Let me be one of the first to congratulate you on your imminent nuptials. You’re probably still reeling from the overwhelming joy and sense of love you experienced when your beloved took a knee and popped the big question. When you descend from cloud nine, there may be a few things waiting in the shadows to threaten the very foundation the two of you have spent so long to fortify and drown the happiness currently surrounding you both. In the face of this sadness and frustration you may very soon feel, let this letter serve as a reminder to not lose sight of what is really important.
The mere planning of a wedding can take a serious toll on whomever decides to take on the daunting task. Assuming you take on this role yourself, new bride-to-be, remember your guests won’t be coming to gaze at your intricately flowered centerpieces or hear your DJ spin the hottest tracks. They won’t be comparing the shades of blush between your tablecloths and bridesmaids dresses or committing your personal vows to memory. What your guests will be coming for is to observe and celebrate the love between you and your partner. They’ll likely want to be fed and potentially served alcoholic beverages, so you’ll want to at least keep those as priorities, but remember this is a celebration of love, not the ability to color coordinate. Don’t place unnecessary strain on your relationship because of disagreements on the venue, the guest list, or party favors. Don’t resent him if he doesn’t share the same colorful visions of your big day as you do. His lackadaisical opinions on bouquet style and photographer staging doesn’t negate the love he had for you before he proposed or the love he’ll have for you after you say I do. What he’s trying to say is, this will be your day and you should have it the way you want it.
Along with the celebration of love, this wedding will celebrate the joining of two families into one. No matter what kind of relationship you and yours had with each other’s family up to this point, realize it’s now just been put into a pressure cooker. If you both had good relationships with the families you may quickly find yourself in the middle of everybody’s opinions. People will be coming at you from all angles, offering their two (or 20) cents with the expectation their opinion counts as two. If you both had less than stellar relationships with the families, that will likely become much more evident, for better or for worse. In the context of your upcoming union, use this time to develop connections that were once lacking or non-existent. Opening those doors will now open you up to become the target of everybody’s opinion, so sorry, you’ll get that no matter what.
You may find it difficult to please them all, but you should remember it is not their day and it is not their love being celebrated. Don’t make any decision based solely on the opinions of others because they will not be the one who has to live with the regret. For them, it is simply a day (a very good day, of course) that will come and go and forever be another anniversary to remember. For you, it is the start of a new life, a new journey, and the promise to love this one man no matter what, for as long as you both shall live. You’ll be the one with the photographs on the walls and the videography footage on your computer. You’ll be the one haunted by those choices you made for other people.
Above all, remember what the two of you were like before you were fiancés. Things were simpler, more carefree, and you were full of only love and happiness, just like Al Green. Remember what that felt like and don’t let that go in the whirlwind of planning the event of the year. Every once in a while, forget about your wedding day and just relive those lovely carefree days you both once shared. You may cry and you may scream, but don’t let go of what and who is important.