Dear Future Mrs.

Future husband & I went to our church’s Thursday service last night and the sermon was such a fit for my frazzled pre-wedding mental state. In the spirit of always being honest and authentic, I fear that I’ve turned into a complainer. I expected the wedding planning process to be like angels singing a continual hallelujah chorus around me, so I’ve been rather disappointed at how it’s turned out to be more of a PR event-planning chore & budgetary negotiation gymnastics exercise than a blissful season of loving sweetness.

Last night, our pastor encouraged us to take a 7-day “no complaining” challenge. I thought, “Now?! In the week leading up to the wedding? I have so much complaining to do!” It’s terrible timing and absolutely perfect timing.

I’m not going to let imperfections tarnish our day. Every time I want to lament how something isn’t to my exacting specifications, as God is my witness I’m going to try to turn the complaint into a prayer of gratitude. I know it’s not going to be easy, but the moment our pastor challenged us to go without complaining for a week, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders.

I was already almost finished with this letter to myself when we left for church, and when I came home to spend one of my last nights alone in my apartment, I couldn’t sleep because I had so much inspiration and just new-found gratitude to write about.

So thanks for indulging my navel-gazing, y’all =)

Dear Future Mrs.,

Take a deep breath. Take 10,000 more, and look around – you only get to do this once.

You’re preparing for the biggest day of your life and instead of being excited, you’re stressed and nervous and putting out fires left and right. Instead of happy love butterflies, you have the “fancy PR event jitters” you always used to get in the weeks leading up to client projects or press trips. Of course your wedding matters so much more to you than any client project could, so you want to give it your all. But you can’t get through this with a checklist, a clipboard, a New Yorker’s perspective on efficiency and sensible black pumps like you always have in the past.

This guy.

This guy.

This day is about so much more than a flawlessly executed ceremony and reception. As far as spiritual moments go, this is one of the most important ones you’ll ever have in your life. It’s ok that you don’t know how to feel, after all you’ve never done this before – but don’t just default into work mode! Don’t make this yet another successful project with all the right fonts, flowers and food. Don’t grind out a perfect event and in turn, miss out on all the details you painstakingly chose and only experience the thrill afterward through the pictures when you’re icing your blistered feet.

Are you listening? Wake up from work mode, Future Mrs.! Remember why you put yourself through the wringer of planning a destination wedding over the past 8 months – you love your future hubby so much. You think his jokes are the funniest (even when they’re kind corny, they’re still adorable), he makes the best goofy faces and you know he is the biggest softie even though everyone else thinks he’s scary and tough. God has clearly orchestrated your relationship and he’s preparing to knit you together. Every past mistake has lead to this spectacular answer to your hearts’ longings.

Naturally you want to make sure your wedding day is as special as it could possibly be for both of you and that’s an honorable desire. Just remember you’re there to celebrate your love – not host a flawless corporate event.

Our first photo together

Our first photo together

Remember last night’s sermon at church, the one about always remembering what God has done for you? The Israelites quickly forgot God’s blessing and provision (the Red Sea, manna from heaven, the Promised Land) and were always wanting and expecting more. Since they didn’t cultivate gratitude, they slid into complaining and before they knew it, they’d forgotten all their blessings. Sound familiar?

Remember how you prayed your whole life for your future husband? Now you have an answered prayer on a silver platter and you’re mad about airline reservations, weather forecasts, unresponsive vendors and inconsiderate invitees. You’re stressed about how much more expensive this whole shindig is than you expected – your credit card company thinks you’ve been abducted – and yet God has never let you down or broken a promise in the past. You’re faithful with your finances and He is faithful to provide. Remember how devastated you were when you and Future Husband broke up, and how grateful you were when it all worked out for the best? How can you lose sight of that miracle because of disappointments with DMOs who don’t follow through? Get a grip! The only response to your embarrassing overflow of blessings is gratitude.

Introducing the Future Husband to Butterbeer

Introducing the Future Husband to Butterbeer

And just like you must constantly and consciously remember all God has done for you, once you’re married you’ll want to remind yourself often of all the reasons you are grateful for your husband. Life is going to be decidedly different than what you’ve grown accustomed to.

  • No more hogging the bed all to yourself. (Upside: a snuggle partner!)
  • No more spotless perfection (lol) in your apartment. (Upside: someone to take out the trash!)
  • No more fleeing the country when you’re in a bad mood. (Upside: travel partner for life!)
  • No more sleeping until you wake up without an alarm clock. (Upside: you’re marrying a hard-working provider!)

Life isn’t just about you anymore. You were happily single for so long, you might be just a wee bit selfish. You know what you like and what you want, and you’re very particular about how you want things done. Now that you’re choosing to unite your soul with another, you will have a new identity, new responsibilities and a new spiritual makeup. Life is going to change and while some parts will be awesome, other parts might be mehhh. It doesn’t matter – you are SO BLESSED AND HIGHLY FAVORED.

And he's a genius!

And he’s a genius!

Remember once you’re married, and the wedding goes off perfectly, how much effort it took. And remember that you need to put 1,000% more effort into marriage to make it work.

Don’t miss this point, Future Mrs.! Your future husband has started moving his junk stuff into your apartment over the past few weeks and soon it will belong to both of you. Just think – all those fishing poles, power tools and Chinese throwing stars (?!) now get to live in your fancy apartment.

When you find yourself starting to exclaim, “What is all this crap?!” take a deep breath and remember the vows you’re preparing to say. “I take you just as you are,” means you take his stuff, his hobbies and his knick-knacks, too.

The man loves to fish.

The man loves to fish.

Don’t forget how your future husband has been so patient with you in all your frequent fits of nuptial rage. He’s not an event planner. He doesn’t know about serif and san-serif fonts, the gaping chasm between peach, blush and pink or the merits of garden roses vs. regular roses. But he certainly made you laugh every time you cried about that really silly stuff.

You get to marry your best friend and nothing could be more awesome than a relationship dreamed up by the Creator. Don’t ever forget he is your manna, your Promised Land and your Red Sea rescue.

DCIM355GOPRO

Successfully married friends agree, the butterfly feeling isn’t what great marriages are based on, so when it wanes and you want to wring his neck, remember the endless lists of reasons why you picked him. How easy it would be to complain about dirty socks, a wet towel on the floor or 18 fishing poles in your office? But how many people would give anything for one more moment with their messy spouse?

May you have 100 years of dirty socks and wet towels.

I always hoped I'd find someone as weird as me.

I always hoped I’d find someone as weird as me.

On that note, sometimes the “what ifs,” fear and worries keep you awake. You fret about boredom, financial trouble, serious illness, accidents, ISIS, ebola, the Apocalypse. You aren’t sure if you’re prepared for the gravity of an eternal commitment in this broken world.

Good news for you — God doesn’t called the equipped, He equips the called. And you and Rick have been called to marriage and designed just for each other. You know it’s true, even on the days when you are in a glass case of emotion and you feel like you’re taking crazy pills. (So, all the days since Feb. 13)

When you lose sight of God’s plan to prosper and not to harm you, you start to despair and sink, just like Peter did when Jesus brought him out of the boat to walk on the water and he doubted and took his eyes off the Lord. Marriage is your walking on water moment. Keep your eyes fixed on Him and you will never sink.

He fits right in with the Orth crew.

He fits right in with the Orth crew.

You are concurrently nervous and excited about your wedding night. You’ve waited a long time for God to send you just the right man and you’re wondering just what you’re getting yourself into. Remember, you are wild about Rick and he is wild about you. You know ultimately it’s all going to be perfect in its own way, but your heart is flip-flopping and your mind is exploding and you, for once, don’t have much of an appetite. You’ll figure it out – everyone else does!

Remember what you’ve learned over and over – love is a verb. It’s not about how you feel when you’re blindly and incandescently gaga for each other and everything is perfect; love is about what you do when it’s not.

Love your Future Husband well. Remember all that God has done to bring you down the aisle. Do everything during wedding week without complaining or arguing.

And hurry up and finish packing… it’s almost time to head to The Bahamas!

xx,

Ange

COME AWAY WITH ME!
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  • October 16, 2015
    Mom

    That was awesome. Best thing you’ve ever written. Now do it!

  • October 19, 2015

    Angie, congratulations! So excited for you! Xx

  • December 31, 2015

    Wonderful article! Congratulations!