‘From this day forward’ as the chosen title for this booklet has not been made without most careful thought, discussion, and prayer, because your wedding day is, indeed, the first day of the rest of your life; and it is the beginning of a new life together blessed by God and embraced by his Church through the service of Holy Matrimony.
As you look forward to your wedding day there is a lot to think about, a lot of preparation needed and many plans to be made. However, you have chosen a Christian Wedding Service, and it is this very important choice you have made which is the focus of this booklet. Within its pages you will not receive a scholarly lecture; you will not be subjected to a barrage of theology or detailed list of directives. We hope you will find thoughtful guidelines; with questions and, in many cases, answers to your concerns and worries. We hope you will recognise our wish to make your special day one to look forward to with excitement, eager anticipation and joy, of course; but also that you will be just as eager and excited to receive the unseen guest, our Lord Jesus Christ, at the heart of all the preparations and ceremonial.
It is our wish and our prayer that, when you come to your wedding day, you will have sensed something of the intense beauty of a Christian Wedding Service, and of the awesomeness of the promises you will be making and the vows you will be taking; and of the giving and receiving of a wedding ring with all its symbolism. All of this will be in the presence of God and his people.
It is our wish and our prayer that you will give much careful thought to your choice of music, of hymns and readings, as well as to all the other details of a wedding day. Of course photography, transport, flowers, looking your best, caring for family and friends are important. However, you have chosen a Christian Wedding Service and it is this which we hope and pray will be the principal focus of all your planning and the wedding day itself.
You will find a series of section headings on the inside of the cover of the booklet, and these should give you an indication of the step-by-step preparation which is so important. Within each section there are guidelines or signposts to help you further in thinking deeply and carefully about your wedding day, and the months and years ahead which, God willing, lie before you; and how you can keep your marriage alive and fresh on a day-to-day basis.
We do not have all the answers to life’s challenges, tensions and difficulties. We cannot solve every problem. However, we do believe that a Christian Wedding Service and a marriage rooted and grounded in God’s love for each and every one of us, in our love for him, and in our love for each other is the ‘foundation stone’ and the surest way ahead ‘from this day forward’. Together we can help you prepare for your wedding day with care and love, so that you approach it with joy in your heart, and retain that special Christian fulfillment for the rest of your married life together.