What do you do when your wedding goes wrong? When all your plans for your big day fall apart?
Weddings are stressful.
And how can they not be? The day of the wedding is the day we go from being a “Me” to being and “Us.” Weddings are exciting, terrifying, joyous, and stressful all at the same time, and we place so much pressure on the wedding day. But sometimes things don’t all go right.
In fact sometimes everything seems to go terribly wrong.
That is what our guest, Michelle Foster is going to be talking about today. She is going to share the story of how everything seemed to fall apart before her wedding, and how she and her husband coped with that and recovered. Rebecca and I are working on the Honeymoon Course that we’re releasing on June 10, and so we’ve been thinking a LOT about weddings. And we just loved Michelle’s story, and her perspective.
It started about 10 days before our wedding.
I had a sore throat and noticed some junk in the back of my throat. I decided to play it safe and went to urgent care, where they gave me some antibiotics, as they presumed it was strep.
Great, strep throat 10 days before my wedding. At least it would clear up before the big day, I hoped.
That time was also the busiest time of my semester as a campus missionary.
The craziness of fall push left me exhausted and burnt out at every turn. Add in some significant conflict with the man I was going to marry, and you could say I was run down.
By the time the Tuesday before my wedding came around, I was ready to be with two of my best friends/bridesmaids and simply rest and be taken care of. Mind you, my throat issues hadn’t gone away. When we got to my parents’ house, I talked with my bridesmaid, who happens to be a nurse, about my sickness and we decided it would be best for me to head to urgent care for another visit, as it seemed strange my symptoms hadn’t gone away.
Strep test: negative. Mono: positive.
Awesome. Diagnosed with mono 3 days before my wedding. No wonder I had felt so exhausted the past couple weeks.
But of course it didn’t end there.
Literally a few hours later, a rash developed over my entire body – legs, arms, torso, everything.
That’s what you want – a rash covering your entire body on the day you will probably have the most pictures of you taken…ever. Add to that the name on your cake is spelled wrong and two groomsmen don’t have the vests they need.
Commence the meltdown. Why is everything going wrong? I’m exhausted and worn down and discouraged.
The day before our wedding, we checked the weather and realized that the outdoor by-the-river wedding we had dreamed of might not be able to be a reality. Just another thing added to the list. Each new issue felt like a punch to the stomach. I sobbed in the arms of my fiancé, mourning the loss of the dream wedding I had been picturing for a while now.
My rockstar mom (and wedding planner) came up with a great backup plan and we began moving on the new plan. It was sad, overwhelming, but we were at peace moving forward with the backup option to have the ceremony under the reception tent.
At this point, it just felt so clear that there was so much spiritual attack pounding at us.
I felt like Satan did not want us to get married. He did not want two people passionate about Jesus joining in life together. He did not want a love story centered on grace to persevere.
And he almost won. He almost beat me down to the point of giving up, to running away, to letting it all come crashing down.
But, with sweet friends, family and a fiancé encouraging me along the way, we sought the Lord, moved forward in faith and trusted Jesus was true in how He had orchestrated and led our relationship into marriage.
After a sweet time of prayer with my man, I was ready to give up whatever it meant – the location, all of the elements I had been hoping for, my appearance, for the sake of marrying this man. This was the man I had committed my life to, was ready to be teamed up with forever, and wanted to spend the rest of my days glorifying Jesus with. The materialism and pride in our hearts was struck down, and we clung to what people had been telling us from the beginning of our engagement: “Hey, as long as you are married at the end of it, that’s what matters.”
And that’s what we clung to.
By the time our rehearsal dinner ended and we came home and there was a bear in the reception tent, our only response was to laugh hysterically. Yep. That’s about right. After all of these things went wrong, it only seems fitting that a bear would be perusing all our ceremony setup the night before our wedding.
Come the morning of our wedding, and we saw so much answered prayer and kindness of the Lord.
I was less tired. My rash was pretty much entirely gone. The new ceremony setup looked beautiful.
And the greatest part? I married the man I love and treasure so dearly.
It wasn’t perfect.
It had its bumps. But the thing that mattered most was that we got to pronounce our new covenant relationship with one another, and got to reflect on the covenant relationship Jesus has with us. During the ceremony, we sang the song “In Christ Alone”. As I reflected on the lyrics while singing, I began to tear up:
“No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand. ‘Til He returns or calls me home, here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.”
No power of hell could stand against our marriage, this reflection of Christ’s love for us. Just as no power of hell can stand against the love of my Savior, Jesus.
It was the sweetest day of my life. And all the sweeter with how the Lord cared for us, fought for us and loved us through all of the craziness leading up to our big day. And I praise God for it all.
Our dating relationship wasn’t perfect. Our wedding wasn’t perfect. Our marriage isn’t perfect. But Jesus is perfect, and that is enough.
Do you have a wedding disaster story? Let’s talk about it in the comments below
About the Author:
Michelle Foster is a newlywed navigating adulthood in Louisville, Kentucky. She works and serves college students at a collegiate church in Pittsburgh by doing administrative and support work for them remotely. She’s passionate about writing, graphic design and seeing college students come to follow Jesus