June and Wedding Envy

Going to weddings when you are engaged can be hard-- comparison is so easy to squish. So how do you deal with wedding envy?

June is coming. It won't be long until we've and have landed right smack dab in the middle of wedding season.

"When you’re married in June, you’ll always be a bride!"

Side note: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is actually a pretty darn creepy musical. But that's another post.

June usually means lots and lots of weddings. Once you reach the age of twenty-three or so, it seems like the wedding invitations just roll on in. Whether it’s siblings or cousins or co-workers or friends, you’ve suddenly got a bunch of weddings to attend.

And, once you’re engaged yourself, attending weddings can be a tricky thing.

The problem with attending weddings when you’re in the throes of planning a wedding yourself is that it’s so easy to compare. Comparing leads to feelings of insecurity, of not-good-enough-ness, and even of envy.

Trevor and I went to a wedding about a year before our own- a wedding for a relative of ours. It was completely different from what our wedding would ultimately be.

They had lighting and steak and a live band and lots of games. The centerpieces were large and sparkly. There were about three hundred people there, with a full bar, and lots and lots of dancing.

In comparison, my wedding would be very simple, casual, and small.

If we were two contestants on that stupid “Four Weddings” show – we’ve talked about my disdain for that show – her wedding would "win." Hands down.

But are weddings really about “winning?”

It certainly seems that way. It’s easy to play the comparison game using wedding planning boards, Pinterest, magazines, that stupid TV show... what have you. And honestly, if you’re not spending thousands and thousands of dollars or hundreds and hundreds of hours on your wedding, chances are that you’ll be in the “loser” category.

Comparison is something we’ll need to avoid throughout life, not just when it comes to wedding planning.

If we’re not comparing weddings, we’ll compare home decoration, cleanliness, child-rearing, birthday parties… if we allow it, comparison can create bitterness in our lives.

So, let's start working on it now.

Avoiding Wedding Envy

1) When you go to a wedding, instead of thinking about the amazing centerpieces or the immaculately decorated cake, look at the bride.
Look at her as a person, not as a competitor.
She’s enjoying the day (hopefully, because it’s so sad if she isn’t!), the celebration of love and the first day of her life as a married woman.
Notice that her happiness isn't coming from the centerpieces. It's not coming from her shoes. She's happy because she's focused on what's really important- sharing her joy about becoming one with her new hubby. 

2) When you notice envy sneaking up in your heart (because oh my goodness, you should have thought of that!!), stop, and pray.
Pray for her, pray for her brand spanking new marriage, her walk with the Lord. Thank God for your relationship with her.
Pray for her parents, for her husband, for continued growth toward God for this wonderful couple.

3) Be present in the moment. You are blessed to be a part of this wonderful celebration-- don't spend it thinking about yourself!
You've been given so much to be thankful for- finding counting the blessings (in this very moment, as you sit and watch them cut the cake), will help to stem those "not enough" feelings. 
And hey, if there's a fancy reception, remember what it is! It's a party!! Sulking and feeling inferior aren't any fun- be present where you are, and enjoy the celebration.

4) When you start to feel like maybe an idea you had for your wedding is... somehow... wrong, silly, dumb, or just not good enough, remember who you are.

You are you.
Of course your wedding won't be exactly the same as hers. Your wedding has different priorities, a different family, different bride and groom.
And goodness, you're a child of the King! Princesses don't feel threatened by someone else's ball- they enjoy their time there. Dance the night away, girl!

The only way to ‘win” at your wedding is to avoid competition and envy. And to do that, you need to focus on what's really important - about the true purpose of a wedding in the first place.

On your wedding day, you'll be happy, content, full of life, covered in God’s promises and grace, and excited about the new adventure on which you’re embarking.

That’s all that really matters, anyway.

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