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When I received the invitation in the mail, I furrowed my brow. Saturday, July 21? In Rhode Island? Darn, that’s only a short time before I have to move from New York to L.A. for school. Actually, it’s probably the last weekend I’ll have before moving out there. I quickly told myself to quit being a baby and R.S.V.P. to my friend’s wedding because HELLO, the wedding was not about me at all. The wedding was about her and her fiance, and I genuinely couldn’t be more excited for them. Plus, I didn’t know it then, but attending a wedding with my childhood friends the weekend before I moved cross-country was one of the best experiences of my life.

Now that I’m on the other side of this wedding, I’m mad at myself for ever grumping about it. First off, the ceremony and reception were beautiful. We were at a cliffside manor in Rhode Island that overlooked the water, and was also entirely gorgeous on the inside. The sentiment of the wedding ceremony and reception speeches was perfect, too. This might be because the couple getting married was actually getting married on their last weekend in the States before moving to Germany. That’s right. My friend and her partner scheduled their wedding a week before their move, and it was perfect.

Here’s why I’m now an advocate for weddings before big moves, whether you are just a guest like me or one of the pair getting married. Weddings are a great time to reflect and celebrate before a major change. A move raises the stakes of everything regarding love and life being discussed at a wedding.

Being back with my East Coast-based childhood friends for a weekend of celebration with a side of light debauchery really brought things full-circle for me. I was able to see many of the special people who have helped me get to the place I’m at today — going back to grad school. I connected with my friend’s parents I hadn’t seen in a while. I connected with my friend from high school who lost her dad to cancer when I lost my mom to cancer, and who could commiserate during those tough parts of attending a wedding after a loss. I connected with myself and my feelings about taking a leap of faith — whether that’s a marriage or a move.

I also think that the fact that the couple was moving from San Francisco to Germany the week after their wedding made everyone more present throughout the ceremony and reception. Speeches were more powerful. Emotions were running higher. People were really taking the time to soak in all of their remaining time with the couple and each other.

Weddings are beautiful events that make us all pause and consider our priorities, feelings, and life journeys. I’m not saying you need to plan a major move the weekend after your wedding, nor am I suggesting you prepare to leave for a cross-country drive two days after a particularly boozy wedding (oops). But being at a wedding right before a major life change reminded me that life is short, it’s important to take risks, and it’s even more vital to remind ourselves of the most important currency of them all — the love of family and friends. Cheers!

Written by: Kimmy Foskett