I took part in a bridal extravaganza event on this past weekend. As a vendor, not a participant. Been there. Done that. Don't plan to do it again.
During my time at the event, I had plenty of time to observe the brides-to-be, the mothers of the brides-to-be, and all the other various folks the brides drug to this event. And in these observations, I thought of several things.
First of all, as the saying goes, it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round. I saw everything from girls with their "Bride" nametags on that made me question whether they were even of legal age, let alone old enough to marry, to a "Bride" that could have passed for a grandmother. And she seemed just as innocent and giddy and excited as those who were of the "usual" marrying age (if there is a "usual"). I love that. My husband was 38 when we married--never married before. So I have a soft spot in my heart for those who have to wait a little longer than others to meet their "perfect match." Of course, Mark says his excuse is that he had to wait for me to grow up (he's 13 years older than me!!).
I was also reminded that some brides and grooms enter marriage with so much more to deal with than which way the toilet paper hangs or what is the right way to dispense toothpaste. I saw so many brides-to-be pushing strollers and feeding babies while deciding which photographer to use or what they wanted their flowers to be like. My heart breaks for these girls. I know several ladies who began their married life that way and now have a great marriage and are wonderful moms, but I know that is more the exception than the rule. The three years that Mark and I had together before children were such fun, and I wouldn't trade that time for the world.
More than anything, though, I was reminded of what a special time in life that is. How exciting it is to see that engagement ring on your finger and to be willing to get frostbite in your fingers before putting on gloves in the winter just so that no one will miss seeing it. How fun it is to try on so many beautiful gowns that make you feel like a princess--and to be treated like one in the process. How blessed it is to have treasured friends and family by your side during one of the most special times in your life. And how overwhelmingly blessed it is to begin walking down that aisle, towards your Prince Charming, and to realize that all those little girl dreams are finally coming true and that all those prayers are indeed being answered.
God is so good.