I'm one of the few brides who did not have that horrible nightmare where you find yourself walking down the aisle at the wedding without your wedding dress. (Of course I hate it when dreams interfere with sleep! And like most brides, I was not getting enough sleep!) But I think that some of that is because I think that a well-prepared wedding ceremony not only makes the wedding day easier and more beautiful but that it can also serve as the bedrock for a solid, enduring, happy marriage.
So what do you want to avoid doing so you can miss both the dress nightmare and a wedding day that's less fun than it should be?
- waiting until the last minute to work on your wedding ceremony, and oh right, your marriage. Writing love notes under pressure does not work. Write this when you have lots of time. Write it when there's time to edit. I've had brides and grooms who wait until the last minute to write their parts and they're always stiff and formal and, worse, ungenerous. In your wedding ceremony you want the love to just overflow.
- letting other people tell you what should happen at your wedding. This is your wedding and your wedding ceremony. It should reflect your relationship; not someone else's. During the ceremony you want to be building support for what will happen in your marriage. Stand firm on the ceremony: your promises matter. Your ceremony is a gift to your community from you and your beloved, delivered by your celebrant. It IS all about you!
- not keeping your relationship at the heart of your wedding celebration. In too many ceremonies, I start to wonder who is getting married. Wedding ceremonies should be personal and somewhat revealing. The more you say about who you are, why you love each other and how you intend to love one another into the future the more easily you will get the support you need to succeed – from your community and from one another!
- not taking the time to know what's going to be said, and whether it's appropriate for YOUR relationship. Weddings should not be something that happened to you; they should be something you've designed to support the relationship in which you will live, love, raise a family and grow old.
- not making the promises that will deepen and support your relationship and marriage. Your extraordinary love describes the best chance you can give it to grow and flourish. When we make an oath, it lives in our hearts forever. So make promises that matter. Do not use your vows to promise one another triathalons, use your vows to promise one another everlasting respect. Life-long love is hard work. Get the best tools available to build this home for your hearts so it will last and last.