Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Word to the Engaged & Soon to be Engaged

There's a phrase when it comes to weddings that we've all heard. It sounds benign and fun enough but I thinks it needs reeling in a bit. The phrase? "It's my day." Or, "It's our day."

The problem is that phrase is not the whole truth. It falls short of the bigger truer reality, which is, "It's our day--that we're inviting all our family and friends too--that we're expecting them to give a chunk of their weekend to and we also expect them to bring us gifts we specifically asked for."

Let me now say that in some warmer ways:

"It's our day, but our parents who've unselfishly sacrificed and given to us our whole lives, are also involved."

"It's our day, but it's really more like a public event seeing how we've invited hundreds of people to share it with us."

"It's our day, but we have invited all these wonderful people to an event that we're hosting."

"It's our day, but if we focus too much on just ourselves and just what we want, we will unintentionally be selfish and poor hosts to the people we most care about."

I've never met a wedding couple that was trying to be self-centered at their wedding, yet I've seen weddings that failed to take into account those statements. I think it's time to re-examine the wedding paradigm and bring more honor to it and less accidental selfishness.


Embrace the paradigm that your wedding is a group affair and simply maintain that through the planning and implementation of it.

What this means is you factor in the perspective of your parents, wedding party, and guests. This doesn't mean you give up control or give in to everyone's opinion. You simply consider them along with yourselves in the process. "This is what we want. Now how does that affect our parents/wedding party/family/guests?"

Specific example: As a bride you could pick out the bride's maid dresses you really like because this is the only wedding you're ever going to have.

Or you could consider your bride's maids. You could realize that Beth "and her girls" would be "falling out" of that strapless little number you love so much, or that Gwen's hips would look like two unruly bulldogs in a bag walking down the isle in that dress. And you could consider the price of the dress versus the financial state of your bride's maids. Considering the people wearing the clothes you pick out is honoring to your wedding party.

And even when it comes to picking out food for the reception, perhaps you don't choose your personal favorites, but rather ask yourself if your favorites would be a good fit for the hundreds of people you've invited. When hosting a party we pick the menu with our guests in mind, not us. The meal that's just for us is for the day we don't have guests, right? This is a simple way to honor your guests.

And when it comes to pictures, I can think of nothing more rude than asking your hundreds of guests to wait around an hour or so between the wedding and reception while you have a photo shoot simply because you don't want to see each other before the wedding. That puts a meaningless tradition above your guests. It's more honoring to your guests to do a first look and take the majority of photos before the service, leaving but a few photos right after the wedding.

And here's why it's so important to factor in and honor your parents, family and guests: Years down the road it's not the ruffle in the bride's maid dress that you'll remember. It's not the kiddie menu or sushi menu you chose that you'll remember.

It's the women in the dresses...
The men in the suits...
Your parents in the front row...
Your dear friends...

It's the PEOPLE you'll remember decades into the future. So why not factor them in as you and your fiance plan and implement a day that everyone shares in--and you get to be the center of. I challenge that a wedding that's more honoring will be richer and more memorable.

Click here for more thoughts on weddings including wedding party attire and First Look.

Peace and more honoring weddings ;-)