The typical wedding has developed into a mainstream event rather than the intimate sacrament that it really is. The stress of the perfect day is so unbearable that most brides swallow down anxiety medication with a cocktail and rush through the day’s events without enjoying it. Don’t get me wrong, marriage is a huge life change and is one that can bring on healthy anxiety. But, in this day and time, there is added pressure of the perfect dress, the best photographers, the most elaborate food, the largest guest list, and the “must haves” go on and on. The significance of the day, marriage, is completely overshadowed by the hundreds of details that will cover your Facebook page mere days later. I personally let the wedding get bigger than the marriage. I wish I would have known these things the day of my wedding because as I sit here looking back on that day I realized I wasn’t as focused on the true meaning of marriage as much as I was focused on the EVENT.
1.Your wedding day is the LEAST important day of your marriage
WHAT? How can that be? You may ask. I know, it seems harsh right? But, its simply the truth. I’ve been told my entire life that your wedding day is the most important day of your life. While your wedding day is a milestone, it is NOT the most influential. I concocted this idea in my mind that if we did not have the MOST flawless, fun, and exciting wedding that our marriage would suck. What I wish I would have known instead is that it is simply a physical deceleration of a personal bond. You have decided to enter this bond with the MOST important person in your life, how awesome is that? A lot more awesome than a wedding. The wedding is your external sign of your internal commitment and is your starting point, not your end game. Realize that if the caterer brings the wrong appetizers, and your hairdresser bails at the last minute, or even if your groomsmen show up late for pictures that it is OK. The only reason you are showing up is to make your commitment to your life partner NOT, be on the cover of entertainment weekly. Relax, today is not a make or break.
2.Get OFF your social media feed
Ah, the day you’ve waited for your whole life. You wake up and its the day of your wedding. You quickly post an Instagram selfie donning your “Bride to Be” white satin robe. You spend the full two hours at the salon refreshing your feed to see how many “likes” you’ve accumulated. Then you meet up with your bridesmaids to begin wedding pictures and you spend a good 30 minutes deciding which duck-faced filtered photo looks the best and once you find the winner it is quickly posted to your Facebook feed. Instead of spending this special time in conversation with your closest girlfriends, you all remain hooked to the screen to see who commented on your most recent post. With every refresh, swipe, and post you have lost focus from the importance of today. Your wedding day is meant for you to be present . Within hours vows will have been said, the reception will have started and stopped, and your new life will begin. If you are glued to your device you can’t even begin to appreciate the beautiful transition you are making. Let your wedding photographer do what you have paid them several hundred dollars to do while you are PRESENTLY enjoying your day.
3.Take time for yourself
The day of the wedding is most always on a tight schedule. You will have an itienary for everything from your nail appointment to when you are allowed to eat at the reception. Take a few minutes to appreciate the meaning of your future marriage. Schedule time for yourself with a morning devotion, private prayer time, a work-out, or even a massage. Stress comes with any life change and you must take care of yourself in order to truly enjoy it. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the chaos and walk into the chapel with your mind in a blurred state. Do something you find joy and peace in and make it a priority. Let’s be real the event planner can wait, take some time to unwind before you take on this next stage of life.
4.Don’t stress over the details
You will not remember what pews in the Church had hydrangeas on them and which ones had lilies, you will not remember who sat by crazy Aunt Iris on the seating chart that you spent weeks on, and you won’t remember what decorations were on the guest book table that you stressed over for days. My point is, WHO CARES? The details we constantly tweak and change a hundred times over the course of wedding planning is so insignificant. No one is really going to care how well you organized the wide variety of cheeses and you shouldn’t either. What you should focus on is the commitment of marriage and what it really means. Put your efforts into something that will last a lifetime, your marriage, not the buffet table that will be devoured within minutes.
5.Take private time with your spouse
The vows have been said, the rings slid on fingers, and the preacher man has given you permission for your first kiss. At this time, the bride begins stressing over whether or not the reception will run smoothly. STOP. I urge you to put the reception on the back burner, and have uninterrupted time with your spouse. This is one I cannot stress enough. Again, it reverts back to truly appreciating the meaning of today, commitment. You will soon be swamped by friends and family eagerly giving you congratulations. That is great but, take some time to soak up this moment with your spouse. You will never again be “just married” with your loved one and it is in those few moments where you should both soak yourself in it. No cell phones, photographer, or wedding planner. Just you and your new spouse. Have a prayer together, a kiss, or a laugh. The point is take time to actually talk about the amazing commitment you just made. In doing this the stress of everything else will melt away and you are reminded of the true meaning of today.
6. It’s about you and your spouse, NOT everyone else!!!
While this may sound selfish, it truly is not. The reason people have come to your wedding day is to watch you and your loved one make a public announcement of your commitment to one another. That’s it. It’s not for you to feed them the most sophisticated sushi and champagne that they have ever had, because you don’t want people to think your cheap. It’s not to pay thousands of dollars for the perfect band because if you don’t people will be bored. Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to have the wedding of their choice but, do not let your decisions on details for the wedding overshadow why you are having a wedding in the first place. Simply put, don’t let your wedding get bigger than the two of you. Because in 30+ years the freshness of that potato bar you thought you had to have, the expensive dress, or the fancy waiter service you hired will all be forgotten about. What you will remember is the moment you said “I Do” and the life you created together. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the material things of the day, let your focus stay on the one you are walking down the aisle to.
Photography provided by: Megan Forehand Photography