This week I’ve been thinking of two of my very special friends who are getting married this year. One actually ties the knot tomorrow…

It got me thinking about the day I said “I do” (only a short 10 years ago). My husband and I were so young then (23 and 24 years old, respectively).

Everything that leads up to the wedding day, seems to be a daze. The magical moment of getting engaged and slipping that sparkling ring onto your finger, the planning that starts pretty soon after saying ‘yes’, to the moment you walk down the isle with eyes only for the man of your dreams. Absolute perfection…

Or is it…?

I remember SO many things going wrong on my wedding day. I actually have photo’s of a few that I will share with you…

1.Our Photographer got lost, arrived late, and so we have no pre-wedding photo’s of getting dressed, putting on make-up, all those girly girl and mommy moments… None, Nada, Zip… (Hence no photo for that one)

2. The driver of the classic car (a 1963 Mercedes Benz, my husband is insisting that I share that detail) we were driving thought it was funny to drive around the block, over and over again, telling me it was FASHIONABLE to be late… If I had a photo of him, it would probably have a huge X mark over his face – HEAD SHOT!

3. My bouquet was SO heavy all I really wanted to do was throw it to all the single ladies sitting in the pews waiting for me to say “I Do” …

4. As we walked up to sign the registry my newlywed husband stood on my veil and almost ripped out half my hair, now that would have made for some awesome photo’s ya think? 🙂 As you can see my mother is trying to CALMLY stick it back in… Nah it didn’t work.

5. On the way to our photo-shoot, we were taken to the wrong beach point, which was actually known as a red-light district… Appropriate hmmm… Again no photo’s of my family and bridal party with champagne overlooking the ocean. (But we did get a few nice shots, I will admit.)

6. When I walked into the reception hall I noticed, to my utter disgust, that the event organizer had covered the main table in a lace cloth that we implicitly told them not to… I disliked it, Immensely! I just wanted to cry…

7. One of my favourite things about our wedding decor was our cake… It was different, and I loved it! However, it was dropped just prior to the reception. (By a sweet sweet young lady – who also happens to be getting married in the not too distant future. I always giggle when I think about the infamous ‘cake drop’. She was devastated… Much more than I was actually.) It tasted heavenly! As you can see, the middle cake kinda took on the resemblance to the Leaning Tower of Pisa… Oh wait, I can see the nasty lace in this photo too… Damn, never saw that before…  What was with these organizers and their obsession with lace?

F1020015By the end of all this, I was a little heart sore that my DREAM DAY, wasn’t so “perfect”… And my OCD (which has magically disappeared since having kids) kicked in… I remember my NEW husband lent over and said: “Today is only one day in our forever” – yes you can… aaaah… Yip, I know I landed a good one… The BEST one, in fact!

That moment has always stuck with me… Yes, the wedding day is absolutely important and incredibly special, we want it to be magical and perfect. After all; it is the beginning of our forever. But it is exactly that… A day. Just one day in many many more to come.

Marriage is hard work. There are days when we think, ‘what on earth are we doing?’ When, to be honest, we actually don’t like our spouse and I’m sure they feel the same way (sometimes!). Add kids to the mix… Oh goodness. There are good times that take your breath away, and imprint on your soul a love like no other. We all have those moments. But there are also times that are so hard and difficult that it could be easier to just walk away. (I know that in some instances it is necessary to walk away) But the reality is, we made a choice… Love is a choice! We wake up each and every day choosing to love our partner. For better or worse.

Marriage is being able to see the worst in one another and still love and forgive, nurture and grow together. It is a lifelong commitment to cherish and invest in the relationship and promise we make on our wedding day.

A strong marriage rarely has 2 strong people at the same time. It is when a husband and wife take turns being strong for each other, that marriages grow stronger and love grows deeper. It is when two imperfect people learn to accept and love each other, despite their differences. And sometimes it requires one to fall in love over and over again. So, enjoy the good times, treasure the special times, and forgive in the hard times.

Jacqui Bester