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It’s All About the Bride!

March 22nd, 2012by Emily Macke

My fiancé and I stepped up to the customer service desk and simply said, “We need to begin our wedding registry.”  Immediately the sales clerk beamed a smile and said with great enthusiasm, “Congratulations!”  She proceeded to pick up the phone and to announce over the intercom in a voice that resembled that of a woman who has just been given a free trip to Hawaii – “Sales associates, we have a bride at the customer service desk!  Please accompany her to the wedding registry.”

I’m not the type who likes attention, but what bothered me more than the intercom announcement was the fact that she had only said “the bride” was at the counter.  Clearly, I had not arrived alone.

I whispered something about this to my fiancé, who then said to the sales clerk, “What about me?  I’m here too.”

The sales clerk smiled again and then shook her head and said, “Yes, but it’s all about the bride, you know.  If you don’t know that yet, you’ll see.”

It’s an attitude I have confronted in every wedding-oriented decision thus far, but it’s an attitude that couldn’t lead me further from the reality of getting married.

If marriage is “all about the bride,” then for what reason does one need a groom, other than to serve as an excuse for all of the hullaballoo?

Entering a vocation should lead us to greater service, not more selfishness.  Preparing for marriage is a time to consider the ways in which I need to grow in learning to love, not conniving ways to get what I want.

The truth is that marriage is not all about the bride.  It’s not all about the groom.  In fact, it’s all about God’s love, and His generosity in allowing us to share in His love in a unique way.  It’s about the grace God gives us to be a visible sign of Christ’s love for His Church.  It’s about living in a way that reflects the self-sacrifice, generosity, and goodness of God in our daily interactions.

So, yes, marriage is about the bride and the groom and their lifelong commitment to love each other in a unique and unrepeatable way.  But that’s only possible because God first loved us.

Photo credit: H. Danis; Used with permission
Emily Macke

Emily Macke serves as Theology of the Body Education Coordinator at Ruah Woods (www.RuahWoods.org). She received her Master's in Theology from the John Paul II Institute and enjoys speaking and writing about the gift of the faith. She blogs at Unshakeable Hope www.UnshakeableHope.blogspot.com