I’m a dude, so it probably involved some combination of Soi 19 wantan mee, YouTube videos, potato chips, and texting my bros about when they should come over for beer in the morning.
Brides, on the other hand, probably have a loooooot of stuff to do. I know, because Brides.com has a list of 19 Things to Remember To Do The Night Before Your Wedding. This includes pearls of wisdom like “wash your hair” and “practise deep yoga-like breaths”. (Sorry, this was too hilarious not to share).
I’ve always wondered what a typical Singaporean bride does before her wedding. Does she sleep after dinner because she has to wake up at 3am? Does she stay up with their jiemeis preparing the
poison food for the qiang xin niang?
(Note: In case you don’t know what a qiang xin niang is, it’s an insane Chinese ritual which is just an excuse for the bridesmaids to unleash their inner demons)
My friend M got married last weekend. The night before her wedding, she did something that really surprised me. Together with her husband-to-be, they called a bunch of friends over and they did the craziest, most unconventional thing ever…
They prayed for God to pour out His blessings on their marriage. They prayed for patience and love and resilience to stay true to their vows, even when they didn’t feel like it. And their friends (including their non-Christian friends!) prayed with them.
Now, maybe you don’t buy into the whole praying thing. But whichever faith you’re from, there’s something we can learn from my friend M.
Do You Take Your Marriage As Seriously As Your Wedding?
There’s an entire industry dedicated to helping you plan the most beautiful, spectacular wedding with a string quartet and wagyu beef and a tulips flown in from Holland. Financial bloggers have written thousands of articles on how to optimise your wedding expenditure, complete with detailed Excel templates.
In Singapore, we have made weddings so commercialized that we’ve forgotten what all that activity is meant to commemorate: A marriage. A lifelong, faithful, total, will-be-patient-with-you-even-though-I-hate-the-way-you-throw-your-dirty-socks-on-the-floor union between man and wife.
My friend and her husband knew the importance of preparing themselves for their marriage, rather than spend all their time on preparing for the wedding.
How does a couple prepare themselves for marriage? You might have heard this joke before:
A father and his son were attending a wedding when the son asked a question.
Son: Dad, why is the bride wearing white?
Dad: Because this is the happiest day of her life and she wants people to know it
Son: So, why does the groom wear black?
It’s easy to laugh and not realize the truth behind it:
The groom wears black because he’s attending a funeral – because he’s dying to himself for his wife.
When you look at it that way, suddenly the debate over whether you should spend $20K or $40K on your wedding seems so trivial. The wedding is the sideshow. The real event is the stuff that comes after (and no, I’m not just talking about the wedding night, you perverts).
How many of us give more thought to selecting an engagement ring than thinking about giving up our ambitions and desires for the other?
How many of us spend more effort crafting our wedding speeches than praying for the marriage to be blessed?
How many of us spend more time planning the guest list than understanding the heart of our future spouse?
Look At The Bigger Picture
There’s a reason why there’s so much content out there about how to pick the best flowers or find the most value-for-money-yet-romantic wedding venue: It’s far easier to talk about the minutia.
The truth is, the wedding is just the sideshow. A year from now, no one is going to remember what you served for dessert or what flowers you were holding. But they WILL notice the relationship you have together and the love you have for each other.
True rewards come when we step back and look at the big picture.
Which will you focus on today?