But free drinks and bringing the sexy back on the dance floor aren’t the only highlights at a wedding. My favorite part is The Toast. Heart warming memories of a young girl in knee socks and pigtails shared by a teary father and the best man’s retelling of the groom’s college shenanigans always warm my heart.
I have to be honest, though. If I were giving The Toast I don’t think I’d go with the “sappy and silly.” I think The Toast is an important teachable moment that we should take advantage of. Think about it, the bride and groom are trapped in their seats, front and center and
heavily slightly inebriated. Seems like a captive audience to me, right?
If I was running the show, I would use The Toast as an opportunity for a little Marriage 101. Not surprisingly, I’ve never been asked to give a toast at a wedding. But if I was, here’s what I’d say to the blushing bride and eager groom…
- Marriage is hard. Like really hard. You are smiling at me and nodding your head as if to say you know this and understand, but the truth is you don’t know and you don’t understand. You’ve been married an hour.
- Just because marriage is hard doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong. Even perfectly matched couples ponder sometimes wonder whether or not they can hide a body and get away with it.
- Even though you asked questions of and got to know one another you’re still going to have issues. It’s not that you asked the wrong questions, but at the ripe ‘ol age of 20’something you just didn’t know what questions to ask because you had no idea what life had in store for you. You couldn’t fathom the challenges of juggling a carer, marriage, house, children, family, friends and yourself.
- The baggage he or she is bringing to the marriage- the stuff that seemed like a little carry-on piece that could be stowed in the overhead compartment? At times it will feel so big it needs to be shipped ahead in a cargo plane due to the weight limits of a commercial plane.
- The hours of talking you did while you were dating- the getting to now you’s and question asking- is an excellent foundation for all talking you’re going to be doing for the rest of your marriage. Yes, there’s plenty more “we need to talks” in your future.
- A partnership is rarely 50-50 and a marriage never is. There will be times he is only doing 10% and other times you’ll be doing even less. Be OK with it. Talk about it when you’re frustrated, make changes when you can, but more importantly, love each other enough to fill in one another’s gaps.
- The annoying things he does like leaving socks on the floor, not using a coaster and farting- not going to change. The annoying things you do like making plans for the entire weekend, moving his stuff or never putting gas in the car until the last minute- not going change. Accept it. Roll your eyes at her when she isn’t looking or throw an occasional bird as he walks out of the room but remember this stuff is more annoying than detrimental. Don’t make it bigger than it is.
- You married his family and he married your family but you must create and prioritize YOUR OWN family. It’s how it was meant to be. Honor family traditions and expectations but set your own boundaries and create your own memories.
- Sex is always a little awkward. Shower sex, table sex, up against the wall sex is not nearly as hot as it seems in the movies or in books. It’s messy and there’s lots of funny pauses, clanking of teeth, bad breath, bumping noses and pants getting trapped in your shoes. But that’s what makes married sex so awesome. It’s intimate and real and it’s with the best person you know. Only with your spouse can you giggle-snort during sex and carry on. Oh, and the longer you’re together, the best the sex. Trust me on this one.
- Marriage is not only killer dance moves, sweet words and free drinks. It’s hard work, sacrifice and a crapton of grace and forgiveness. But when done well, it will be your iron, your cheering section whey you accomplish the impossible and your refuge in the storm. It’s worth it. That you can definitely trust me on.
**Don’t forget to head over to Raising Wild Things!