I remember it like it was yesterday. Even though it has been 12 years’ worth of yesterdays, when I get lost in thought about it, it feels like yesterday. It was a cold January day. I despise winter. I deeply dislike the cold. But, here I was, getting ready to walk down the aisle and make a commitment to the man I had fallen in love with.
It was a day I had dreamed of since I was a little girl. The pretty flowers, the dress, the people, the cake made by my mom. It had all come together. Sure, there were bumps along the way, and even that morning my nerves were such that my blood sugar levels plunged and I found myself in the hallway with my bridesmaids helping hold my hair back, fanning me to keep me cool, and holding a cup full of orange juice for me to sip on. But, the day had finally come and in the end, what mattered most, was that I was going to get married.
I loved our ceremony. I love being surrounded by the people who loved me most. I loved listening to our minister reminisce with stories from my childhood. I loved walking down the aisle clinching my daddy’s arm. But, as I recall all that I loved about that day, the common thread that wove it all together was the spirit of worship. Without God’s love, none of it would have been possible and so, from the very beginning of the wedding planning process, we wanted our ceremony to reflect that.
Just three years earlier I had the honor of standing with a dear friend of mine as she got married. At that point, I hadn’t met my husband, but I distinctively remember taking mental notes of a couple of things that I knew would one day be a part of my wedding day as well. During their ceremony, both of their dads came up on stage and prayed for them. Here were two dads, who loved their children, that came together and prayed over them.
As a Daddy’s girl, to feel the hand of my father on my shoulder and to hear his words as he prayed, worshiping God and thanking Him for me and for providing me with a godly man, it was a deeply moving moment. As both dads prayed, it was a moment of worship.
The other mental note I had taken from my friend’s wedding day was that her and her soon to be husband saw each other before the ceremony. I know, it bucks most tradition, but hear me out. Andy and I chose to do the same. It wasn’t just so we could see each other or so that all the pictures could be taken prior to the ceremony, although those were added bonuses. In the auditorium, it was just the two of us. The photographer joined us for the first minute or two to capture the moment, but then it was just us for 15 minutes. He stood at the end of the aisle as I walked down. Those 15 minutes were invaluable. They became a holy moment as we had the opportunity to verbally share our love, express our immediate thoughts and feelings about seeing each other for the first time that day, share our excitement and fears, and, most importantly, spend time praying together. As we sat on the brink of becoming husband and wife, this moment of worship together helped set the tone for our hearts as we headed into the ceremony.
Another element that we added to our ceremony was a time of worship through song. As we stood with our bridal party, our guests stood as well. Together we lifted our voices in praise, singing songs about God’s love for us. It was a beautiful reminder that the covenants we were about to enter weren’t about us. Without His love first, ours wouldn’t be.
If you find yourself knee or even shoulder deep into your season of wedding planning, as you look at dresses, flowers, cakes, centerpieces, photographers, and more, I want to encourage you to consider how you can weave worship into your big day. Yes, it’s a day to celebrate you. What bride doesn’t want to feel like a princess? The truth is, though, you already are. A daughter of the King. And it’s His love that makes your love possible.
Weaving worship into our wedding day was one of the best decisions we made. It can be for you, too!