Take the Money and Run?

'Take the Money and Run' photo (c) 2012, James Cohen - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Wedding planning advice is everywhere. And I mean everywhere. If you're planning a wedding, you know what I mean. Your friends, family members and even complete strangers have no shortage of well-meaning tips they just know you need to hear. Ranging from ideas on saving money to saving sanity, some will be helpful, some not so much. It's like the stranger who wants to touch a pregnant woman's belly and give her home-remedies for any pregnancy-related health issues. Sometimes you wish well-meaning people would not share quite so much. And then you’ll have that one friend. I think everyone has this person in her life. The one who did not enjoy her wedding planning experience and will urge you to elope. “You’ll be so much happier—just take the money and run.” I had that friend. In her defense, her wedding planning experience truly was a nightmare, full of conflict and strife. All she really wanted was to be married and she did not want to be bothered with a wedding. (And to compound the problem, I managed to spread a horrible cold to the bride and groom a day before the wedding. This was not exactly found in the Maid of Honor duties list).

This feeling of wanting to get past the wedding is totally understandable, and that time will probably come in every couple’s experience. But that is a good thing. If you aren’t wishing the wedding date to come quickly, this is probably not a good sign for your marriage. And you will be just as married whether the wedding is performed in a cathedral or a Vegas wedding chapel.

Yet I believe there are good, legitimate reasons for actually planning a wedding. For one thing, it gives you a trial run on handling conflict and making decisions together. One of you wants to walk out of the ceremony to “Ode to Joy,” while the other thinks “I’ve Got You Babe” is a more appropriate choice. How are you going to resolve that? This is practice for the whole of your marriage.

There are several other reasons why planning a wedding can be a good thing, and I hope to explore many of them here in the future. However, the primary reason is that Christ-centered weddings reveal the glory of the gospel to everyone involved. You have the opportunity to build the foundation of your marriage, an institution created for the purpose of proclaiming the gospel (Eph. 5), by doing just that—proclaiming the gospel. What an exciting way to begin a marriage!