As I was gearing up for the release of All’s Fair in Love and Weddings, I started thinking a lot about weddings in general. Weddings are joyous occasions. They’re wonderful opportunities to celebrate with family and friends. They are also frequently opportunities for the universe to show us that no matter how much time and energy you devote to getting things exactly right for the big day, perfection in the world of blessed events is a rare and elusive thing.
With so many details involved, it’s challenging to get them all to line up perfectly and on time. My wedding wasn’t perfect. Lovely and special and a day that I will always treasure—but not perfect. For example, halfway down the stairs for my big entrance, my dress got snagged on a nail, and my father had to grapple with it to get me free (there’s a moment you want caught on video forever). Our officiant kept calling the ringbearer by the wrong name throughout the entire ceremony. And my gorgeous backless gown was great for photo ops but, as it turns out, not so great for preventing sunburns during outdoor receptions. Fortunately, that vivid shade of pink that my back turned happened to coordinate beautifully with my red bouquet.
And it’s not just my wedding that I’m thinking of; I’ve attended several others that kept the members of the wedding parties hopping. I’ll never forget one outdoor wedding that became much windier than anyone expected, and pretty soon the groomsmen were forced to scurry around in search of large rocks with which to brace the decorative arch and its yards of fabric so it would stay put above the bride and groom instead of tumbling a second time onto the dearly beloved who were gathered there. Whew! We all had one eye on the happy couple and one wary eye on the arch until the minister wound things up and we could retreat to a safe distance.
And years before that, my sister and I were adorable little candlelighters at my cousin’s wedding. (Young children in tons of ruffles? Open flame? Sure, why not?) We marched together down the aisle in perfect unison, lengthy brass candlestick holders held safely aloft, managed to light all the candles around the altar—and there were a lot of them—and then turned to face each other without quite estimating the distance between us correctly. The clang of our candlesticks smacking together reverberated throughout the otherwise silent room for what seemed like an awfully long time, and I’m sure it was not something the bride and groom had originally planned on incorporating into their ceremony. On the bright side, though, we managed not to set the church on fire. I’m calling that a win.
The funny thing about those kinds of “oops” moments, though, is that now when my husband and I look back on our own wedding, for example, we have a great old time laughing about the stuff that didn’t quite work out the way we planned. Sure, I stressed over all the planning beforehand, but maybe I shouldn’t have, because it kind of seems like those things that supposedly went wrong have sure given us a lot of merriment over the years.
So, who knows? Maybe perfection is overrated. Sometimes it’s the imperfections that make for some of the most memorable experiences that you’ll end up treasuring.