In a day and age where people spend a ridiculous amount of money to pay for the wedding “of their dreams,” I’m dedicating this post to all the singles and engaged couples out there who are planning their future weddings. Please, please, please, make your wedding about the marriage you are going to have and not about having a picture-perfect ceremony and reception. You don’t need to spend a lot to make your wedding meaningful and special.
Today many couples borrow money in order to afford a glamorous wedding. How sad it is that weddings have become a business and a production. I’m not trying to make people feel guilty. I have good friends in the wedding industry and I love them dearly. My appeal is to consider the why, the motivation behind the costliness of a wedding.
Last night I attended a beautiful event, a DIY occasion put together by family and friends for a couple who decided to have a ceremonial wedding on their 15 year anniversary. Although they were married civilly, the husband, Blue, decided it was time to gift his wife, Emily, with a we’re-getting-married-today kind of present on their anniversary. For one month, family and friends conspired and connived to orchestrate and execute the details of this secret wedding. Emily didn’t know anything.
Blue broke the news to her yesterday morning so she had half a day to prepare herself. In the meantime a number of us were at the venue setting up for the beach themed wedding amidst the blustering winds of a super typhoon. I ended up in bare feet on the muddy grass, which brought me back to childhood memories of dirty toenails from outdoor adventures without my shoes on.
For a while it was the gusty winds we had to contend with but then the rained poured relentlessly at 3:30 PM, just an hour before Emily was about to arrive! We had to move the ceremony indoors at the last minute. But thanks to my favorite caterer, Passion Cooks, the reception area already looked amazing!
Everyone was in good spirits. There were no cranky or hustling organizers. People volunteered to lift flower arrangements, backdrops, fabric, lanterns, candle sticks, candle holders, signs, and tables into the reception venue. Instantaneously an aisle appeared lined with 1 Corinthians 13 verses on love, softened with rose petals leading to the beach-themed stage where vows would be spoken.
We had some guy friends running about in the rain finding creative ways to hang paper lanterns, too.
Most of the guests were bible study friends and old classmates. With just sixty people, the evening affair was personal and intimate. There were only three sets of ninongs and ninangs, not chosen for their wealth or social status but hand-picked because of the spiritual relationship they had with Blue and Emily. Edric and I were one of them (what an honor for us). Blue and Emily’s children served as the rest of the entourage.
I loved the simplicity of this wedding. How refreshing from the elaborate and huge ones I have attended in recent years. More importantly, God was glorified as the couple honored their parents and declared their vows to one another. Several friends also shared how they have been blessed by the marriage of Blue and Emily. Blue and Emily came from a very dark place in their relationship when they were a younger couple but they chose to seek after God, who healed what was broken and continues to redeem them for His glorious purposes.
As I sat at our table listening to several versions of friend’s stories about Blue and Emily, there was no doubting that their marriage is being used mightily today to encourage and strengthen other couples to make God the center of their relationships.
A homemade sign on the backdrop read, “Just married…again.”
(Wood cross by The Carpenter)
It’s one thing to get married for the first time and another thing to choose to marry the same person all over again. Somehow saying “I do” after you have lived through the difficult realities of marriage is sweeter, more romantic, and a more powerful testament of authentic love. Love is a choice to say I do everyday and forever no matter what. This occasion celebrated the history of a marriage saved by the grace of God, for the glory of God!
When a wedding is planned to exalt God as the motivation, God becomes the sovereign organizer and magnanimous provider of an event that is simply divine! This was one of my favorite weddings of all time!
On a thread among friends Emily wrote, “Good morning ladies! My heart is full. Thank you all for helping out during the past weeks to put together our wedding. As Blue shared with me last night what went on behind the scenes, tears started coming. The wedding last night was more than me and Blue. It was also all about you, about us. How you guys really really wanted to make this special, so you just gave and gave. I know you have a separate chatroom (I’m a bit jealous that I am not part of it, he he). You sacrificed your time, efforts, money, peace.. Sanity? Lol! Even taking time away from your family. I know you were happy to do it. My brother in law told Blue later on that he just couldn’t believe his eyes. Even though everyone was dressed and had makeup on, you guys were doing something. Carrying, moving, running, placing. He said “Hanep mga kaibigan nyo Blue. Lahat sila, lahat.” I did not see all this, but God did and I am sure He was smiling. I know that you all care for me. 2Cor 9:8 says “God grants us blessings so we have an abundance for every good deed.” God has blessed you in each unique way and you shared a part of that with us last night. And everyone saw that. People saw something amazing, something wonderful… It all pointed to Jesus. We got a lot of texts… Those who wanted to talk because they had problems, those who said they want to grow and deepen their relationship with Christ, those who saw that in Christ there is a family that transcends this world and comes together when we need each other the most. I want all the details when we meet Thank you to you all. We love you. We love you!”
And that, my friends, is what a REAL wedding should be about…exalting Jesus Christ!
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:22-32
Congratulations Blue and Emily and the team of family and friends who lovingly and sacrificially came together with one heart to make this event a success!
And thank you to Passion Cooks for your creative styling and delicious food!
Outdoor area by family and friends…
Indoor reception area by Passion Cooks…
Our couple’s bible study group…
The “organizers” with Emily…
14 thoughts on “Just Married…Again”
I am not the type that would leave a comment but I can’t help it for this one! I was smiling the whole time I was going through the wedding pics. I don’t know how I my screen found your site but it was such a blessing to see this page. I hope to one day re-marry my husband of 24 years in a similar set up… personalized, God-centered, intimate. This is the type of wedding where people left more in-love than when they woke up that morning. May God forever be praised!!
That will be so sweet!!! Congratulations on staying married for so long ????
Another reminder that it is not the wedding that matters, but the marriage…
Thank you Ms. Joy 🙂
I was blessed by this one, which led me to write a message for the first time. It was God’s perfect timing that I read this post.
I have been struggling and questioning my current set-up with my husband. I was the one who relocated thousands of miles away from my family, successful career and friends to join my husband in another country. It was going well until I felt a sense of unfairness. Thoughts like “Why was I the one who sacrificed? and keep on sacrificing? Why can’t my husband do the same? etc”. Until I read the message in the wooden poster beside the couple where it says ” Where you go I will go. Where you stay I will stay…….”(Ruth)
Tough, but its redirecting me to God’s word.
Thank you for posting.
Hello ms Sarah; I apologize for intruding; please allow me to share an article which has greatly encouraged me this morning even before reading Ms Joy’s write-up. Im attaching the link here. God bless and sustain you in His loving arms for your particular season in marriage.
Awwww you brought tears to my eyes!!! God loves you and has great plans for your life!!!
Praise God for Blue and Emily! The celebration of marriage belongs to everyone; for everyone to lavish and draw encouragement and dig deeply into the vision of the GREAT WEDDING BANQUET with the Glorious BRIDEGROOM to behold and adore. Thank you for sharing Joy…..can’t help but shed joyful tears for this….reflecting on my own marriage, that of our other family members and the many other people we minister to. 🙂
This is exactly the type of wedding I long so wanted. Hope the newlyweds will allow me to adapt their wedding place design and such once I start my journey towards marriage with the man Jesus blessed me with. Thank you. (Sorry, I can’t help but comment on this specific article… =D )
I am sure they won’t mind at all!!!
Hi Miss Joy! I can’t help but comment because this post is very timely (I will be getting married a month from now). Quite frankly, I really really wanted a grand wedding from the start because most of my friends had theirs. However, along our preparation financial setbacks came in. I got so frustrated and depressed. I was even questioning God why did He allow such problems to happen now. My Fiancee kept on reminding to remember the things we learned during the CCF Premarital counselling/ seminar but I was too stubborn to listen to him. Thankfully, the Lord spoke to me and He rebuked me for focusing more on the wedding rather than the marriage. Right now, instead of feeling unhappy with the way our wedding is going, I feel so blessed because God allowed better things to happen. God made it possible for us to have a Christian wedding despite the fact that both my parents shun the christian wedding idea the first time I asked for their blessing. Now, my family will have the opportunity to hear the word especially to my parents. Indeed, our main focus now is to exalt God and it will be a celebration of His faithfulness and unfailing love. Thank you Ms. Joy I am truly blessed with this post.
Praise God!!! What a wonderful story to read:) you made my day!
im happy i came across ur blog almost 2 years ago when i was still single. im coming back again now that im engaged 🙂
i really really like how u & ur Dgroup team pulled off Blue & Emily’s wedding. I promised myself I will do the same on my wedding. I would like to ask where is the venue of their wedding. The rates that I have asked for garden wedding venue rental somewhere in Tagaytay and Silang area is quite pricey. I also like the simplicity, intimacy and the styling. I have gotten in touch with Passion Cooks for their rates since you have credited them as ur styling partner. thanks ms joy. hope to hear from u soon since i didnt hire an organizer for my big day & im the one who’s trying to organize it also with the help of my friends and sibs for some tips and ideas. Thanks Ms Joy. I have sent u a pm on ur fb page as well. Have a blessed day!