expectations vs. reality: final

October 23, 2012

This is part of a series written by my friend Libby, continued from Expectations vs. Reality: Part Three

I had mentioned in part 2 that the rain had actually stopped before our wedding, and in its wake it left a perfectly breezy, albeit humid, August night. Had I been willing to see it then, the air and the sky looked almost ethereal; almost sacred and surreal. Our reception was held inside the horse corral under strung lights where everyone sat at authentic farm tables that my Dad had made completely on his own. We ate the best food {Southern fried chicken, Truffle Mac & Cheese, Shrimp & Grits, Cornbread and Green beans}, drank great wine, greeted all our guests {who all made note of how incredible it was that the weather held off} did our dance and had a little bit of cake.

The sound of my guest’s laughter put me in an incredibly calm and happy state of being. I couldn’t believe I was married and everyone we’ve ever loved was in one place eating great food and celebrating with us. I dragged Joe with me back up the hill to get changed into my reception dress, and wasn’t up there for five minutes when one of my bridesmaids walked in and said “Okay don’t freak out but it’s pouring rain.” Also, remember that I cancelled the tent that we had on reserve, this means that everyone was getting soaking wet.

I walked out of the house to see all of my guests leaving. You guys, this was 3 hours before we had scheduled for the night to be over. I suddenly felt like the girl who threw a boring party in high school so everyone was leaving early to go somewhere way cooler. At this point, my anxiety took me to its deepest hold. On this 3-4 minute walk down, I was no longer the special bride to anyone, as I was just something that kept them from getting out of the August downpour. No goodbyes from my guests on their way out, just people hurrying to stay dry. I said to my Uncle who was walking me down, “This is the saddest ending to the best party.” However, one guest did stop me, hug me and say, “Well, at least it held off during the most important parts!” With tears burning in my eyes I muttered out “Okay, bye.” I was literally devastated.

But the thing that was so confusing to me was that the DJ was still playing music and I could hear people yelling. The closer I got to the lights I could see that all of our closest friends stayed and were having the time of their lives. The party wasn’t over, the party was literally just beginning! The DJ turned the music up louder and I looked around and saw that my best friends from every significant point in my life were there to celebrate with Joe and I, and what else even mattered? I had told you in part 3 that my greatest expectation was to get the pictures published, and an hour into dancing, with long sopping wet hair and a completely soaked dress, I thought to myself “I don’t care about anything except how incredible this moment is.” At that point, my expectations finally met my reality. I didn’t care about the way I looked in my dress or if people liked the cupcakes, I finally let everything go and accepted what was in front of me. I wasn’t going to miss this moment. I soaked in every single second of this fun. I finally didn’t take for granted the joy that was in front of me, and my memories from those moments don’t compare to any other in my mind. I have never had that much fun. We were literally living out the best music video you’ve ever seen. To all of you who left early, I’m so sorry — you literally missed the greatest dance party of all times.

The day of my wedding, my greatest point of anxiety was the rain, and that turned out to be the greatest blessing I could have never expected. I want to remember this turning point forever, because I can’t ever let myself forget how much you miss what’s in front of you when you let yourself always believe that it could be better. I don’t want to have expectations anymore, I want to live in my reality and love what I see. Because the thing is, when I got my pictures from Marta and saw the day as everyone else saw it, I finally understood that my expectations were too small for how great the reality of the night truly was.

Ready to see Libby’s wedding photos? You can find them at her beautiful blog, A Lover’s Anthology. Get ready to be amazed at the beauty.

When have you let expectations ruin your reality? Were you able to see the beauty in the reality in hindsight, like Libby did?

Photo by Marta Locklear

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  • Reply Annie Gruetzmacher October 23, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    I love these posts; I’m glad you posted a link to her blog because I was about to comment on it on the first post but saw you said you’d be posting it on Tuesday! One thing that saddens me though is I feel like she missed the point of why she was actually getting married! It wasn’t about the day, it was about being united with this individual for life, and honoring God through that. As females, we tend to get too wrapped up in the wedding day itself, rather than what the wedding actually stands for and is symbolic of.

    • Reply Natalie Lynn Borton October 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Great thoughts, Annie! Yes, Libby definitely got so caught up in the day being perfect that she seemed to forget the point; however in the end she certainly came to see what it was all about.

    • Reply Libby Ashley October 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      Hi Annie,

      I just saw this and wanted to comment. I definitely did let myself forget the point of the day and absolutely agree that we as females let the day be more important than what it meant, but I can honestly tell you that during the ceremony when we said our vows I have never been more present in my life. That moment was so real and so beautiful to me and will never be forgotten. And like Natalie said, the reception ended up bringing me back to reality and reminding me that my best friends were there to share in this insanely real and beautiful moment with us BECAUSE of Joe and I uniting before God and friends- and nothing else mattered, you’re right! This day was about so much more than just the details! Thanks for reading along :)


  • Reply Annie Gruetzmacher October 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    p.s. how did you come across her blog? is this a friend of yours?

  • Reply StephanieElizabeth October 23, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this story! I’m getting married in May and it’s been a great reminder for me to not take all the details and fluff so serious and to remember to live in the moment! Thank you Libby for being so transparent and allowing me to learn a great lesson from you : )

    • Reply Natalie Lynn Borton October 23, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      You’re welcome! I knew Libby’s story would be valuable to anyone who read it—especially women like you who are about to have a wedding! Glad you enjoyed it. Report back on how your wedding goes! I trust you’ll savor every moment :)

  • Reply k8te October 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    this was such an amazing story! i literally had tears in my eyes reading this last part! going to check out libby’s blog now. love that you shared this!

    • Reply Natalie Lynn Borton October 23, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Kate, I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much that you were brought to tears. Definitely check out Libby’s blog—it’s amazing!

      Libby, THANK YOU for sharing your story. Clearly many were touched by it :) xoxo

    • Reply Libby Ashley October 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Kate! Just perusing the comments and wanted to say thank you for letting me know you had tears reading this- that means so much to me! Thanks for reading along :)


  • Reply Raquel October 25, 2012 at 2:36 am

    Perfect ending! Libby, thank you for posting your story.

  • Reply Lauren October 29, 2012 at 6:02 am

    Thanks so much for sharing, Libby. The Lord has been uprooting my expectations in a relationship with an incredible Jesus-loving man for 2+ years now, bringing me to the foundation of truth of a relationship founded in grace in Christ. It simply cannot happen without him. If anything, I end up making the matters worse when I try to take them into my own hands.

    This post was super encouraging in that I constantly need that reminder to let go of expectations and enjoy what’s right in front of me. The real-deal romance God has for us with Him is going to blow them out of the water if I (we) let Him!

    • Reply Natalie Lynn Borton October 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

      I’m so glad you were encouraged by her story! Though my wedding story was very different than hers, I am hugely a victim of letting my expectations ruin reality. It was a truth I needed to hear as well!

  • Reply NatalieMcC November 8, 2012 at 10:50 pm

    I have a friend planning her wedding…I definitely passed this series on…good truths spoken here.

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