While on holiday in the United Arab Emirates recently, I was surrounded by couples at every corner. It was a pleasure to watch them enjoy each other's company. Sunbathing together. Laughing together. Getting dressed up to have dinner together. Doing activities together. You name it, they done it together.
It really got me thinking about the reason people are together and choose to get married. What is the true meaning and purpose behind the 'wedding season' and is this being overtaken by the desire to have the perfect wedding day?
The 'Wedding' in the Season
It is said that couples can spend between around 250 hours planning their big day. That is a lot of time being spent for what is ultimately one day. From picking the perfect wedding dress, to choosing the colour scheme, menu, decor, stationary, song choice for the first dance...this list can go on. But why not? Everyone wants to have the most beautiful and unforgettable day so for many, the time spent is well worth the investment.
I think it is probably assumed that most women dream of their wedding day their whole lives - being the princess, wearing a princess gown and floating down the aisle to marry Prince Charming. All eyes on them both as they dance together for the first time as Mr and Mrs. Everyone together under one roof to celebrate their union and their love.
I must say that I really do love weddings and that is why I help couples to plan an unforgettable day via my wedding planning services . But, I am equally a lover of love and marriage, and believe that just as much time should be spent preparing for the marriage as is the case for the wedding day. It is not just about wedding prep but marriage prep too. It is so easy to get caught up in the planning of the wedding day, which is of course important and should be managed and coordinated well, but it is still one day out of many to come.
Keeping the Focus
So what is the focus? In my opinion it is the marriage. Well at least it should be, right? After the wedding day there is the marriage which, unlike the wedding day itself, is a life long commitment. Marriages are intended to be for a life time. Just think, 365 days per year (sometimes 366) for circa 80 years of being committed to, living with, learning with, growing old with and sharing life with that one person. Like the wedding rings symbolise, you are both in it for eternity on a never ending cycle of love and life together. So, in the midst of all the planning, try not to lose this focus.
The 'Marriage' Reason
You have a wedding day, the day you actually get married. This is also the start of the next chapter in your life called marriage. Why do couples get married? I think it is safe to assume that it is because they are in love and want to spend the rest of their lives together.
So then, why does it sometimes seem like in all the planning, fuss, stress and preparation for the wedding DAY, the actual reason for the day can be forgotten or get lost? I have been planning weddings and events for many years and have often seen how stressful it can get for the couple and the pressure that comes with the planning. I have witnessed arguments, disagreements, walkouts and even sometimes families feuding over guest lists, finances and traditions. I have had to play the role of mediator on many occasion!
Remember Your 'Why'
In all of the planning which is usually at least 12 months long, it is so important to keep the fire of your relationship alive and spend time together. As a couple, never forget your why. If you find yourself arguing over matters concerning the wedding, take time out and put it all in perspective. Will the seating plan or who says a speech change the love you have for each other? No. Will the blush table runners help you though the difficult times like your fiancé will? No. Perspective is such a important point here. If you keep the focus on your why, everything else will fall into line. What once stressed you out, will no longer seem as serious when you remember why you are marrying this person, why you love them and you remind yourself why you are even having a wedding.
How To Keep Perspective
If you find that you are turning into a Bridezilla or you are at constant loggerheads with your fiancé, try these few simple tips to help bring you back on track and remind you both of your why.
The below tips are not fail proof and I am not a counselor (let me get that disclaimer out there!). They are just my suggestions and advice based on the many couples I have helped and I guess an approach to life that I have found to be successful.
Arrange a few date nights
Cook your fiancé's favourite meal
Have a "no wedding talk" time of the day
Do something thoughtful for your fiancé
Leave a love note in the morning
Dig out some old pics of the two of you
Seek wise advice from someone you trust
Book a spa break or a hotel for you both
Tell your fiancé why you love them
Remember that love is a doing word. Try to make the time to "do" while you are wedding planning and long after the wedding day.
Happy wedding prep and married life!