I do want to document my consistent wedding advice. The parameters will likely hold true for my grandchildren and great grand children and is certainly something that is NOT advocated in the consumerist world of Pinterest and Bride magazine.
Even as I share this, I know the biggest order for the day is “go your own way”. Do the marriage and commitment part for you. Do not buy into how you have seen it done before, or into making your wedding better than the last three you attended. That is a recipe for disaster. So maybe my advice is don’t take advice. Chuckling. You can look for your own truth inside other’s advice. That makes this worth writing.
Consider eloping. If you can start with a day for just you and a couple of very important witnesses, you dispel the jitters and nerves, get to enjoy each other without performing to a crowd, and have a personal memory that is yours alone. Check in with the groom. Many grooms are not thrilled about the party scene, and really appreciate a chance to have an intimate marriage before the day of the wedding. And the end result will be a restful evening together, a night to create connection and intimacy… rather than incredible exhaustion.
Avoid debt. When it comes to the big party, don’t allow it to go over budget. Certainly, stay away from the credit cards. Anyone who really loves you would rather that you put a down payment on a house, paid the future forward for your life with children or supporting societal growth, or just stayed in your bank account for emergencies. If you are swimming in the fluidity of economic abundance, be willing to do the crazy dream. If not, find a dream without high tags. Evening and mid afternoon weddings can have cake and appetizers, and skip the meal. Weddings can be in wild locations, and receptions are optional. Think about what fits you best.
Ask for help. The big wedding day. No responsibilities. Literally! You can hire people who cover this. If you have close friends, figure out how to delegate, and do it flawlessly. The bride and groom should be able to eat, to dance, to laugh and talk and share, to mingle, to pose for those millions of pictures (or not, you can limit the ridiculous). Someone else should be the go to person, who knows where everything is, where everyone belongs, how the plan unfolds. Delegate. Then release and relax.
A traveling show. We have a lot of people who have families that spread across the globe. Mini receptions in travelling locations are a thing. You can have a house party, cater it with chips and dips, cheese trays and punch, resay the vows, cut a new cake, and take it all to a more manageable, spread out sort of joy. Costco can be your friend sometimes… this sort of time. I recommend the Chocolate Mousse Cake (dare to add ice cream).
Thank you notes are important. Gratitude is important. Some of the best advice ever: Have your delegated gift watcher hand people who are passing off a card or gift an envelope to self address. You know that it will be filled out correctly! When the envelope can be lightly taped to the gift, it helps to identify items that separate themselves from identification. It’s just smart, and it saves the busy newlyweds time.
The big and the small. Just an ounce of advice. The biggest goal, have a happy life. Remember that you are not the center of the universe and that the marriage is not about you alone. Find compassion. Research communication, forever, constantly growing, constantly honing your listening skills. Reassess yourself. If things aren’t going well, you own a part of it. Find the part.
These are the real keys and advice that I hope I do not need to convey. They should be an inherent part of commitment. To your spouse, your parent, your children. Your world. Keep growing. You are love incarnate! Act like it. I would like to insert a smiley here. I don’t think writing is where a smiley belongs. My ending conundrum.