“Well..are you excited about your wedding?!!! Tell me all about her…”
Many of my friends and even some family haven’t had a chance to meet my fiancé, Jennifer, yet. So, naturally, the most frequent topic in conversations when I run into people around town has something to do with Jennifer and/or our wedding plans. Seems like the closer we get to the “Big Day,” the more questions I get about her and Aubrey. And also more and more people asking if they are invited to attend the wedding. So I thought I’d take a moment to jot down some thoughts…
I can hardly believe I’m getting married in just over a month. It’s crazy how quickly life can change. And it’s amazing when you feel like those changes are GOOD and GOD-changes.
Jennifer and I were an item in High School. We were so naive. I was her first kiss. She was my first love. We were together on New Years eve, Y2K, when the world DIDN’T end. We went to prom that spring and broke up that summer.
Life went on.
It literally feels like yesterday that we reconnected for coffee after 17 years. And on that day, I didn’t know we would eventually go on a DATE! Our first date (as adults) was awesome. We had dinner downtown Raleigh at a restaurant called Gravy. I lost my car in the parking deck down the block. Literally couldn’t find it for like 15 minutes. It felt like an eternity, but she was so patient with me. She passed the test of dealing with “Bill Rose’s ridiculousness.” She accepted my invitation back to my place where I made some coffee and we continued chatting. We tried our best to cover the past 17 years of life in a few hours of conversation. It all felt so natural and easy.
She kept looking at my mouth while we were talking. I wasn’t sure if she wanted to kiss me, or if she was just judging my teeth because she’s a dental hygienist. I assumed the best and I kissed her. Boom!!
Since that day, I’ve been completely enamored…on the phone for sometimes 2 and 3 hours at a time, burning up HWY 70 to Goldsboro and back, got pulled over 5 times this year, only ticketed ONCE.
I know it won’t always feel this way, but right now I feel like time just goes by way too fast when we are together. When we are not together, I constantly check my phone to see if she has texted or called. When we are together, I forget I have a phone. Most of the time I’m overwhelmed with feelings of gratefulness to have her in my life. I treasure her and Aubrey so much. I can’t fully express it right now, but they’ve both stirred something in me…an intense desire to love, cherish, protect & care in a deep, meaningful way. I want to fight for them, I want to serve them, I want to win them. They are “my girls.”
As time has passed, we have encountered a few tense moments. Walls, flaws, and other insecurities have arisen at times, whether from the past or just from being human, but those things have been worth the effort to overcome. They’ve just served as opportunities for us to reassure one another that NO MATTER WHAT, we will seek to understand one another, fill in the gaps, hold one another up, and encourage one another through various challenges.
Jennifer and Aubrey are my girls. They are emblems of God’s grace in my life. And I am their man. True and faithful to them, with arms of love, shoulders of refuge, and a crooked smile that says “let’s have some fun.”
The “Big Day”
Yes, our “Big Day” is just around the corner. And we are so excited. We are intentionally keeping our wedding as small as possible. There are people who I love and consider dear friends, even family, whom I have specifically chosen not to send invitations. This decision is NOT a reflection of whether I consider you important, cherish your friendship, or care about your feelings. This is simply a decision to protect the intimacy of my day with my girls.
Between the two of us, considering our friends and family both in Wake County AND in Wayne County, we could have EASILY invited 700+ people to our wedding. This is not an exaggeration. We chose to keep our invite list small at around 60 people, total. This means I have Aunts and Uncles, cousins, and close friends who I did not invite to the wedding. Again, not because I don’t value you, but because we want a very small, intimate wedding.
Here’s the thing. Big crowds used to excite me. I LIVED for moments in front of crowds. But over time, I’ve come to realize crowds exhaust and distract me from the sanctity of moments. And I want to protect the sanctity of my wedding day. I want a wedding, not a reunion. There’s no need to pay thousands of dollars for dinner so that we can rekindle old friendships. I don’t want our wedding day to be filled with stress and obligatory conversations. I want to enjoy being with my wife on our wedding day, because that’s what it’s all about, right?
So, thank you to everyone out there (family and friends) who love us, care for us, and celebrate us (even though you didn’t get a 5×7 invitation in the mail). We are not asking for gifts, cards, or anything of the sort. Just asking for joy. Be happy for us, be excited for us, and pray for us!