"What's your hurry?"
My husband and I got asked this constantly during our engagement. And I totally understand why. We began dating in January. We got engaged in March. We said "I do" in July. All in the same year.
As one friend said during our wedding weekend, "By the time I knew you were dating someone, you were already married!"
Traditional engagements continue to be long. Divorce rates continue to be high. To some, a short engagement might seem synonymous with being flippant or careless. All of which means that you're almost guaranteed to be asked the same "What's your hurry?" question multiple times throughout your own short engagement!
For this reason, it's important to establish your What—integral, even. Otherwise, naysayers ("You'll walk the aisle naked!") and question-askers ("Are you sure you've really thought this through?") will inevitably begin to dampen your formerly bright and optimistic bridal spirit.
Your What doesn't need to be long or complex, by the way. Just a personal statement that the two of you can reference whenever the going (and by going, I mean wedding planning) gets tough. Do the two of you want to travel the world together? Start your own business? Open a joint checking account? Adopt a pet? Say “goodnight” instead of “goodbye” at the end of the day? Take some time to define what's at the heart of your hurry—and don’t be afraid to name, claim, and proclaim your What to anyone and everyone who asks.
photo: Miss Jee's Photography
For the record, here's why we said yes to a 4.5-month engagement.
- Because God moved in incredible, impossible ways to bring us together.
- Because the Lord gave my husband eyes to see me as He does, and allowed me the same insight into my husband.
- Because we longed for the moment when we would become lifelong, permanent teammates.
We weighed two things against each other—the marriage relationship we were committing to, and the type of party we wanted to throw to commemorate that union—and ultimately realized that we both placed greater value on the former. In other words? We were comfortable exchanging vows at a venue that looked slightly different than our "dream ceremony site," booking a few second-choice vendors when necessary, and selecting a date that fell outside of prime peony season if making those compromises meant becoming husband and wife sooner rather than later.
If you don't quite feel the same, that's okay! Your What doesn't have to be the same as ours. As a word of encouragement though, I'm happy to report that we finalized our wedding plans with plenty of time to spare. We've been married for four years now and I still wouldn't change a thing about our wedding celebration! I thought at one point that the success of our wedding would be measured by tangible things—the number of guests who RSVP’d, the compliments I received on our brunch buffet, and the volume of post-event Facebook statuses reading “Best wedding I’ve ever been to!”—but ultimately, it came down to something else.
People noticed the flowers we finally selected. They enjoyed the different flavors of our tiered wedding cake. They used the paper parasols we purchased to stay cool during our beachside ceremony. They even pinned their names to the map-turned-guestbook we set up at our reception. But they felt our love. And that’s what made our wedding not only pretty, but powerful.
It’s what our guests talked about at our rehearsal dinner. It’s what made them pull tissues from their purses during our vows. It’s what they could not stop celebrating with words at our reception. “The way he looks at you tells me everything I need to know about him,” said one friend who had never met my husband prior to our wedding weekend. “I feel hopeful,” another commented.
All the day-of details we spent months pulling together? They were fun and exciting to select, and we love looking back on our pictures and pointing out the little “somethings” that meant so much to both of us on our wedding day. But ultimately, the richness of our wedding didn’t stem from the fact that we selected buttercream icing instead of fondant for our cake—it was the result of sharing our love with friends and family as we began a new life together.
I think there’s a reason why 1 Corinthians 13:13 is one of the most popularly-read wedding passages out there: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
You’ve already done the hard work of falling in love. Stay in love through the rest of your planning process, and I promise: All the little details will work themselves out just fine.