“Now, in the Bible a name . . . reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift. To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.” C.S. Lewis
The moment you said, “Yes!” and placed that sparkling bit of God’s goodness on your finger, you took on a new name. For a joyous, frantic, happy, stressful, delightful season you are a Bride. The opportunities and delights which accompany this new name and new identity is the theme of the introductory bridal note in All Things are Ready. The following is an excerpt from that piece.
“Even now, before you are named Wife, you have taken on a new name, identity, and work. Your name now is Bride. The question is, how will you wear this name? Will you be the Bride who is making herself ready for the Bridegroom (Rev. 19:7-8, Esther 2:12-13)? Or will a self-seeking attitude bring confusion and disorder to your wedding planning (James 3:16)?
The Bride is usually considered the center of the wedding preparations. This means you will receive much of the attention, glory, and blessings. It also means you set the tone. Just as a woman creates the atmosphere of a home for good or ill (Proverbs 12:4, 14:1, 18:22, 19:13-14, 21:9, 19, 25:24, 27:15, 31:10), the Bride creates the tone of an engagement. How you think, act, speak, and work during the next weeks and months will determine whether your engagement is a time of joy and anticipation or stress and frustration. How will you wear the name of Bride?
Consider the weeks that lay before you as an opportunity. What can you do during your time as “Bride” to be a blessing? There are many people surrounding you during engagement who you can bless with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. Consider your husband-to-be, mother, mother-in-law, father, maid-of-honor, bridesmaids, friends, your groom’s friends, the list could go on. For many of these participants, your attitude toward them will determine their experience of your wedding. Bestow blessings upon them….(The entirety of this selection can be read in the section entitled “To the Bride” in the Introduction of All Things Are Ready.)
…As you walk through this wedding process, it will help you navigate possible pit-falls if you make it your mission from the beginning to put on the self-sacrificial mind of Christ in your attitudes and responses to the various situations that will arise during the wedding preparations (Philippians 2:2-16) Hold your plans loosely. Realize that some things just won’t work out. Consider others’ plans, needs, and expectations as you approach various decisions and especially disagreements that may arise. Take a moment’s pause before responding to every situation. Check your attitude. This will be discussed more specifically at the end of Chapter 2. For now, begin your wedding planning process with a commitment to put on the mind of Christ, who laid down His life for others.
Lastly, enjoy this time! That also may seem a little obvious. Sometimes, though, when we get carried away with the busyness of life we forget to step back and take joy in the process. Enjoy the memories you are making with your mom, your girlfriends, your fiancé, and your families. It may be cliché, but stopping to smell the roses is valuable advice. Planning the wedding may be a bit of a blur, but try and pause once in awhile to enjoy your moments. If nothing else, take lots of pictures so you can look back and enjoy them later! Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing better than to eat, drink, and enjoy the fruit of our labor. Be sure in the midst of all your wedding labors to take few minutes to enjoy them.
With these thoughts in mind, each chapter of this wedding planner has a note just for you, the Bride. These notes are to encourage you in your journey to wifehood. Each contains a little something to meditate on in the midst of your plans, to help you focus on becoming a wife and finding joy along the way. I pray you will find these encouraging. May they help you relax, enjoy your wedding planning, and be a blessing and find blessing in it all.”