Thursday, May 30, 2013

15 things I loved and learned during our wedding feasts

{a reflection on the week of our seventh anniversary} 

1. It was my wedding!
Weddings -- the bookends of the Bible. God himself "walked Eve down the aisle." The marriage feast of the Lamb is the culmination of redemption history. Jesus performed his first miracle at the wedding of Cana. My wedding was a big day.

2. But it was just my wedding.
We have had countless better days since our wedding. Our wedding was awesome. I smiled. I cried. It was beyond our expectations. But since then, there was Emeth's birth, and then Yohanan's birth, and then Khesed's birth. And many awesome days in between. I haven't looked at our wedding pictures in years.

3. It was our front door, not the house, not the foundation, not the garage. It was a front door and front doors are important. It was the beginning of our lives together, but it does not define our marriage.

4. Disclaimer: Here, I'm mostly talking about the feasting and the hotels and the transportation and the photography and the invitations and the menus and the flowers. I'm NOT talking about the liturgy, or the worship service, or the exchange of vows. That would require another post all together.

5. They were the firsts of many, many dinner parties we hosted in our home. Planning a wedding required the skills of basic hospitality -- on steroids. We created a little world filled with our favorite things and invited our favorite people to share and enjoy this world with us. At the end of the day, it was about loving our neighbors. That is all.

6. What were our favorite things? It was important to us that we were generous. So, we had two feasts -- one on the night before the wedding and one on the night of the wedding. Because our friends came from all over the world, we wanted the food to be international. Many wore their national garments and the colors were spectacular. We wanted it to be communal and we (mostly crazy Irene) wanted to have a pot-luck, until I realized that it would not be realistic with 200 guests. So, in the end, though the ladies in the community made a lot of the food, I also hired a caterer to prepare the first feast, and two of the five courses for the second feast. I wanted an open tent where strangers, joggers, and random people were welcomed to join the feasts.

7. It took a village. I had the help of a group of ladies who were more organized than myself. They kept me focused. They forced me to delegate.

8. Trust people. People were awesome and they had awesome ideas. I was very loved by my village. People brought flowers. People moved chairs and tables. The bridesmaids chose their own dresses. The children cleared the table after each course. People may not do things the way you would, but trust them anyway. Because people are awesome.

Lev and Vova, the boys who are now young men, from Russia.

9. People were sometimes frustrating. They made mistakes and they forgot things. But it was important to let them know we appreciated and trusted them.

10. It was good to have a plan and expectations. But it was also good to hold them loosely.

11. Every dinner party produces mess and dishes. Don't ever forget about the clean up. Ever.

12. Yes, I was that bride who forgot to plan the clean up. It completely slipped my mind. I had just graduated two days before the wedding. I was a busy bride. Everything up to the wedding was about getting things done, and getting things set up, and getting things there. I had completely forgotten that things needed to be removed once the wedding was over.

Trust people.

 13. Hiding, crying, and a nervous breakdown was acceptable -- once the wedding was over. Hans hid me in the closet of his parents' room. I sat there and cried out of sheer exhaustion.

14. People got things done even when I had forgotten to delegate. It took a village. People were awesome.

15.  It was the coolest, most complicated dinner party ever. And I enjoyed every second.

Because it was my wedding.
But it was just my wedding.

1 comment:

estherliu said...

*waves* Hi Cat! congratuations!

and Irene, I feel like I was there. these snapshots are spectacular. even got the retroactive invite. ;) He's making you that butterly.