Spring is definitely in the air, and I don’t know about you, but it seems as though more and more of our nieces, nephews, and friends’ children are getting married. It’s a wonderful thing, and yet mind boggling all at the same time! It’s crazy to think we have children old enough to now be getting married! Weren’t our kids just starting kindergarten? Time sure does march along, and our kids are now starting to make nests of their own.
I have always loved weddings – so full of love, joy, and excitement for the future. I started singing in weddings when I was in high school. It was a great source of income for me as a high schooler. I loved experiencing different wedding ceremonies, music, and song selections. Over the years I have continued as the wedding singer for family and friends’ weddings. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I had transitioned now to singing in weddings of kids our own kids’ ages! How can this be?
I have a binder full of wedding songs that I have sung and collected over the years, but I love asking brides and grooms to choose song(s) that really speak to them and will hopefully hold a special place in their hearts in the years ahead. To this day, I still look back on the song my sister sang at our wedding, “One Hand, One Heart” from Westside Story.
I had always loved the song and knew that one day I wanted it sung at my wedding. Thankfully, Phil agreed! To this day, I would choose that song again to be sung at our wedding because it really spoke to me and still does to this day. Being “one” in a marriage, like a solid team, was really important to both Phil and me and so the song, “One Hand, One Heart” was perfect for us. I have thought of that song over the years as a sort of mission statement for our marriage.
I recently I sang for a friend’s daughter’s wedding. When the bride asked me to sing, I immediately encouraged her to take time to choose a song that had real meaning for her and her future husband. I always try to encourage those getting married to take time to think about their song choices. The piece this couple chose to be sung during the lighting of the Unity Candle was, “When I Say I Do” by Matthew West. While rehearsing the song in the weeks prior to the wedding, I found myself soaking up and so appreciating the lyrics of this song. I would actually tear up at times practicing the song as waves of emotion came over me as I saw this young couple in my mind up at the altar saying their wedding vows. The song also caused me to reflect back on the vows I took with Phil almost thirty years ago. And then, too, it struck me that our boys could possibly be exchanging vows with their future brides someday soon! I found myself completely awed by this thought. Wow! Below are a few of the lyrics from this beautiful and powerful song, “When I Say I Do.”
You see the these hands you hold,
Will always hold you up,
When the strength you have,
Just ain’t strong enough
And what tomorrow brings,
Only time will tell.
But I will stand by you,
In sickness and in health.
Take my hand,
And take this ring
And know that I will always love you,
And now for better or for worse,
Are so much more than only words,
And I pray every day will be the proof.
That I mean what I say when I say ‘I do.’
The lyrics of this song so reinforce the glory, sanctity, and profundity of marriage vows for me. I hope this couple will look back on their song choice and be reminded of the vows they made to each other, and that the lyrics will give them strength when times get tough.
Again, it’s so hard to believe that one day our boys too could possibly be marrying. Nervously, I often wonder, have Phil and I prepared them enough for marriage? Should we be guiding them more, counseling them more? Do they know what marriage is all about? Will they be good, kind, loving, faithful spouses? And, will they “mean what they say, when they say, ‘I do.” I can only pray they will. Thank you, Katelyn and Matthew Ricketts for sharing this song with me and all those who attended your wedding.
And so, as many of us enter into the phase of our children saying, “I do,” I send blessings and best wishes for happy, strong, loving, faith-filled, and vibrant marriages for all our newlyweds and future newlyweds.