk with them through marriage.
I admire Julie for focusing on her marriage instead of the wedding. I think there are many brides who are in love with the wedding instead of the man. I think there are many brides who begin their marriage in wedding debt for a 10-minute ceremony. I think many brides forget that it is the union that is important, not the extravagant wedding cake.
Julie has always marched to her own beat, but she strives to stay on the straight and narrow path. Her parents raised her right. I should know because they help raise me too! Her Dad did not walk her down the aisle, but his life advice was in her head. Her mom did not kiss her cheek that day, but she was there in her heart. Her siblings did not sit in the audience, but they supported her nonetheless.
Congratulations to my best friend, Julie. You found your happily ever after.