Tuesday, November 9, 2010

future mrs rieger

Yes, facebook speaks truth; I am, in fact, engaged! TJ and I got engaged two weeks ago (Oct 26). We were going to be having dinner at The Pressroom, which is in the city. TJ was living about 15 minutes outside of the city, but he told me to be at his place at 4 PM. I was like, what the heck, why is he making me dress up and drive to his place out of the way?! The thought that he might be proposing crossed my mind, but I had to stop thinking about that because I didn't want to be disappointed if he didn't. I figured since he was planning a nice date, though, that I would just go to his place like he asked, and if he didn't have a good reason for me coming out there, I would yell at him later. I showed up at his place promptly at 4, and he brought me in the living room where he had set up candles and scattered rose petals and chocolate truffles everywhere. I was in shock! He told me to sit down and listen to a poem he had written, and the poem ended with him asking "will you marry me?" He got down on one knee, and popped open a trick door on the side of the coffee table, and he had the ring box hiding in there. I couldn't even speak at first because I was so in shock!! But I said yes, of course!

Anyway, it was such a joy to call everyone and tell them about it. But we didn't get to rest in that for very long because all the planning started right away. And as it turns out, wedding planning isn't as fun when you don't have endless money to spend on it. Weddings are expensive. I've been dreaming about my wedding for my entire life, but now I'm finding out that I can't really have all those things that I dreamed about. But I'm glad for it. This wedding is not about having a dream day full of lilies and outdoor reception tents; it's about celebrating the beginning of a marriage with the man that I love.

And rearranging my priorities in regards to this wedding begs the questions: how does God want us to spend money for this wedding? What part does stewardship play in this one-time occasion? Knowing how Jesus found it important to provide really good wine for the wedding at Cana reminds me that God really wants to bless us and love us lavishly. But I also know that spending too much time and too much money on fancy decorations and unneeded traditions is not how God would want us to celebrate our marriage. I keep thinking, why is this so complicated? I just want to stand up in front of everyone we know and commit my life to TJ! But this process is meant to be joyous, and it's partly meant to be an opportunity to offer hospitality to our wedding guests. And that's pretty exciting.

Spending a good chunk of money on a wedding is inevitable, but remembering why we're spending that money is important to me. I don't like following traditions just because that's the way things are done. With every step in this process, I want to keep asking why and keep centering on what's important in this wedding, and to TJ and I, what's important is glorifying God through this. Believe me, I want to get married outside under a beautiful huppah beside a lake with the grass so green that it hardly even looks real. I want our reception to be under an outdoor tent with hanging Christmas lights and centerpieces with yellow gerber daisies. I want a cool dance floor in the center where all of us can shake our groove things. I want beautiful simplicity. But what I really want is to commit my life to TJ. I love him so much, and being with him for the rest of my life is my dream. Being with TJ is what I care about, not having some dream wedding. That's why I'm glad that weddings are so expensive. It forces me to keep my priorities straight and center back on the things that really matter. :-)