Working in the wedding industry means I’m surrounded by weddings and marriage all the time. I devote my weekends in the summer to celebrating with couples and those long winter days to helping them decorate and plan. But those days are devoted to the wedding, not the marriage. We often use those words together, understanding how closely the two are related and sometimes even wrongly interchanging them, but they’re not the same, not even close.
Even doing what I do for a living, I wouldn’t call myself an expert in either of these areas, marriage or weddings. There’s always more work to be done. Always something more to learn. Always an area for improvement. Planning either of them is not easy.
7 years ago when I began writing in this little corner of the internet, I wanted to talk about the topic of marriage. But my courage waivered. I was barely more than a newlywed myself and what did I know? The ironic part of that is I would write about wedding planning as if I knew something, and yet I knew so little, being in the baby stages of my planning business as well.
I still don’t think it’s an easy topic to chat about. It’s much easier to write about changing leaves, decorating a new house or what flowers are in season on your wedding day. It’s not nearly as superficial as these topics that I easily post about. I’ve been quiet here because, well life is busy, but also because of the fight against what needs to be said. Because it is a fight. Each and every day, a fight to the death to keep your marriage alive.
When you’re first engaged, and are unsure of the first steps of planning a wedding, where do you turn? One might ask their mom, their best friend or hire a professional. There’s no shame in being uncertain of the steps needed to plan a wedding. There are articles after article posted online and hundreds of magazines and similar publications dedicated to helping people plan this one day. But it’s ONE day.
Who’s helping plan the marriage? A marriage that is FOREVER? Where are the exposés at the checkout lane promoting couples staying together, loving one another and never giving up? It’s easier to degrade your spouse then lift them up. It’s hard to admit that we don’t naturally know the secret to a successful marriage. Loving one another isn’t quite as easy as it seems because we’re all selfish people and marriage is an act of selflessness, completely giving yourself to another person. The idea of turning to an expert for help isn’t quite as socially acceptable. So we all struggle. Have days of failure. And so many couples in the end, find it much easier just to give up.
I am one teeny tiny voice in a world of so many. I have had good days of marriage and bad. But I have a voice that understands the struggle and can sympathize with the battle that is before you. So if you’ve ever read one of my articles about wedding planning, decorating a bedroom or setting a holiday table, I urge you to read up on marriage. How can I claim to be a lifestyle blogger if I won’t talk about this most important of topics? What have you done for your marriage today?
Photography: Cory Weber Photography
I wrote part of a series on our own marriage study early this year which you can read here. For more reading I recommend starting 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman, Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas and watching Ashely with Arrows & Bow’s Instagram highlights – Marriage Talk because YES to cherishing our husbands!