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Hi friends! While most of our readers are brides, we are incredibly thankful that many mothers of the bride and groom join us here on Southern Weddings as well. Our dear friend, Lysa TerKeurst, has three children who are getting married in 2016, and she graciously agreed to share her experience in a few guests posts for our Southern mama readers, as well as plenty of encouragement for brides! We hope y’all love them as much as we do! – Lisa

I never thought or dreamed in a million years that three of my kids would get married in the same year.

Our oldest daughter, Hope, will wed in February with an elegant, formal, uptown wedding complete with the unexpected twist of playing corn hole in our formal gowns.

Ashley, our middle daughter, will get married in the Alabama countryside with market lights, vintage furniture, a pizza and hamburger reception, and her favorite popsicles and donuts instead of a cake.

And our son, Jackson, will say “I do” this fall in a lovely garden ceremony in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Three kids. Three completely unique weddings. Three different states. All in one year. Hello 2016, you are amazing.

Ashley + David, photo by Cathrine Taylor

So, needless to say, we are knee deep in all things wedding over here at the TerKeurst home. Our sticky farm table that just yesterday was full of coloring books, Candyland game pieces, and Legos is now full of white invitations, pictures of possibility for every celebration detail, and a glue gun that might have burned off one of my fingerprints last night during a wedding craft situation.

But more than helping to plan the weddings, I want to prepare my kids for their marriages.

I’m especially wanting to prepare them for day one of their marriage. And I’m quickly learning that weddings are perfect for teaching young couples a crucial lesson:

The most happy couples are the ones who are most able to embrace imperfections.

Honestly, I’m still learning this lesson myself.

Jackson + Amanda, photo by W. June Photography

Whether you are the mother, the bride herself, or a hopeful soon-to-be-bride, can I take your hand and whisper a truth we all need?

No wedding is perfect.

The more we resist this reality, the less we’ll enjoy this most special day. But even more tragic for brides, the less you’ll enjoy your marriage.

There’s a little known secret about imperfections. What makes things most beautiful, most memorable, and most notable are the unexpected gifts wrapped in imperfections.

Hope + Michael, photo by Brian Schindler

Do you want to know one of my favorite memories of my entire wedding? It’s the only detail brought up time and again at family gatherings. My youngest sister, who was only two years old at the time of my wedding, belted out the Happy Birthday song during the lighting of the unity candle. It was obviously unplanned, but became a completely delightful gift of imperfection.

Of course, some wedding day imperfections aren’t nearly as cute and way more distracting than a two-year-old’s song. I get it. But I can’t change it. Not for my kids’ weddings and not for yours. The unexpected will happen.

But here’s the great news. Imperfections help others uncross their arms, relax, and giggle. People will love you even more when they see you display grace in a tough place.

So embrace the unexpected.

Smile at the crazy.

Laugh at the unplanned.

And relax.

If you bring the happy, your day will be beautiful.

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can connect with her at or follow along with more fun wedding details on Instagram.

Written with love by admin
  1. avatar Kelly reply

    oh i love this advice!

  2. avatar Mattye reply

    I love this and couldn’t agree more! When I look back at our wedding, I’m so thankful for all the things I planned that turned out beautifully; but what I treasure even more are the unexpected, unplanned moments that made our wedding not just an event, but truly ours.

  3. avatar Dawn Opie reply

    I so agree, Lysa! My husband and I didn’t “pre-light” our unity candles. They were up on this high pedestal, and we didn’t think of doing it. When the time came to light them, my husband and I stood there with our arms raised as high as we could. To make things even more exciting, my husband is legally blind, so I kind of whispered to him which direction to point the tip of the candle. Well, of course, one of them went out. Thus, I ended up placing that one back and we were both left grabbing on to the one candle, lifting it as high as possible, until it eventually lit after much maneuvering and many tears on my part. My husband and I returned to the front of the alter where our pastor prayed for us as I quietly sobbed. Thankfully, the song was long enough (“Flesh of my Flesh”) to last during this drama. However, I’ll never forget the teamwork we put in and the prayers our pastor prayed over us. I am eternally grateful for our “imperfect” wedding.

  4. avatar Rebecca Lewis reply

    One of the best, unplanned moments of our wedding happened right after our recessional walk. I hugged my new husband and turned around to see all four of our kids, my two daughters and his two sons, running to embrace us too. One of the most precious moments of the day and completely unplanned.

  5. avatar Samantha Livingston reply

    After reading this I thought, Wow I’m behind! Next: What an exciting time in the life of your family, Lysa! So beautifully put too.

  6. avatar Stephanie reply

    This totally happened in my wedding three years ago. The DJ was a friend of ours who didn’t come to the rehearsal and only showed up minutes before the wedding. I had to quickly run through what song to play for parents, processional, and recessional and wrote it down for him. And wouldn’t ya know it, he started playing the recessional song during the processional? My bridesmaid yelled out (it was an outdoor wedding and we weren’t too far away), “That’s the wrong song!!!!” Everyone laughed and relaxed and the atmosphere seemed to become enjoyable and relaxed instantly. It all turned out well and of course the DJ felt horrible and apologized to which I said, “Are you kidding? That was the best part! We all had a great laugh!” I think it definitely helps when a bride can just role with the punches and keep a smile on!

  7. avatar Fridays are for Favorites #26 reply

    […] of the best wedding advice I’ve read by Lysa […]

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