Weddings are traditionally serious. And let’s face it…. Being married is a serious business. It’s a lot of hard work to make it successful. The author Robert Louis Stevenson said “Marriage is like life in this, that it is a field of battle and not a bed of roses.
But that doesn’t mean that “getting married” has to be grim and somber…. Just respectful of the momentous occasion that goes with it…. a commitment to love and honor another person…. a person that you love …. being part of their lives for what you hope is a lifetime.
You’re not married yet…. There is time to be serious and work hard later.
Your wedding is a celebration. Celebrations can be serious but usually aren’t. Not saying that you wedding should be disrespectful of the momentous commitment you are making. But weddings can reflect who you are as individuals and as a couple, your personalities and values. And it doesn’t have to just like every other wedding you have ever been to.
Marriage is a significant event in your life. Much of what your life is going to be about involves this person you are about to make a public and legal commitment to. Your future happiness, financial status, role as a parent if you want to have kids, and everything else in your life is all going to be wrapped up in this other person. Wow! I got pretty serious there for a column on “fun.”
My point is…. At this point all that should be behind you. You know this is the person for you. So the ceremony that ties the two of you together in life should be all about you…. Who you are …. Why this person is your choice…. Why they are the love of your life.
That’s why I don’t like weddings that are too short, not personal, and not customized to the couple. But I do them. These days more than any other kind. And I do them well. I make them as pretty, romantic and meaningful as possible. But the can never be as meaningful as a wedding that is custom written for you.
I do them because they are cheaper for the couple and cheap is the operative word today when it comes to hiring an officiate. One of the largest wedding sites instructs officiates to have the price the first thing you see, because according to their research, you are going to pick who is cheapest (actually they say that if you don’t see the price immediately that you won’t take the time to find out…. You’ll just pick someone else.)
Keep in mind that when the ceremony actually happens, all eyes will be on three people, the bride…. the groom…. and the person performing the ceremony.
A plan is fun
One of the best ways to insure that you have fun is actually having a plan. Plan samples and software are found on almost every bridal site. Look for one you actually can see yourself doing. Put together a plan that covers each aspect of your wedding with goals and deadline dates. Put them into your calendar too.
A plan helps you not forget things, lowers your stress level, and ensures you’ll plan time for some fun.
Keep a journal. While you’re at it: Keep a Journal. This event is a big one in your life…. Even if you don’t think so right now. Buy a Journal (I’m old fashioned. I know you can just put a file on your computer or tablet, and share it with the universe via email and social media.)
KISS. This applies to so much in life. Take time to make it meaningful, but keep it simple. Complex weddings are a lot of work. If you have wedding planers they can make even complex weddings simple for you. But if a planner isn’t in your budget or you can’t imagine letting someone else do if for you, then my advice is not to make the wedding too complicated.
It’s more fun if it’s Your Wedding. What do I mean by that?
· It’s NOT your parents wedding. I know…. You owe them…. I get it. You respect their values and wishes…. But really it’s YOUR wedding. You’ll always be their baby. But getting married is about taking the controls yourself, the two of you. Of your own life. Your wedding is the first day of that.
· It’s not your celebrants wedding either. Usually this comes up most often in religious weddings. Unless your ties to this celebrant, or religious group is the uppermost importance in your life, the celebrant should not be making the decisions. Some guidance is good, but ultimately it is YOUR wedding.
Make it Fit You
Make it Say Something about you. Give the person you have selected information about your relationship. It can be anything that is personal, touches the heart or makes people laugh. If you are a musician or just love music…. make ceremony music a part of your ceremony whether it be Ode to Joy by Ludwig Von Beethoven or I’m a Believer by the Monkees or Smashmouth.
I generally ask for personal touches and assist when I can. I had a couple that seemed to be total opposites, with little in common, and almost no common interests. They talked about how that was off-putting in the beginning…. But something made them keep dating until they realized that they shared what was most important…. They had the same core values. In the ceremony I put it this way. “This was a relationship that took a while to develop and be recognized. In the beginning all they seemed to share was a joint love of ketchup. “
Think about involving all the senses in the ceremony, sight, sound, smells …. Music, Dancing, Singing… you are building a lifetime memory, not just for you but for everyone attending. A lifetime memory doesn’t have to be expensive…. Just from the heart.
Don’t have too much fun at one time.
As much as I want you to have fun…. Don’t have too much fun all packed together. Spread some of it out. Bachelor and Bachelorette parties are fun. It’s better if it’s not the night before. Nothing like a hung over groom, puking bridesmaid, or someone fainting during the service.
Stay sober for the ceremony. I know getting married can be anxiety producing, and I am not opposed to you having a little something to distress you. I’ve shared a shot prior to the ceremony with the groom and groomsmen…. But keep in mind. I won’t perform the ceremony if I think that either the bride or groom has had so much to drink that they are impaired.
Writing Your Own Vows Can Be Fun. But that’s a topic for another blog.
That’s my advice. You want a wedding that is memorable. Have fun. Make it fit you.
Coming Up in the Next Blog. You Deserve Better than the Courthouse. Later: Writing Your Own Vows