I had the privilege and pleasure of attending a good friend’s wedding this weekend, which took place at the magnificent Cave Hill Creek. (If you’re a Victorian – more specifically a Melbournian – planning a wedding, check it out. Stunning!)
The setting was rustic, simple, and breathtakingly elegant. The surrounding bushland was amazingly serene, and the beautiful couple spoke their vows standing on a boardwalk overlooking the picturesque lake you can see in my picture above. Birds were singing, leaves were rustling, and it was just…..perfect.
Now, I’ll be blatantly honest. I bloody love a wedding. I’ve been to more than just a few. And I’ve loved them all; absolutely every one.
But I’ve never been to one before where the personalities of the bride and groom shone through quite so strongly as in this one. And I’ve never been to one before where literally every single guest was simply radiating love, like some kind of collective aura. It was the most incredible, almost tangible, atmosphere ever.
There’s something really magical about weddings. It’s like all the hope, and love, and faith, and dreams just pulse in the air, as we, the lucky onlookers, witness the very start of a new beginning. So much promise! So much to look forward to!
Standing in that space, it somehow feels like in that moment, everything is simply good in the world.
As another friend happily declared on the day, “Oh, I just LOVE love!”
And don’t we all?
Watching the groom’s face, as he sees his bride for the first time. Watching her face, as she sees only him. Watching her dad’s expression as he stoically walks her towards her new husband. Watching their mothers hold back tears, and their aunties with their shining eyes and beaming smiles, and their family and friends gripping onto papers full of rose petals, almost completely overcome with the overwhelm at just how beautiful this moment really is.
Like I said, weddings are magic.
The thing I love most about weddings, is that they represent a perfectly clean slate. A new start. A promise of partnership, and solidarity, and support.
Two lives entwined, for better, and for worse.
And although we all know there will be times in life where the worse will definitely pop up, and the sheen will seem to have rubbed off somewhat, it seems absolutely obvious that on that wedding day, that wonderful couple, standing in front of us all, will take on the world, together.
The wedding crowd that day held a wealth of collective marital knowledge, from couples that had been married for a gazillion years, and engaged couples, yet to take the leap themselves, to the brand new couples, and the single crowd, looking on. Some divorced, some never married. All with their own tales to tell. And all full of hope, that this lovely pair of newlyweds would find what they needed within each other to thrive in their lives together.
Because we know it isn’t always easy.
There are going to be times of compromise, and tears. Times of anger, and harsh words. Times of sadness, and struggle, and unexpected challenges, that threaten to undo all of the good intentions and softly spoken words.
But there are also going to be times of overwhelming joy. Times of success, and pride, and triumph. Times of full hearts, and passionate kisses, and gratitude.
The ups of a marriage, make every down seem inconsequential, provided that you tackle the downs together, fiercely, and united.
As the newlyweds celebrated with their guests on the dance floor, and the room was full of laughter and warmth, it seemed impossible to imagine that they’ll ever experience any downs.
But knowing what I know, my advice to them is this:
Remember the feeling of your wedding day. Remember it, every day. Remember the excitement, and the happiness, and the love, and the way it felt to actively choose each other, in front of all of those smiling faces. Remember why you chose each other, above anyone else. And remember that no matter what circumstances life throws at you, that feeling is what will sustain you.
That feeling, my loves, can carry you through almost anything, even when you feel like it’s all impossible, if you just hold onto it.
And most importantly, be the person you promised to be, standing at the altar on your wedding day. You’ve promised each other the world, and now it’s time to follow through, not just on the good days, but even more significantly, on the rough ones. You really can do ANYTHING, if you do it together, and stick by each other, even when everything is threatening to pull you apart.
There are great things ahead, and love underpins them all.
To happy futures, and a whole lifetime of wonderful memories.
Because we all LOVE love.
PS Definitely need to do a little shout out to The Royce Twins, who provided the music for the evening, and who got every single person, young and old, up on that dance floor, kicking up their heels and having a blast. Seriously, seriously talented duo. Check them out if you love a good tune.