Don’t tell a bride-to-be, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” She’ll punch you in the face. Hey, every engaged lady knows her wedding is all in the details. The small stuff is important — no not just important but mega, mega important.
And I was once that bride who was ready to punch someone’s lights out over the small stuff not going right. Yes, I was Bridezilla… for just a few minutes! I kept it all inside, but I was raging, disappointed, and wanted my way! Here’s my story…
I had asked four young women to be my attendees at my wedding, two dear friends and my two dear sisters. My two sisters arrived in Dallas from Denver as scheduled for my wedding, but their dresses flew on to Kansas City.
What did that mean?
Well, at first panic.
Then later, I thoughtfully pulled myself together and began to problem solve. Frontier Airlines apologized profusely, but said they could not retrieve the dresses before the wedding. It was less than 24 hours away!
So… next.. plan.
My sisters and I began to scour tuxedo shops, which to our utter joy we discovered also rent bridesmaids’ dresses. I took a swatch of fabric from the original dress and prayed I could find something close. I actually can’t remember how many places we looked until we found “something” that would blend with the other garments. I was in a fog.
It was heartbreaking. I balked at the idea of finding “just okay” dresses to “blend” with the whole look. After all, a lot of wedding perfection comes from getting the whole extravaganza just right. Every big thing is important. Every small thing is important. And so much thought, loving care, and energy goes into that special day that every bride dreams about.
When you are planning a wedding, you live, eat, and breath minutia!
Honestly, after the initial panic, I was devastated. I thought so much time and effort had gone into picking the matching dresses and colors, the flowers, the candles, the tuxes, asking four important women in my life to stand up with me and Wayne for our wedding. One decision was built on the other. It all had to coordinate. And if you haven’t planned a wedding up close and personal, then someday you will! This story will sound familiar to you.
But I knew as the hours passed and we searched for a solution, I had to let this go or my whole wedding experience was going down the tubes. I weighed it, because this was a hard blow. Still, I couldn’t let this disappointment grow so large compared to the beauty of the new life in which Wayne and I were about to embark.
So just before we found something that would fit in okay, I laid it down. I let my perfect expectations go like a balloon on a windy day in March. Up, up and away they went.
I thought, hey, God has brought a wonderful, handsome young man into my life. We love each other, and we are excited to give our marriage and lives to God. I pondered that it just doesn’t get much better than this! I decided in my heart, if the whole wedding party had to wear jeans and T-shirts because there were no bridemaids’ dresses suitable, then we would.
The main point was to be with Wayne. The man I loved. Really who cares about dresses and tuxes compared to living our lives together?
God was still calling us, no matter what we were wearing. He still intended for us to be married. And all the fuss, all the effort suddenly paled in comparison to finding the right person and making covenant together before the Lord, our families, and friends.
Today is our 30th wedding anniversary. Tears fill my eyes when I think of these past years. Yes, a few dark valleys have been crossed, but mainly our lives have been filled with joy in the journey. On our honeymoon, we prayed that God would use our lives, send us to the mission field, and bless our union with offspring. I would say God has more an answered our prayers of small beginnings. We have traveled the world together, served the nations as ambassadors for Jesus, and adopted a precious daughter from Guatemala! She is the light of our lives!
Today I feel like the richest woman in the world.
The lesson of the bridesmaids’ dresses is applicable to life over and over, although it’s an old tale… “The best laid plans of mice and men…” often turn to dust. In the little picture, the dresses were enormously important! In the big picture, I had to let go of their importance to fully enjoy the real issues of the moment — our upcoming marriage and destiny!
So to my precious sisters, I am truly sorry you didn’t get to wear your proper dresses, but you sure looked gorgeous in the rented ones. The fact that you stood up with me in my wedding is far more important than any detail, like a little old dress! I appreciate your sacrifice and your great attitudes.
The ironic point of the story is at the reception, person after person came up to me brimming with compliments about the “non-matching” bridesmaids’ dresses! In that time, it was unheard of to have dresses that didn’t match. Everyone thought it was over-the-top in creativity. And my sisters looked great in their rented rags. I just smiled and said thank you. I couldn’t go into all the details right then. But the mistake made me look good.
I have God to thank. He worked it out. Frontier Airlines also gave Wayne and me free flights from Dallas to Denver to make up for it. So… we got a trip home to see family the next year.
So… “Don’t sweat the small stuff” is really great advice. It’s really profound. How many great battles are won or lost on the small stuff. In God’s eyes, it’s all small stuff. And certainly He knows how to turn the little mistakes into big blessings.
And if something goes wrong pre-wedding — yours or someone else’s — don’t advise the bride, not to sweat the small stuff. Even if you are right, and you are, she will probably punch you. There is after all a Bridezilla hiding somewhere in every bride. Keep it to yourself. She’ll eventually see the big picture!