There's a difference between a wedding and a marriage.

I know you’ve waited all of your life to wear that dress.

You’ve dreamt of your “big” day.

You’ve imagined the beautiful flowers, the rose petal lined aisle and the wonderful décor.

You’ve hummed the song that will gently guide you towards your future husband as each step is being captured. 

And then the party, the tables, the linens, the band, the dancing, oh, and yes, off in the corner that gorgeous multi-tiered cake.

I also know that you haven’t given much thought to your ceremony. The ceremony, after all, in many cases is what "has to happen" before all of the “good” stuff happens.

The ceremony, the “have to do” part, the, “guests arrive late on purpose” part in order not to have to sit through the boring formality.

I know, make it quick, "do you", "do they", put the other ring on it and let’s party.

Luckily for you, I have thought about the ceremony, about your ceremony.

Don’t get me wrong, I think about the party as well. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy a good party right?

But there is a reason for the party. The reason for the party is what happens prior to the festivities beginning. 

I have thought about what to say to you on your wedding day. I have thought about what words I could offer you that might inspire you, not just for the moment but for a lifetime. With my words I attempt to decorate your ceremony, to provide you with a soundtrack for life so that you can dance together forever and always.

So please forgive me, don’t hold it against me when I inform you that I don’t do short and sweet.  Don’t get angry when I tell you that I think the ceremony has the potential to set the tone for the day, and for the rest of your life.

Don’t think me to be audacious when I tell you that I think the ceremony is the most important part of the evening.  If I didn’t believe this I wouldn’t be doing what I do. 

I want you to understand that there is a difference between your wedding and your marriage. And no, I don't think you take the "marriage" part for granted, on purpose that is.

I watch you, so energetic, so committed to creating a beautiful wedding. You spend time and money, you spend countless hours on Pintrest, theknot or weddingwire, and you hire the best vendors to carry out your vision for a beautiful wedding. I just wish you did the same to create a beautiful marriage, the same time, the same commitment and the same determination.

And hubby, you're not off the hook. It's your day and your marriage as well. Just "showing up" is not enough. "Just tell me what to do" doesn't work to create a unified experience.

Think of your wedding as the opening ceremony for the olympic games. The ceremony is fun, lots of pomp and circumstance, it is a visually beautiful event that takes place to usher in dedicated and expertly trained athletes. 

Athletes that know and take their sport seriously, they've trained, they've put in the hours and are now ready to win.

You can win at marriage. You can both create a lifetime experience of love, friendship, support, and understanding if you are willing to learn, to commit and to do the work.

So yes, have a wonderful wedding with all of the bells and whistles, just don't let the music die once the party is over.