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"You look fantastic!"

I've celebrated hundreds of weddings in the last few years. Be they elegantly produced affairs or simple office ceremonies at the VOW office. Each bride and groom has a glow about them. They look great no matter what age they are when they answer "I will" to the question of Intentions, "will you promise to love, honor and cherish....and remain faithful."

And, as I am often overheard to say in many a ceremony, what we look like at the altar to our guests and to each other has very little to do with the journey of maturity we are pledging ourselves to when we are pronounced married at the end of the ceremony.

Too often, and I will admit the wedding industry of which I am a part of shares some of this blame, the expectation of an airbrushed marriage where everything is persistently neat and tidy without blemish is far from reality, a shallow idealism is born that creates dissonance somewhere down the line because the way we start at the wedding is often too far from the reality of where we actually live...not to mention where our lives take us over the years.

Sometimes we reach our goals and planned perceptions just they way we perceived them on Day One of our marriage. Often times, we have had to adjust, change, and alter that which we thought we knew. Life happens to all of us, often in ways we never expected. Maturity, emotional and physical, invites we grow with those changes rather than living as if the day of our wedding was ever the ideal in the first place.

Your wedding is one day. Your wedding is all the days after. Prepare and plan accordingly.

If you have five minutes watch this video. A engaged couple one month prior to their wedding submit themselves to make up artists who proceed to age them in decade increments until they reach senility. It's five minutes. And the payoff at the final reveal is worth the watch.

I see senior couples all over town. He has the worst comb-over, and his pants barely stay up because his ass left the building long ago. She may even have a slight mustache, and she's more pear shaped than she was long ago. And, they shine. Oh, how they shine. They have matured. And what they have, I want. Don't you?

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