wedding weekend

i am always amazed at how exhausting weddings can be. when i was younger, i always loved weddings: dress up, look pretty, show up and sit for an hour then go eat and dance. simple and to the point.

then i began to see the work behind weddings.

there is so much energy required to prepare for the big day. the bride and groom and their families put a lot of effort into an event that ultimately lasts a few hours.

and of course, stress lingers until it’s over and done with (which is the cleanup the day after).

it’s a true blessing to be able to gather together. i love how the service starts with mentioning how we don’t just gather, but we assemble before God.

this past weekend, i preached at a cousin’s wedding (congrats melissa and clark!) and was amazed at how different it was to be both pastor and cousin. for some of those who didn’t know me before, i was the pastor first and cousin second. but for others, i was melissa’s cousin who also happened to be a pastor (in training). my relatives were excited that we were able to keep the wedding a true family affair with a low-key and extremely personal vibe by having me and not a stranger stand in front. i guess this is a good learning lesson as i prepare for ministry where i will always be recognized as a pastor but my family and friends will see me for who i was to them before i put on the collar.

this was the first time i preached and led a wedding. there were mistakes, but it was a great learning experience. i now have a few ideas of what to make sure to think about beforehand with the couple like how they want to be presented, which cultural pieces they want brought in (i found out that kissing the bride is not found in the occasional services), and if there are any special announcements or greetings for those who show up. little things like that are always nice to have prepared.

notes of what not to do but did anyway: announce the wrong name (check), drop your book (check), speak too quickly (check), say good morning when it’s four in the afternoon (check)

in case you were wondering, i really did all of these. fortunately, i had the name right the day of because i messed up during the rehearsal. but the rest was during the service. so i connect a bit with rowan atkinson’s character in four weddings and a funeral.

at the end of the day, all that matters is that the couple is married.

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