Making Room To Marry

When I was planning my wedding, I was fortunate to have a close friend, Heather, who was also planning her wedding at the same time.  So we were united in a Blood Bond of Nuptial Madness.

We would run around Seattle together looking at dresses and flowers and shoes and occasionally turn to each other and shout, “Weddings are HUUUUUUGE!”

And it’s true.  They are huge.  Even when you are absolutely sure that you want to marry the person who’ll be standing across from you at the altar, it’s still a big event, filled (usually) with a significant percentage of the most important people in your life.  That’s a lot to deal with.

Even if you were operating under Normal Circumstances and just having a super-fancy party, there would still be a thousand details needing attention.  Add in a Major Life Event, and it can quickly send your stress needle into the red zone.

So, here are a few tips which can help you keep you from having a protracted case of PAD (Premarital Anxiety Disorder) (There’s no such thing – I made it up.) (But doesn’t it sound good?):

  1. Start Saying No. There are probably a dozen extra projects you could get involved with right now, or a bunch of concerts you’d like to attend, or friends you would absolutely love to go out with, or family members who need help moving across town.  Say no to them all.  You are probably hoping you’ll just get married once, and enjoying the process should be your first priority.  Plus, a wedding is like a play.  It’s a creative act, and you need time to daydream and fantasize and plan and organize.  So, give yourself the space.
  2. Keep Up The Self Care. This is no time to stop exercising and start eating junk food.  And I’m not talking about it from a Looking Good In Your Threads perspective.  Exercise and eating well are some of the best stress-management tools we have, and of course the great irony is that we tend to stop doing them just when we need them most.  So ask for help.  Give your Best Man or Maid of Honor the responsibility of taking you for runs or bike rides.  Book a massage.  See a therapist.  Do whatever it takes to keep yourself balanced and healthy.
  3. Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good. Honestly, if the color of the tulle doesn’t match the color of the frosting on the cake, it really doesn’t matter.  If your Mom wants to wear something excessively sexy or your Dad wants to dance with you to “Copa Cabana” or your super-religious Gramma wants you to please mention God just once in your spiritual-but-not-religious ceremony…go ahead and do it.  It’ll make them happy, and at the end of the day, no matter what, you won’t be any less married just because you conceded a few details.
  4. Let People Help. You might think you’re creating a burden or an inconvenience.  But in reality most folks enjoy being of service, and the people who love you love to lend a hand.  Let someone can run a couple errands or make you dinner or clean your house before you get home from the honeymoon.  Give really enthusiastic people bigger projects like making the wrap if you’re doing a hand-fasting or growing flowers for the bouquets.  Ask people who don’t know each other to do a project together.  That way you’re delegating tasks and building community!
  5. Don’t Forget Your Partner. It’s easy, in the middle of all the planning and running around to lose track of the person you’re actually marrying – or to see that person as a potential adversary if your tastes and wishes differ.  Remember that you’re on the same team here, and that the whole reason for this event is to celebrate your love for and commitment to each other.  That may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how fast you can forget it when you love lemon yellow and your beloved is a big fan of midnight blue.  So make sure you’ve got Tending Relationship Time built into your calendar.
  6. Keep The Long View. Remember that no matter what happens, you’re marrying the person you love the most in the world.  And even if it rains or someone drops the cake or Uncle Dave gets drunk at the reception, no little detail is ultimately going to affect the quality or soundness of your marriage.  What will affect it, faster than anything, is A) losing sight of the fact that you’re on the same team, and B) losing your sense of humor.

So stay connected, stay groovy, keep breathing, take good care of yourself, and focus on the love.  In the end, that’s all that really matters.

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