Weddings are marked by a handful of Big Moments.
The first time a groom lays eyes on his bride in her wedding dress. The proclamation of husband and wife. The clumsy or well-rehearsed first dance. The breaking of bread together – be it buffet-style BBQ, a plated dinner, or heavy hors d’oeuvres. And the great escape – when the bride and groom make their way to their getaway car, often blinded by the pelting of bird seed or acrid sparkler smoke.
In that sense, weddings are a form of liturgy – familiar beats in an old song we just can’t keep from singing. It has rhythm. The tempo might change from couple to couple, but the chords remain the same. And that’s nothing to be jaded or cynical about.
A wedding is not the culmination of joy in someone’s life, but is instead a joyous moment that deserves to be celebrated in someone’s life.
Within my faith, a wedding is the closest illustration of the love our God has for His children we’ll get to see this side of the veil. It’s an event draped in both symbolic and literal beauty. It’s a celebratory feast – one that basks in the glow of friends and family, both young and old.
The wedding is about the bride and groom, yes, but it’s also about all of us – the family members, friends, roommates, cousins, coworkers, distant relatives, and former classmates.
It’s about putting aside our grudges and fears not only for the sake of the happy couple, but for the sake of each other. For outside the walls of this barn, tent, or reception hall lays a broken world rife with hate, stress, and fear. But in celebration of the young love in our midst, tonight we feast together, we drink together, and we dance together.
With this in mind, I’d like to add one more Big Moment to our list of Big Wedding Moments.
It’s a moment that hard to nail down, because unlike the First Dance or Cake Cutting, we don’t announce it in order to draw everyone’s attention to it (because we can’t). And it can take many different forms. Guests can participate in this moment and not even realize it.
But it generally happens toward the latter part of the evening. The dance floor is revving up, that kickdrum beat has hijacked your pulse, and perspiration is beading on your brow.
Your spouse is dancing next to you and you got a big, goofy grin on your face because you’ve never him move like that or look so happy. Your surrounded by your closest friends and family, and they’re moving too – swaying and laughing to the rapidly oscillating beat.
Bubbles dance in the air above your uplifted hands, and lasers and strobes perforate the fog billowing from the smoke machine. The music swells and reaches its peak, and suddenly there’s a loud pop and multicolor snow – confetti – is pouring from sky above.
It gets in your hair, your shoulders, and bustled dress, but it doesn’t matter because you’re caught up in the moment – euphoria and jubilee – and everyone whom you love is right there beside you. And the realization dawns that today is your wedding day, and you’re married and this is the start of Something New.
Through handclap beats, foot stomps, sing-along choruses, confetti cannons, bubble machines and wild synth- or banjo-breakdowns, maybe we can achieve the divine – a brief taste of Heaven on earth.
So, at the next wedding you attend, get out there and dance, dance, dance.