"I think we all - I think all of us - want to feel something that we've forgotten or turned our backs on because maybe we didn't realize how much we were leaving behind. We need to remember what used to be good. If we don't, we won't recognize it even if it hits us between the eyes."
-Jennifer Garner, 13 Going on 30-
My grandparents were married for 60 years. It was the marriage I always wanted and the marriage I always was inspired by. They both worked hard, had two amazing businesses together, and we celebrated holidays at their home where they both commanded the kitchen. In 2005, my grandfather passed away, and the vision I have of my grandmother collapsing in the aisle of the church at his funeral will never be erased from my mind. That vision helped me not want to get married.
Why would I want to hurt like that? Why spend years with someone, making incredible memories, to only have them taken away? Why would I even want to go on living if they left me alone? I saw her pain and it still, to this day, breaks my heart. Her heels coming out from under her and her knees buckling and her two sons, by each side, catching her from crashing to the floor. A site I will never forget.
And yet, it's one of the reasons I got married. I too wanted to experience a love like that. One that would cause me to fall to the ground the day that I lost it. Because if you don't get a chance at love like that, you may be missing a true gift in life. And this is something each bride and groom should remember when planning a wedding.
Too often I hear about the skydiving proposals, or the first dances that need to be choreographed by a superstar. I hear about cost, I hear about expenses, I hear about food and difficult guest lists. I hear about siblings being unsupportive, crash diets to fit into the gown, and securing people like Bon Jovi to sing at the reception (I'm from Jersey....feel free to insert your state's rockstar here). What I am not hearing is why couples are getting married in the first place.
As a planner, I hear my fair share of drama during the planning of a wedding. I see brides being torn down by their sisters, and grooms having to justify things to their mothers. This is why so many planners feel like shrinks (with all due respect to those that are the real deal).
We need to remember why we get married.
We need to remember why we said "that's the one".
We need to remember that it's not about the tallest centerpieces, the grandest entrance, the amount of dresses -- but that it's about the love.
When planning your Big Day (or even a proposal), let the love the two of your have be your own inspiration board. What you see online and magazines is wonderful for ideas, but what you two have together is what should inspire you.
Why are you jumping out of a plane to ask someone to marry you? Are you a pilot? Do you both skydive together? Don't do it just because it's big.
Why are you having 500 people at an over the top banquet hall that you cannot afford? Do you need to impress these people? Is that how you want to remember your wedding?
Or do you want to look back on your wedding and remember it as the day you said "I do" to the person you cannot live without? Do you want to remember your wedding as the day you connected with your soulmate and declared to each other that you will be together until death do you part?
Spend less time deciding on the color of your wedding flowers, and more time writing your vows.
It's about love. It's about the love that you would die without. It's about the both of you.
And when that is your inspiration, your wedding will be flawless!