I recently met with a couple to finalize their ceremony. When I asked how they were doing, Meredith, the bride, sighed, "Well, we're not as happy as when we first met you. We're just so tired of dealing with people -- we want it to be over!"
You don't need me to tell you that planning a wedding is a wild, wacky emotional roller coaster ride. But here's the thing about emotions. Emotions can either allow us to react to people and situations in a healthy way OR they can trip us up and cause us to sabotage our relationships and plans.
What we "think" influences what we "feel."
Emotions that prevent us from acting in a way that is in our own best interest are grounded in some very irrational thoughts -- lies -- we play so often in our heads that we simply accept them as true, even though they're not.
There are two common "lies" couples tell themselves while stressing with wedding planning. Buy into them and your emotions quickly get out of whack.
Emotional Lie #1:
Towards the end of Betsy and Marco's outdoor ceremony, just as I was about to give them a blessing, Betsy's mother stood up and walked towards me. I was puzzled, but naively thought maybe she was supposed to read a poem and they'd forgotten to tell me. So, I walked over to her. Then, in a voice only I could hear, she uttered these immortal words: Do not pronounce them husband and wife, I have reservations.
Beyond stunned and tapping into my New York-bred instincts, I replied: The only reservation you better have is for dinner! I raced back to the couple and quickly pronounced them husband and wife. Afterwards, I found Betsy and gave her a hug, during which she whispered: I guess I forgot to tell you about my mother. Huh?!
Everyone knew her mother wasn't happy with the marriage; everyone knew her mother was "unpredictable" and everyone told Betsy not to invite her. And Betsy? Well, she felt she "should" invite her. So, out of guilt, she invited her mother, knowing she most likely would attempt "something."
The first crazy-making lie that couples play in their heads: There are things you "should" do in your wedding because that's how things "should" be.
Don't plan your wedding out of a sense of "should." Plan it out of a sense of what you and your partner want to do. Be guided by what reflects you as a couple. There's no reason why you "should" invite someone who has the potential to take your day hostage by selfish whims.
Emotional Lie #2:
Rita and Norman were getting married at a 5-star resort. Rita's parents were divorced and her father was footing the bill. There was just one catch -- if she invited her mother, he wouldn't pay for the wedding.
While she loved her mother, Rita wanted a fab wedding that would blow people away and now her father was putting her in a hopeless situation. Eventually, she agreed to his terms and didn't invite her mother. "What can I do? He gave me no choice," she lamented. Rita, though, did have a choice and she chose to cave in to her father.
Because she wanted her "dream" wedding, she convinced herself she was powerless. Wrong or right, she needed to own that choice and not blame anyone, (of course, she took her frustrations out on hapless Norman).
The second lie that couples play in their heads: When it comes to the essential aspects of their wedding, a couple doesn't always have a choice.
Sure, there are many aspects to a wedding where it's just easier to let mom or dad have their way. But when it comes to the fundamentals of the celebration, you and your partner do have choices.
Couples often tell me of the compromises they've made so as to "make peace." That's fine, so long as you remember that this is your wedding. When you "make peace," make sure you're remaining true to you and your partner. Otherwise, you will have no peace!
A shared vision is your wedding planning compass:
• Where are you and your partner willing to compromise?
• Where are you and your partner not willing to compromise?
• Are you on the same page, right now, today?
As a couple, you need to answer these questions before you navigate the emotional minefield of wedding planning. Otherwise, you'll be held captive by all the things you think you "should" do and will convince yourself that you are powerless.
Reject these two common lies and you'll stay sane throughout your planning!