I have so many fond memories of these weddings. These are some of my oldest and closest friends:
Jimmy and Julie (I was lightly pregnant with Vicki)
Ryan and Michelle
Amanda and Paul (I was heavily pregnant with Todd)
Amber and Andy
Julianne and Parth
Chase and Carly (with my assistants)
Formal marriage is becoming a less-universal part of life for people of my generation. I understand the reasons why, but I think there is something so sacred about coming together and vowing your love and dedication to one another in front of a group for support and accountability.
In my wedding homilies, I always try to emphasize the role of the gathered community. The people who are present at this wedding are not just spectators, there to observe a pretty setting and have a great meal. They are active participants who are vowing, with their presence and their words, to help this couple weather the storms that will come.
Marriage ain't easy. If anyone knows that, it's me. Sometimes it's a monumental struggle, And sometimes it's better to call it quits. But to make it, you need more than just each other. You need all the people there to lean on. Something about that just speaks to me. And it's not lost on me that the people who supported me (and Jeff) the most through our divorce were . . . the people who were at our wedding. They took seriously their covenant to help us dissolve our union (and care for the offspring of that union) with as much grace and love as when we made it.