If you haven’t tuned into my Instagram feed in a while, let me share that we’ve been engaged for nearly a year already and we’ve started the process of getting married in the Catholic church.
Everything is up in the air.
Travel plans. Work. Education. Life events. Our wedding.
We got engaged in September last year and set a date for the wedding sometime in 2021. Then COVID-19 happened. I selfishly took a break from wedding planning since the obvious top concern during this pandemic is everyone’s health and safety. I blissfully tucked my future life event into the back of my mind and focused on other things. A few months later, we decided to still move forward with our marriage classes at the Catholic church we attend, Sacred Heart Church in Honolulu. We signed up for the Engaged Encounter retreat at the St. Stephens Diocese campus located along the Pali Highway. I thought it would be a super religious bible study type of atmosphere, but it was completely the opposite! We enjoyed it so, so, so much and it was very special.
The retreat was run like a classroom with workshops and workbooks. Twelve couples were in attendance, due to COVID-19. Typically, each retreat hosts about 30 couples. The social distancing and safety measures were strictly enforced, which made us feel safe. Each workshop focused on specific areas of marriage, such as conflict management, financial fidelity, personality types / compatibility and pledging to love and support your partner. It was mostly psychological, actually. Each lesson was the same, you answer questions in the workbook and then you share and discuss with your partner. Nothing too sophisticated. The topics were simple, but it managed to spark some deep discussions about the trust you place in your partner and your willingness to do anything for them. The isolated campus is surrounded by lush, trees, native, tropical plants and just silence. It was the perfect setting needed for self-reflection.
We were blown away that our answers were almost the same each time and the workshops revealed things that we should work on together. The presenting couples, priests and deacon that ran the entire retreat kept saying, “A wedding is a day, marriage is a lifetime.” I must admit everything sounded really cheesy before getting into the workshops, but I believe it all now. The volunteer couples that ran the retreat were from various stages in marriage, so it helped to hear their testimonies and how they succeeded or failed to resolve issues within their marriage. The main takeaway was that Kevin and I can continue to build a stronger foundation together to sustain whatever hardships come our way. We know it never gets easy, but it’s something we’ve promised to work at together throughout our lifetime.
So…the wedding? We’ll move forward with the ceremony for sure. Since the retreat, I’m more excited to make the commitment to Kevin in church and it’s become more of a priority than planning the most chill party of our dreams. Don’t get us wrong, we still want a major karaoke wedding reception, but pending COVID restrictions and the health and safety of our elderly family members, we’re waiting to see how it pans out. So…my friends, the reception, unfortunately…is still up in the air.