For the after-hours wedding celebration, my college friends all camped out with us and we were able to share laughter, stories and advice around the campfire well after the fireflies came out, into the moon rise which also included some early morning yogic ‘moon salutations’. Good times with even better friends. My brothers and their girlfriends joined in on the fun too.
We waited until the sun set and the only light we had was that of the campfire and tiki torches, to open our wedding gifts from our friends. Once we opened Mandy’s gift an old Native American tradition unfolded. As Ali and I drank wine — from Leelanau, Michigan– out of our Native American Wedding Vase, our friends went around the circle and shared marriage advice, as was the tradition with the vase when it was presented to the bride and groom.
Although in the ancient tradition the new couples’ parents shared advice, our friends took their places and shared advice which stemmed from their own experiences as married couples. Sharing honestly with some humour and much love, we were able to take to heart their kind words and store them in our own hearts for future use.
“Buy flowers!” “Always communicate; don’t argue angry, but remember how you felt in the “heat of battle” and come back to deal with those emotions later.” “Remember you love this person, even when they do something you might not love.” “Find new things to love about each other.” “Keep your girlfriends/guyfriends. This person is your best friend, but you need your other friends too.” “Have things to do for yourself.” “Enjoy your time together.”
It’s difficult to remember what everyone said. I tried to jot down notes the next day, but looking back, I recall their words being so eloquent, meaningful and full of love, even if they look simple when typed here now. It meant a lot to me to be sitting by that campfire and have the friends I have known for years — before they were married, through their marriages and now that they are having children — share their advice open and honestly with us. About a journey which is really the biggest one you take, because it’s with someone else. Thank you friends. You are awesome. And so is my hubby. Mmmmm.