Let the storm rage on: God in the Wedmin?

I was never going to be one of those brides who blogged every time I stuck a sequin on a doily, purchased a tealight or viewed a venue. The first reason is because I haven’t the time, and the second is because there are loads or great and detailed wedding planning blogs out there already.

But I think I might have finally found something worth saying. So here is my Wedmin (Wedding-Admin) blog.

Friends of ours got engaged 2 weeks before we did and I remember being told ‘It stops being fun really quick’. I spent 6 days not believing them before we came crashing down to earth from the engagement high like a clunky lead brick.

It did stop being fun really fast. But I dearly hope that not everybody’s experience is the same.

Yet, wherever we go and whoever we talk to, the pressures and complexities that surround weddings seem to be understood and shared by many. When I stood in the team area of New Wine feeling stressed, unhappy and resigned as I read through a conversation on my phone, a kind friend came up and said, ‘Poppy, are you ok?’. I only had to utter the word ‘Wedmin’ for the sympathetic and understanding nod to come my way.

One of my all time favourite musical characters is Dolly Levi from Hello, Dolly! She’s an organised, intelligent and creative woman who sings a song called ‘Just leave everything to me!’. A modern day Dolly would have been a whizz on a spreadsheet. As she says in this song ‘If you want your bustle shifted, wedding planned, or bosom lifted, I’ll discretely use my own discretion, I’ll arrange for making all arrangements, I’ll proceed to plan the whole procedure, Just leave everything to me’. I’d be lying if I said that she wasn’t a source of inspiration! I love lists, I love spreadsheets, I love colour coding, I love organising. Yes, for those of you who appreciate such language, my Myers Briggs ‘J’ is my strongest personality trait.

So why then, has this at times felt like the biggest and most difficult undertaking of my life? I should have been relishing, loving and rejoicing in the Wedmin. But any such feelings faded so long ago that I wonder if I ever had them at all.

Weddings take some doing. We began with the good intention of researching, planning and bartering all on our own. These ambitions quickly disappeared when engagement hype died down and degrees, curacy prep and moving house logistics took over. Thankfully, I have my right hand people in the town where we’re getting married to do most of the stuff on the ground for us. What a relief!

But it still felt like I set out on a Disney themed cruise ship which eventually resembled something slimy from Pirates of the Caribbean in the middle of a storm. Sometimes it was just one of those days and I wondered which one of us is going to get stressed about it first.

There is just so much to it. There is so much to consider. Just when we thought we had covered every angle, prayed and come to a considered and deliberate decision, there was a spanner, wrench and several small nails in the works, all of which needed digging out and handling.

Planning a wedding is not beyond either of our emotional, intellectual or physical capabilities and yet sometimes the storm seems never-ending.

If I’m honest, several times it got to a point where I found myself thinking: Lord, did you really call me to this? Is this actually your will?

The lists, compromises, timetables, money, organisation, and people overwhelmed the foundation of this whole thing which is: God called us together and we want to commit to loving each other for the rest of our lives in his presence.

When my boss found me in the vestry genuinely researching Gretna Green Wedding Packages (only for the third time since being engaged), he then went into Church to preach about Jesus and Peter walking on water. It spoke right to my heart. Jesus is our peace in the storm. It makes no sense to get out of the boat in the middle of the storm, but if we don’t at least try and head out into his direction then we’re going to sit and hurt in that storm.

Where is Jesus in the Wedmin?

Well in the whole of this phase of transition and preparation, I seem him most clearly in the eyes of my love. We were at a ‘Marriage and Ministry’ day towards the end of our time at Cranmer and the married couples in the room were asked to renew their wedding vows. We didn’t say the words aloud, but we did stand and look at each other and say them in our hearts. I looked into his eyes and to my embarrassment started weeping. Those words mean so much and I don’t intend to let anything distract me from saying them with all my heart on the day.

Where is Jesus in the Wedmin?

He’s in the service. He is in the marriage. He is the peace. But getting out of the boat and walking towards him is hard, but he’s not far away. We need to keep our eyes on him, and everything else is just detail.

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