#McMillion Wedding: Catholic prayer card save-the-dates

by Emily McFarlan Miller

Joel and I will be married a year this month. It doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. At the same time, I can’t believe we’ve condensed everything that’s happened since into 365 days — not even! Needless to say, I’ve been thinking about all those things, all those other things we’ve learned and the party that started it all. And while the marriage part is the most important (and I have the privilege of sharing some of that now on Start Marriage Right), I thought I would share a little bit of the wedding part here this month.

Enjoy the wedding. Love the marriage.

I’m not sure where the idea for our save-the-date cards came from. Somewhere in my brain. All I know is it was there before Joel proposed. And after he proposed outside St. Hedwig Catholic Church in Bucktown and we settled on the day after the Rapture for our wedding date, it was a no-brainer.

That’s right: We created our own prayer card save-the-dates, with help from Peter Bond of Customized Catholic Prayer Cards.

Not only did I have what I thought was a brilliant idea for save-the-dates, but also my sister, Joel’s brother and several of his cousins all either were engaged or very closed to getting engaged at the same time as us. Between us, we celebrated five weddings last summer. So calling dibs on a date also, as it turned out, was a brilliant idea.

We chose St. Hedwig as the patron saint of our engagement (which — since I’m not actually Catholic, just a Luthyterian with Catholic aesthetics, maybe — I’m not entirely sure you are allowed to do) since we became engaged outside her church and, it turns out, she is patron saint of brides. Customized Catholic Prayer Cards didn’t have a prayer card for St. Hedwig on file, but it did have a “cards with your artwork” option. I’d attended an Ash Wednesday service at St. Hedwig’s, and, better yet, had picked up a prayer card from that service with an incredible picture of the saint embracing the church building on the front. I found several prayers to or regarding St. Hedwig online, and Joel and I chose the most Protestant-sounding of them all — the one that said awesome things like “pomps of this world” and “perishable delights.”

When our save-the-dates went out, some of our friends and family thought their crazy Catholic aunts were praying for them again. Some said they were “mind-blowing.” In a good way, we think.

(NOTE: Our dot-com address since has expired. Our wedding website now is at emilyandjoel11.ourwedding.com.)


St. Hedwig
Patron saint of brides; of Berlin, Germany; against jealousy; and of our engagement


O God, who didst teach blessed Hedwig
to renounce the pomps of this world,
that, with her whole heart,
she might follow the humble way of Thy cross:
Grant that, through her merits and example,
we may learn to trample underfoot
the perishable delights of this world
and, by cleaving to Thy cross,
overcome whatsoever may be opposed to us.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Who livest and reignest with Thee,
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
world without end. Amen.

Pray for us.

And save the date.
Emily McFarlan and Joel Miller
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Chicago, Illinois

Invitation to follow.

Save-the-dates: Customized Catholic Prayer Cards.

Read all posts in the “#McMillion Wedding” series here.

Photo credit: All wedding photos by the incomparable Shauna Bittle. Squiggles divider by IROCKSOWHAT.