::All About Marriage:: Celebrating Marriage

Diane is my neighbor, a friend, a fantastic cook, and one of the most incredible women of God I know.  She is also on this wild journey of marriage and motherhood, and documents her own observation on her blog, Home on the Hill.


Celebrating a Mannina Marriage

Hello to Shannon’s Blog Readers!

When Shannon asked me to help celebrate marriage on her blog, I was so honored.  Mike and I have benefited so much from Mark and Shannon’s marriage over these past two years of being neighbors.  From dinners, to game nights, to shared pregnancies, to swapping our day’s stories, it has been such a privilege to see how God has grown them in their love and commitment to one another. Another fun tidbit: Mike and I actually share our anniversary weekend with Mark and Shannon!  They just have a little more experience under their belts.  So it’s fun to get this assignment just as we are celebrating our anniversary, too!

Now on to the task at hand: What one thing would I celebrate about my marriage to encourage all you readers out there?  Well, I have a few things I’ll share.  Things that have surprised me since Mike and I started our journey two years ago.  Things you may not have thought of before (especially if you’re not yet married).  I'm also going to sneak in some photos from our wedding for all of you ladies that like to hunt for fun wedding ideas (photos by Rebekah J Murray).  Here goes!

 Mike and I had a DC wedding.

 Here's our Southern Red Barn Reception on a beautiful fall day!

We celebrate marriage because it calls us to sacrifice.

Funny thing to celebrate, huh?  When Mike and I said our marriage vows two years ago, we promised to give our lives to each other.  On the surface, it sounds sweet and romantic.  But the reality is that in our Christian marriage, God calls us to make sacrifices on a daily basis that require us giving up our wants and desires in order to serve the other.  The world might tell you that such sacrifice sounds like we’re giving up our personal dreams.  But for us, our sacrifice points to a greater picture—the picture of the gospel that has saved us.  Sacrifice is hard, but we've found that we understand what Christ has done for us more deeply and we love each other more genuinely when we are making the hard sacrifices.  And for us, that’s what life is all about.  So even though the process of sacrifice can be difficult, the end result is always worth celebrating.

 Reception flowers of dahlias, roses, berries, and wheat 
were set low so people could see each other.

I loved my fall bouquets and the wire cage on my bridal bouquet.

We celebrate marriage because it is redemptive.

Many people in our circle talk about how marriage is difficult and how it reveals all your sin. Yuck. Well, it does do that. But sometimes what people forget to say is that it’s a kindness of God to reveal the sin in our hearts.  He only does it so He can deal with it.  And in marriage, I’ve found that I wouldn’t have known many of my sins but for that friction between me and Mike.  On top of that, I don’t have the option of dealing with them over in my little corner all by myself.  I have to—no, I get to—share all of me with Mike.  Mike walks with me and comforts me through it all, similar to how God does.  What a gift!  I think that constant process of sin, brokenness, and redemption is truly what makes marriage worth celebrating.

Mason jar candles hanging from the roof of the barn.

 We lined the aisles with wheat!

We celebrate marriage because it is an adventure.

I believe God has begun a good work in Mike and will carry it to completion.  I have what I believe is the beginning and the end in view. But the middle is the unknown. It’s the adventure!  To see how God works out his plan for Mike—how he refines and readies him for that final day—it’s a gift and an adventure.  I get a front row seat to it all.  In fact, I’m the only one in the front row.  And it’s been a pretty amazing show so far.

Wedding menu on a chalk board.

Monogrammed wedding cake.  Loved!

And yes, even the CFA cow came and fed our wedding party 
before we said our "I Do's"! We're big fans. :)

Happy anniversary, Mark and Shannon!  Keep enjoying the adventure!

Diane Mannina


  1. i luuuuve what you said about marriage being redemptive. i am going to have to remember that. so true and so wonderful.


  2. Diane, thank you so much for sharing with such incredible honesty! So glad to have you as part of my marriage series.



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