You gotta start somewhere!

Hi there! My name is Leslie. I’m getting married in less than 5 months, I believe in Jesus, and I’m trying to plan a wedding that is more than just tulle and sparkle. I desperately desire depth and meaning and guts in our wedding day, and I desire to prepare for marriage better than I plan a wedding. The problem is, I am often pretty clueless on how to do that!

Now don’t get me wrong, I believe that weddings should be beautiful and fun and tangibly memorable. I believe that because I believe that there is truly one God, and he loves us, created weddings, and desires for us to celebrate committed, covenant, beautiful, messy love!

So here I sit, in this season of preparation and planning, waiting and expecting, receiving and thanking, and I wonder – how can I do all of this? Can I prepare for marriage well, work full time, love my fiancée, and plan a beautiful, Christ-centered, joyful wedding all at the same time?

I think the answer is yes, but—for sure—only by the grace of God. And, I think/hope that there are other women out there wondering the same, thing, so I started this blog to share what I learn through this journey.

How I got here

In talking about our wedding, my fiancée Garret and I both wanted it to be more than an average wedding day, just as a lot of people do, I’m sure. We desired the presence of God to be there— we wanted the Lord to make it a life-giving time for all, and we wanted our guests to leave encouraged and affected. We wanted our wedding to show that God is a good and faithful Father. He’s been ridiculously faithful to bring and keep Garret and I together for 6 years now, use us to minister to each other, and lead us to marriage.

And we want to show God’s redeeming love: He takes brokenness –broken souls, broken relationships – and brings beauty out of ashes, breathes faithful love into inconstant humans.

In the Word, God pictures Christ as the groom and believers as his bride, and this is the picture we follow in marriage – the man leading in lay-your-life-down headship and the wife walking in godly, strong submission. (Yes I believe strong and submission go together, but that’s just a whole ‘nother story!) I desire for our marriage to be a picture of Christ and his followers – the beauty in the midst of struggle, trust and faithfulness in the midst of a broken, unfaithful world.

With this heart, we began planning our wedding—yippee! Soon after our engagement happened in July, I was buried in wedding magazines, addictingly beautiful wedding blogs, friendly suggestions, and the reoccurring temptation to compare my wedding with friends’—coupled with the desire to somehow out-perform them. (Most of this was my own fault.)

But… I wanted more. For all the pretty flowers and thoughtful details, I knew that all of that would leave me wanting. I wanted instruction in how to plan a beautiful, enjoyable, Gospel-minded wedding, while obediently preparing for the more important thing—marriage.

Desperate for direction

So I looked for books, articles, blogs, anything – and I didn’t find a whole lot. I eventually found Inviting God to Your Wedding by Martha Williamson, producer of Touched By an Angel. (Definitely watched many an episode of that in my childhood!) Her ideas and suggestions are good “jumping-off points” to further ideas. I also found a couple of other Christian wedding planning books. A Perfect Wedding: Inviting the Author of Romance to Make Your Day Beautiful by Eric and Leslie Ludy, is the only one of these I’ve finished so far – because it’s nice and short! It focuses more on the heart than the execution, and I love that. The Brides Handbook: A Spiritual and Practical Guide to Planning Your Wedding is helpful; my favorite part is the scripture regularly provided throughout the text. (I’ll probably further review those later.)

So while I found some books, my search for depth combined with a growing obsession for wedding blogs, and I couldn’t help but see this gap in the blogosphere. Since I had originally really wanted to read a blog about planning a Gospel-minded wedding, I had the thought that maybe I should just write one myself…

Wait, WHAT? Me? The doubts and complacency set in… “See… I’m not really that good of a Christian. Seriously. I’m basically in a spiritual valley right now, and I know a lot of other Christian girls who are more capable and artistic and together than I am. And, my relationship with my fiancée is not perfect—sometimes we have conflict, and sometimes I’m far from loving. Not to mention, I’m probably not good at wedding planning—I’m new at this!”

So, I just kept trodding along through planning—enjoying it most of the time, but often forgetting my desires for depth. Our total engagement time will be 10 months, and we are already half way through—which I am grateful for! But I think it’s not too late to start this. This is the time in the planning process when the ball really gets rolling: showers, appointments, choices, writing, designing, bridal party get-togethers, vendor relationships… I still have SO many opportunities to use this season for good, and to see it through the Lord’s eyes.

So I think I may finally be to the point where I’m going to try to be brave and step out and write this blog. (Probably/hopefully with much needed of help from friends!)

I’m just a person, not some magically shiny perfect Christian bride princess with endless funds, mystical insight, wonderful creativity, or endless graciousness. I’m an imperfect daughter of God, on a journey, and despite what my insecurities tell me, God has fully equipped me to walk in the perfect plans he has for me. And right now He is walking with my fiancée and I in the “preparing for marriage” part of the journey, which also includes planning a wedding. I desperately want to pursue God’s wisdom about our wedding and how to conduct it in a way that appeals to the Gospel, celebrates love and grace and beauty, and ministers to others. And, I want to share what I learn with other women, and hear their advice and perspectives.

So, here I am—sharing with you my journey to the aisle.

Thank you for visiting and reading all this. Please – join me in this journey! I value your heart and input – and it’s going to be fun!


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5 Responses to You gotta start somewhere!

  1. marylyn says:

    love it already leslie jo.

  2. Jennifer says:

    This sounds amazing! I can’t wait to hear about this wonderful journey you are on! When I see someone all ‘stressed and crazy’ over their wedding, I always think to myself… “I sure hope they know what this is REALLY about, a marriage, not just this ONE day”.

    • Thank you for your sweet words! Yeah, I agree with your thoughts. I definitely long for the whole wedding process to be about something greater, something deeper: covenant love. It is a journey, for sure! Just this weekend, I got stressed out over my mom asking me a million “to-do” questions about wedding stuff. I forget that this time is also an opportunity to spend quality time with people I love and be gracious and patient in potentially stressful times. Thanks for stopping by, Jennifer!

  3. Deonna says:

    i love how honest you are. i hope to have my wedding centered on the same principles as yours one day 🙂

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