Receiving a wedding invitation makes me feel so special – like Charlie Bucket opening up his chocolate bar and discovering the Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!
I have had the privilege of coordinating friends’ weddings hence I know how disciplined a couple have to be with their guest list. This is why I always feel so special – of all the people that the bride and groom could have or wanted to invite – they chose me!
Weddings these days aren’t cheap (they can be but usually they aren’t). According to this article in the Telegraph, a year ago the average cost of a wedding was around £18,000. Do you know a bride (not always the groom) who doesn’t want their wedding day to be a memorable occasion? Nope – me neither so it’s no wonder a considerable amount of money is spent to make sure you, the chosen one, has a great time.
Another reason why I love receiving a wedding invitation is it gives me an excuse to dress up. Not just putting on a dress and heels (that’s work attire for me), I mean REALLY dress up – it would be rude to the bride and groom not to! And as weddings are also a great opportunity to catch up with mutual friends, you want to look and feel fabulous right? So once that invite is in my hand I go into “list” mode.
- Buy a new dress or can I recycle an old one?
- Wear a hat or go to the hairdressers?
- Wear sandals or shoes?
- Do my nails and eyebrow need professional attention?
And the list will go on!
So what do you do when your invite is to the church ceremony only? Not the sit down or the evening reception – just the ceremony at the church. This was my dilemma recently. Is it any different to receiving an invite to a black tie event and told you’re not allowed beyond the red carpet?
The invitation wasn’t from a very close friend so I wasn’t expecting an invitation at all. Yet receiving an invitation to just the ceremony left me feeling like I had been offered a consolation prize – and I KNOW this was not my friend’s intention. But still.
Going to church is a bit of busman’s holiday for me – every Sunday I pull on jeans and my Converse trainers to worship at my local church. Still, whilst I will be in church for roughly the same amount of time, this is a wedding ceremony.
What should I wear? Do I dress up or wear something a little more casual? How much is too much or too little? And what about the mutual friends I will see and they ask (because they know I don’t own a car) “Do you need a lift to the reception?” Err … “No, I’m alright thanks” as I head towards the bus stop to go home!
This is a good time as any for me to pull out the WWJD card. What would Jesus do?
I admit I feel a little ashamed of my unconcealed me-ness. After all, my friend is getting married. This is their day NOT mine right? So, what do I think Jesus would do in this situation?
Ironically, His first miracle was at a wedding -so he liked to socialise and party with his friends (John 2:1-11). At this particular wedding the wine was running dangerously low (note: it is the Jewish custom to celebrate a wedding for several days – click here for a guide to a Jewish wedding). When his mother Mary, knowing He was a special child (all mothers think this but this is Jesus), asked him to help out the host by turning the water into wine (and I’m paraphrasing here) Jesus responded “What’s that got to do with me? I’m not ready to do my thing, so no.” Yet He did it anyway and extravagantly too! It wasn’t what he intended to do that day but his friend’s quandary trumped His agenda. That’s what friends do.
So, I will be going to my friend’s wedding ceremony – they don’t need me there but clearly they want me there and that’s enough. I have no idea what I will wear but to be honest now that I have my priorities sorted it doesn’t really matter. I will be there to see two special people say “I do” to each other because really that’s the most important part of the day.
One thing’s for sure – I’m unlikely to be asked to turn water into wine at the church ceremony!
What would you do (okay, I really meant “wear”)?