The White Wedding Dress

Dennis Yanke Wedding Dress

While driving past one of the Goodwill donation boxes I noticed that the side door was open and a wedding dress was spilling out. I am certain that if the reason why the wedding dress existed, the marriage, the dress would not have been un-ceremonially dumped into a bin. The dress would be at the back of a closet in a special protective bag.  

 I was standing in line for lunch last week, and these two women in their late twenties were talking about an upcoming wedding and all of the “stuff’ that needed to be ordered. It did not sound like either one of them was the bride. This was an opportunity too good to miss, so I turned around, apologized for interrupting, and asked, “Why have weddings turned into the event rather than the ceremony they used to be?” One of the young ladies responded, “I know, it is crazy, but I am a wedding planner so events are my business”.

One of my wife’s favourite shows is, Say Yes to The Dress. I can watch it for a few minutes just to see how much money women will spend for a one-day gown. They are all looking for that perfect dress that highlights their body in some special way that apparently they will only understand. I am not being negative here ladies, but what you continually fail to understand about males is that on our wedding day, you already look perfect to us and we see no other women in the room.

52% of marriages fail and a higher number of common law arrangements fall apart. From every piece of research, I have read, the vast majority of humans on this planet want to live in a relationship. The energy, effort, and cost spent on the wedding event indicates that everyone also believes their marriages will last. So what goes wrong so frequently?

Perhaps this statement is too simple, but I wonder if many feel that the event of the wedding is similar to winning when you cross the finish line rather than signifying the beginning of the journey.  One of the greatest Garth Brooks songs is The Dance. “Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain, but I'd have had to miss the dance.” Any kind of relationship is about the journey together. If you never call your friends, how long does it take before they stop calling you?

In my book, Love Your Wife, I reflected on why my wife of 41 years this week stopped reaching out and touching me. When I asked, she responded she stopped because I stopped responding to her. Every relationship is not about what you get out. Increasing the depth and breadth of relationships only occur when you give yourself without expecting a return. Love is about the journey. During our marriage vows, we say for better or worse, but we have no idea what the worst is until life happens and we deal with it. When we deal with life’s trials together, the love increases between us. That is the value of the journey together.

Turning back the clock on how we have turned the marriage ceremony into the event will not likely happen. Preventing the wedding dress from spilling out of the Goodwill clothing bin has a much higher success possibility because it starts with us, with you and me. Tell your most important relationship that you love them, not when they expect it but when they less expect it. Say it in a way that they know you mean it and follow the words with an action. Love on purpose, with intention, and your life will change and everyone around you will change as well.