How to Have the Most Beautiful, Most Memorable, Least Expensive Life Ever
Last week, I posted about the impromptu wedding on our farm. From the announcement to the bride walking down the aisle, three hours elapsed. Time allowed only for fresh flowers picked from gardens and fields, a dress the bride had never worn, and left-over food.
Since that glorious day, I researched the average cost of current weddings in Milwaukee, 45 minutes south of our farm. Ready?
Thirty. Thousand. Dollars. $30,000.
Any way you write it, that’s a lot of money. And that’s the average.
Here’s the breakdown for 150 guests:
♣ Wedding Essentials: $6,536 (invites, photographer, cake, flowers)
♣ Reception and Ceremony Costs: $15,933 (venue, food, drinks, DJ, rentals)
♣ Attire, Jewelry, and Beauty: $4,226 (dress, tux, rings, hair, makeup)
♣ Other Costs: $2,895 (rehearsal dinner, gifts, transportation, hotel)
By far, people spend the most money on food and beverages.
And I served leftovers.
And the leftovers weren’t even some gourmet dish I’d spent hours preparing and plating.
Instead, I spread a buffet of reheated, grilled bratwursts, baked beans out of a can, potato chips, watermelon, and a variety of berries—whatever we had in the fridge that wasn’t rotten.
The wedding cake was a raspberry swirl cheesecake I grabbed in the freezer section of a grocery store the week before, just in case more company came. Good thing! Three hours was just enough time for thawing the cake and sticking it with birthday candles I had on hand.
The striped paper plates didn’t match the plastic cups. Pitchers of powdered lemonade and ice water were the only beverages. (Well, not exactly. I did drive ten minutes to the closest store to grab balloons and a bottle of cheap champagne because you have to have balloons and a champagne toast at a wedding reception, right?) The toasting goblets hadn’t been used in 24 years and needed cleaning (last used at Todd’s and my wedding reception, 8-14-93!).
The total cost of balloons and champagne?
The reception was my favorite (besides my own where Todd and I rented the Good Humor man and his truck and handed out tickets so all the kids could get whatever their little hearts desired. From the looks of their tongues, the most popular choice was something with a lot of bright blue dye.)
So how can such a simple, impromptu, inexpensive wedding and reception of left-overs and blurry dog licking (that’s her tongue–not bacon) and ketchup staining (check out Nick’s purple shirt) be the most beautiful and memorable of all?
Because God is the most beautiful and memorable of all. And when He’s in the center of our lives and festivities, His beauty radiates to us and through us.
There’s no beauty like the beauty of God emanating from two people who want God to receive the attention and glory, not themselves. That’s what makes a wedding and reception the best.
When glorifying God is our number one priority, all other details are secondary. And since God’s splashes beauty and goodness everywhere, we can tap that beauty and goodness in remarkably easy, inexpensive, often free ways. There’s no one we need to impress. And when we stop trying to impress, we start feeling more blessed.
This week, I’m thinking about the impromptu dinner Jesus gave. While His disciples fretted about the huge crowd and the few fish and loaves, Jesus worked with what He had. He raised the fish and bread to Heaven, blessing and breaking before serving. When the crowd had eaten their fill, Jesus instructed His disciples to gather the leftovers.
We can’t out-give God. With God, there are always leftovers. And the leftovers are valuable enough to be saved, not wasted. The leftovers keep on blessing.
God wastes nothing. Everything has value when it’s blessed and broken for God and others.
Ever feel leftover, passed over, wasted?
Take a new view. See yourself as God sees you.
You are valuable. You are beautiful.
You, too, can be a blessing for many. Just as you are, right where you are, with no fussing or fixing.
For with God, things are not only possible, they’re beautiful. So allow Him to bless you and spread His goodness and beauty—through you.
We don’t need much to bring to God. Just willing, humble hearts. He’ll take us from there.