With so many decisions to make before your wedding comes together, where do you begin? For Hope and Mark McCutcheon, it was simple: They started with their vision.
“Our wedding was our biggest opportunity to let the people closest to us know that our marriage is more than a romantic relationship,” Hope says. “It’s more like a partnership to take on the world.” As a starting exercise, they wrote down two things they hoped their October 13 wedding would accomplish: First, it would demonstrate that patience in waiting for the right person will result in a stronger marriage. In turn, they hoped this would inspire their guests “by modeling a healthy, communication-based, no back door, faith-centered relationship,” Hope says. And second, they wanted it to be the most fun wedding their guests had ever attended.
“The nice thing about having a vision/mission is that every decision could be run through that mission when we were thinking of little personal touches (or even big ones!),” Hope says.
To the McCutcheons, that meant writing their own vows to communicate to each other and their guests how they met, fell in love, and what they were committing to each other as well as their larger community. At their reception, they had a kind of “open mic” policy, allowing anyone who felt moved to speak to do so. This resulted in a few poetry and rap performances, including from the couple themselves. “We wanted this element because these are art forms that are a part of both of our pasts. Through our art, people saw our hearts for God and for each other.”
Planning a wedding is truly an exciting time, but as Hope and Mark were aware, after the wedding comes the harder part—building a life together. They committed to a romantic relationship, but also to a partnership.
“With a partnership, you are in pursuit of a mission bigger than yourselves, bigger than your relationship,” Hope says. “The best part is that, while that was the best day to date, we know how many more days in the future will top it because of the life and lifestyle that we’re building as a team.”