Advanced Wedding Lessons – Survival of the Fittest

***Cheesy Love Alert*** Also, no good jokes.

As we head into the final few days before the big day, I feel like I’m learning stuff so fast that I can begin to teach some advanced classes.  There have been so many lessons in the last few days that I’m keeping them for the book we write.  So I’ll share the number one.  I’m pretty sure this will hold on as the most important thing planning a wedding can teach you.

Planning a wedding is like Navy SEAL training.  Leaving aside the sleep deprivation for now, I always understood things like Navy SEAL training as a series of ridiculous circumstances that you may never encounter that help prepare you for the ones you will.  Well, that is what wedding planning is.

When you plan your wedding you have to deal with the most ludicrous situations that you will ever see – you will make life and death decisions concerning your 3rd Aunt once removed on your mother’s side (who not only have you not met, you’ve never met anyone who’s met her), you will tackle and sit on a person who has yet to RSVP until they decide on steak or chicken, and you will deal with stress levels that would put The Duke in a pickle.

Some folks can hack it, some can’t – Survival of the Fittest!

What have I learned form all this self-imposed insanity you ask?  I’ve learned that this is the point.  This is a test.  If you can’t handle this easy stuff, there is no way you are ready to spend the rest of your life with this person.  We’re all worked up about a party for something that could have happened last week in the Judge’s living room for all anyone knows.  If we can’t get through this, how are we ever going to be able to not go bankrupt, handle bailing our kid out of jail, or not kill each other in the nursing home?

It’s also important how you handle it.  If we don’t treat each other will love and respect no matter how much we want to stick out or tongues at one another, how will we plan our future or have anything to talk about at that same nursing home?

The planning of your wedding is literally the final examination of whether or not you should spend the rest of your life with this person.

As I sit here jamming to Carole King, I remember the night last week when I learned this valuable lesson.  I was standing in our kitchen looking through the doorway at Brigid in our dining room.  We were at threat level Orange on the frustration level.  Things had gone quiet.  It was one of those moments where you know that the next thing to happen will be bad.

Right before she walked away, I saw in Brigid’s eyes (behind the bloodlust) that we had passed the test.  Suddenly, all that mattered was that overwhelming look of love.  All the anger, the irritation, the pressure, didn’t stack up to a hill of beans compared to how much she loved me.  And I knew it.  I felt it.  Once I thought about that, I realized that I felt exactly the same way.  Take that, test!  We rock!  Team married!

In that moment, I knew that without a doubt I was intended to spend the rest of my life with this person.  She is perfect.  She understands me in a way that allows her to know the exact moment to walk away, and I know her enough to come back at the perfect time with a kiss.  This is how we will work out problems for the rest of our lives – together.  I can’t wait.

I’m sure that I’ll have many more difficult moments than that, but my goal is to always use those moments as a reminder of our love – not a frustration.  I’m sure some of you marriage veterans out there are laughing at my naïveté, but I challenge you to think about it.  What has made it work this last 10, 25, or 50 years?  Isn’t it that, through it all, you always remembered that you loved one another more than anything else?

Like I said, Advanced Lessons.

In a few days, I get to promise that I will love her always.  I get to do it in front of tons of people who love and support us.  The test will finally be over.  Now we’ll get to navigate all the real parts of this life…together.