Check out my new article “How to Have an Extraordinary Wedding” on WeddingFanatic.com, a wonderful, comprehensive site run by Katie Olson. I’m so grateful that Katie was interested in sharing some rich, useful and inspiring relationship tools with her readers, along with the other tremendous resources she provides. Enjoy!
How to Have an Extraordinary Wedding
As a wedding officiant and relationship expert, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples who are madly in love and want the wedding of their dreams. Sounds familiar, right? My job is to translate their love into the words, rituals and energy of their ceremony. With so many details to focus on in the planning process, the emotional experience and spiritual rite of passage inherent in the wedding are often unintentionally overlooked. Remembering to honor the essence of the relationship throughout the process and in the ceremony will make your engagement, wedding day and marriage more spectacular and rich than you can imagine!
Here are my guidelines for how to have an extraordinary wedding:
• Who? Some of the most important questions in life revolve around identity. Regarding marriage, the question is: Who do you want to be for your life and this marriage? Who do you want to inspire your partner to become? Who can you be together? These are great questions to write about, use in writing your vows, or to get to know each other more. I guarantee you’ll feel a heightened level of openness, connection, intimacy and love.
• What? Perhaps the most forgotten question is this: What is marriage: for me, my fiancé and for us? Remember, the details of your hearts are way more spectacular than the most glamorous wedding. Be willing to be bold!
• Where? Let’s talk location, and I’m not just speaking of venues. If your relationship were a map, what would the destinations be called (i.e. becoming incredible parents, passionate sex, travel, physical fitness, etc)? How would you explore this map and what vehicles would you use (i.e. setting certain goals, committing to taking care of ourselves, etc)? This is a metaphor for how you will live your life, but also invites a more conscious conversation about your dreams and shared reality. I suggest that couples actually create a visual map because it is a constant reminder and inspiration to live into the life you’re dreaming of. You can also make a map for your wedding day!
• When? Take a deep breath. There is no rush. Slow down and tune into what is most important to you about becoming married. Make your choices with patience and ease. Most of all, during your ceremony, take it easy and take it slow. This is the time capsule that is marking a whole new lifecycle for you.
• Why? If nothing else, take the time to connect with yourself and your fiancé to articulate why you are getting married. The answer “because we love each other” is not why you are getting married. Be specific. You can call this your intention, mission, purpose or whatever feels right to you, but come up with something. You may want to speak this during the ceremony or else just hold it in your hearts. Whatever you choose, it will set a foundation and a touchstone for you to lean on during the planning process, wedding day and marriage itself.
• How? You can plan the most aesthetically beautiful wedding and wear the most stunning dress ever designed, but if you are a frazzled and manic throughout the process, what is the point? Your state of being during the planning process is an example of how you are living your life. Let it be enjoyable, creative, inspired, passionate, connected and supportive. Lean on people, let some things go, speak up for what you want most, be willing to take risks and have a blast. This is your life, and this is your love.
There is something universal about love and marriage and at the same time, each couple has their own style and flavor of this passionate path of partnership. I write each ceremony based on each couple’s love, personalities, families and dreams. It makes a tremendous difference. People appreciate the rest of the wedding so much more after they have been invited into and exposed to the truth in your relationship during your ceremony.