The Ever After

This past weekend, we hopped provincial lines to attend my cousin’s wedding. (Congratulations Tiffany and Andrew!)

I have been to quite a few weddings over the past few years. I am right at that age where my friends and my husband’s friends are getting married. Additionally, Dan and I have been lucky to attend many weddings as photographers too (didn’t know I did that? I do! If you’re looking for a wedding photographer, be sure to contact me!).

Whether I am attending a wedding as a guest or am doing it for work, weddings always leave me wishful and pensive.

Before getting married, I wanted a wedding so bad! When I was dating Dan, I also wanted a marriage, but I really wanted a wedding. Like really really! It took all that I had not to be one of those girls who planned out her entire wedding before she knew who she would marry. I always thought about what colours would look best together and what style wedding dress I wanted. I would daydream about veils and whispered vows. I exercised incredible restraint by not purchasing every wedding magazine available before my finger was adorned with a rock.

When we went to weddings, all of this became amplified.

I would cry at weddings because the bride was so beautiful and the groom was swept off his feet and because no vow uttered was ever as true and as deep as the vows I was witnessing. I would cry because weddings saturate the air with so much love that it becomes hard to breathe. I would cry because I so desperately wanted all of that for me.

The beautiful white dress. The doting groom. The elated family.

The fairy tale ending.

And then the day came. With a ring on my finger and a wedding planned (which was much more stressful then my daydreams led me to believe), I had the dress. I had the groom. I walked down the aisle and said my I dos.

Sitting on a windowsill as a bride

And life started.

The fairy tale ended, the ever after began.

I am so different from the girl I was before getting married. I wonder if people from my life before Dan would even know the person I am now. I grew up. I changed my priorities. I learned to live with another person and experienced how raw love can be. The adventures Dan and I used to share while dating are distant memories and nothing like our Saturday nights at home with two kids. With marriage, life got real. Life got hard. Life got awesome. Life became shared.

Now, when I find myself suffocated by the love-filled room of a wedding, I still cry. I still sit and think and dream. I re-evaluate my marriage and silently recommit as the vows are whispered. I place my hand upon my husband’s while simultaneously bouncing the newborn and shushing the toddler, and I think about this life we share. This so-not-a-fairy-tale life. This perfect, shared life. My heart fills with gratitude for all that I have. And I find myself getting excited for the new bride and groom; excited for everything that comes after the wedding.

Wedding Party

Because now? They’re married. Now she is a wife and he is a husband. Now they can build a life together, grow and become completely new people united. Now they can live with the complete assurance that someone will always be there. Now life is about togetherness and partnership and family. Now they have a whole lifetime ahead of them.

What a beautiful, joy-filled place to live out the ever after.

I love weddings marriages.

What do weddings make you think about?

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About Laura ORourke

Laura is a working Mom of two (but soon to be three) living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She juggles work, blogging, and life at home with her husband Dan and two sons Cameron (age 4) and Gavin (age 2). When she has time, she can be found reading, writing, snapping photos, or awkwardly running. Laura has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 10 Mom Bloggers by multiple publications, including Reader's Digest. Keep up with the fun by following @LauraORourke on Twitter or liking Mommy Miracles on Facebook. Like what you see? Have something to add? Be sure to leave a comment!

Comments

  1. I think too much emphasis is placed on the wedding itself and not everything that comes after. I was the same way. I love weddings and all that they signify. But, marriage isn’t a wedding. It isn’t a blissful and constant fairytale like people expect. Truthfully, despite the ups and downs, the bad times and the times where things aren’t easy, I do prefer marriage over the big day, any day.
    Courtney Kirkland recently posted..BrothersMy Profile

    • Yes. Definitely. ME TOO! I prefer marriage so much better! But part of that is how much I learned by getting married. If I were doing it all over again, I would do it so differently – maybe we’d get eloped, or maybe we’d all just get together for a big backyard barbecue. Everything else was just far too stressful.
      Laura recently posted..The Ever AfterMy Profile

  2. I was one of those girls who did not care for weddings. Or marriage. I was convinced I was never getting married, I pooh-poohed it all. When I met my husband, I considered marriage, and changed my mind about getting married. But not about weddings. I still didn’t like attending them, thinking about them.

    When we got married, we didn’t have a wedding – no surprise to anyone. Because to us, we already knew that the important part was us committing to each other, and we didn’t feel the need to do that with a shebang. Of course, that’s just us. We understand the need for a good party!
    Alison recently posted..The HappyMy Profile

    • I had a paragraph written for this blog post that said “We could have been all alone on the moon wearing paper bags making a commitment to each other and our marriage would still be the same it is today.” You’re right. A wedding is hardly related to a marriage and often just creates too much stress. I would do it so differently if I were to redo it. Less stress. Less people. More intimate fun and food.

      I am glad you decided to get married and have a family! Your boys are just too cute to not be in this world!
      Laura recently posted..The Ever AfterMy Profile

  3. I loved this. It is all so true and good. I’ve heard that the experience of being married can be compared to Christ’s life..he was blessed, broken and shared in the same way that as a wife and mom I am daily..blessed, broken and shared. Marriage is no longer just a beautiful fairy tale but what it should truly be and that is a daily giving of myself to this life God has chosen for me :)

  4. Laura! This was beauteous! I feel honoured that my wedding got a shout out on your blog! I also agree with what you said! I was very calm the few days before the wedding and not strung out and stressed because I was so excited to be Andrews wife and to begin our marriage and all the flowers and decorations seemed trivial to me. I still thought they were important because I wanted the beginning of our marriage to be special and memorable but this whole process from engagement to marriage, my eyes were on the final goal: marriage! Not the wedding itself. And being married is wonderful! :) I’m loving every second of it! I don’t think I have smiled so much in my entire life than I have the past week that we’ve been married. I look forward to living out our “Ever after”. :)

    • Your wedding was so perfect, Tiffany. I think it was evident that you weren’t stressed about it, and that made it so enjoyable for a guest.

      It makes me smile so big to hear about how much you’re loving marriage! Enjoy your “ever after”!
      Laura recently posted..Am I Happy?My Profile

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