FINDING THE TRUE MEANING OF LOVE AND MARRIAGE

After months of preparation; marriage prep, church prep, face prep, outfit prep, food prep, drink prep, weather prep, you name it, we prepped it, our wedding day finally arrived. Despite there being a 100% chance of thunderstorms forecast, the sun broke through as I was leaving for church and it stayed clear all day, my dress was even sparklier than I remembered, my husband looked perfect, and my home parish church of The Willows, Kirkham was so full of our loved ones that it was standing room only.

We made an entire weekend of it, starting off with an hour of Adoration on Friday night and ending with pizza in the skeleton of our wedding marquee on Sunday evening. Every single moment was perfect.... and then we had to leave, drive back across the M62 to get back to work on Monday morning in Lincoln. Was that really it? Our wedding, done?! How do we get over something so perfect?! The world and his wife descended on The Willows the weekend of the 21st May 2016 because something incredible was happening. Everything we did, from my dad scouring olive wholesaler’s websites for the past 10 months (amongst other things) to my brother spending days driving all over Lancashire to collect glasses, to my mum tearing her hair out at 11am on the day over a wonky cake was because something SO incredible was happening that only the best was good enough.

Our wedding homilist, Fr. Philip Conner, reminded us that despite living in a time where there is confusion over the meaning of love and marriage, we have the manual and we can go right back to the start; Genesis. It states very clearly in the Catechism; Holy Scripture affirms that man and woman were created for one another: "It is not good that the man should be alone." The woman, "flesh of his flesh," his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a "helpmate"; she thus represents God from whom comes our help. "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh." The Lord himself shows that this signifies an unbreakable union of their two lives by recalling what the plan of the Creator had been "in the beginning": "So they are no longer two, but one flesh."

We aren’t supposed to 'get over' our wedding like it's some kind of every day thing that happens and then ends. Our day was the product of months and months of hard work by my parents, siblings, in laws, Maid of Honour, Fred and myself because we knew it wasn't simply 'a day'. The beauty and the magic of the dress, the suits, the tiara, the shoes, the flowers, the marquee, the grounds, the church, the Mass, the readings is all to highlight the beauty and the magic of what Freddie and I were undertaking in vowing to be with each other, through the grace and strength of God, for the rest of our lives in order to fulfil the divine plan of creation!! We became an “unbreakable union”, the two of us with God. Our wedding day was the perfect start to our marriage. Not something we’re supposed to move on from, but the starting point from which we build our life together; this unbreakable team of Fred, Sarah, and God.

Sarah, 22, Lincolnshire (Hometown – Kirkham)