Home January 2012 Wedding Wisdom

Wedding Wisdom

When I got engaged, a friend of mine joked, “I don’t know why they call it an engagement.  Are you going off to war or something?”
That friend was single.  She had no idea.
Slaying dragons would have been a pleasure compared to what I faced: Over-the-top wedding planners, a venue with restrictions up the yin yang, a groom who didn’t want to wear a boutonniere for fear of being “girly” and an elusive DJ who showed up only two days before the event.
I may have joked at first about how I wanted a samurai sword as an engagement present – since I was “the bride,” I craved a blade like Uma Thurman wielded in the film Kill Bill – but halfway through the planning process, I felt like it was required.
Despite the troubles, my mother offered me sage advice: “No matter what happens, at the end of the day you and Ari will be married.  That’s what counts.”  Score one for mom: Her advice held true, and we made it under the chuppah.
There were plenty of issues, but it was a beautiful, fun and significant affair, and the seeds of our life together were sown with simple wisdom.  Here are some of my tips to survive your own march off to war:
•     Train for your marriage by taking prenuptial classes.  Many officiants require them, but you should go even if it isn’t mandatory.  They will arm you with the best tools to work with your spouse through difficult times.  Trust me, “wedded bliss” can get very rocky.
•    Any big event triggers the best and the worst in people.  Everyone will have ideas.  In some cases, I found it was based on what people wanted for their weddings but never received.  There are plenty of good ideas, but the final decisions are yours.
•     That being said, it’s not all about you.  There is a name for those lovely ladies who think “this is MY day”: bridezilla.  Instead of battling dragons, you become one.
•     Keep those who love you on your side.  They are your strongest allies and best equipped to hold your ego – not to mention sanity – in check.  Family, friends and occasionally your wedding planner will provide plenty of support.  But don’t take advantage of them: they aren’t required to be there for every little thing.
•     Don’t forget where you came from.  Your family roots can provide great strength during a time of significant change and emotional upheaval.  Jewish and cultural rituals gave me clarity and determination that lasted through my wedding day.  If you don’t know of any, ask a family member or do some research.
•     You will get cold feet.  Every bride has them. They seem to surface about three weeks before, and are completely normal.
•     Don’t let the little things distract you.  In a year, no one will remember what color your tablecloths were. They will remember if they had a good time.
•    After the battle is won and your wedding has come to its conclusion, you will get depressed. We all do.  It’s important to remember that your “big day” is just that – one day.  Your marriage should last a lifetime, so don’t get so carried away with planning that you forget why you’re standing around in that white dress.

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