Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Getting Ready for a Wedding: Ups & Downs

The lovely maids of the wedding party, arrayed like jewels in a bridal tiara.
Into each life some rain must fall. Indeed. And with every plan for a wedding, comes frustration, fatigue, misunderstandings, short tempers, and--it's best if you count on it--unhappiness. If you expect to get from the engagement to the honeymoon without getting stuck in an emotional rut, you will be disappointed. Budgets get bigger, daughters get distraught, bridesmaids get overbooked, fathers fritz, and mothers morph into Momzillas. So plan on it: getting ready for a wedding will bring boatloads of happiness into your life. But along the way, there will be days when you feel downright unhappy.
My advice to brides, mothers, and other participants falls into three categories:
  1. The wedding is the bride's day. With her rests the choice of gown, venue, colors, flowers, music, food, and most other details. In European weddings 500 years ago, even the maidens of the bridal party were chosen as adornments to the bride, a boast of her home village--and received by the best man with a special toast to their beauty, as epitomized by the bride.
  2. The wedding ceremony is a sacrament. This is also the day of the bride and groom, as they as joined by God as one flesh for the remainder of their lives on earth. Do everything to make them happy and keep them securely focused on this mystery (in the case of the bride, pray for her groom and his family, in the case of the groom, pray for his bride and her family).
  3. Learn and follow the rules. There are rules for the bride, for the grooms, for the parents, for the maids, for the groomsman, and even for the guests. The mile-high pile of books on wedding planning lays them out pretty well. If you chose to participate in a wedding, get ready for it by learning the rules. Once you have learned the rules, follow them. They have been tried and tested by millions of brides, grooms, and their families over the centuries, and they work. They were, in fact, designed and modified to minimize wedding ups and downs, and keep everyone happy.

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