Preparing for your wedding can be a journey that is wonderful as well as one that can drive you crazy! The decisions to be made, the details to organize, the personalities to work with, yourself included, all lead to an array of feelings and thoughts that can influence your experience of your wedding--and possibly your life ahead.
Having worked with many couples for over 25 years, both as a therapist and wedding officiate, here are some things to think about and some simple keys to help you stay balanced and happy as you ready yourself for your wedding day.
1) BREATHE AND RELAX
Sometimes it is the most obvious and simple things we neglect when we find ourselves caught up in wedding planning. We can get less sleep, eat more junk, sit for long hours, or run around excessively in our free time, time we might normally allot for rest and renewal. All the tasks, lists, e-mails and calls become more important than our health, peace and connection with our bodies, ourselves and our loved ones.
Have you ever found yourself getting angry at your partner for not doing something or acting some way? Have you heard yourself saying things to yourself, your fiancé/e and family members that are not loving? Have your felt stressed out and so tense that you want to dump the wedding and elope?
In current times, there is talk about being present, enjoying the moment, and learning to simplify your life. This can include delegating tasks and doing the next right thing for you. At the same time you might find yourself tired, anxious and a bucket of nerves; you might see yourself complaining about this wedding-the event that could be one of the most precious rituals of your life.
So let's work with the basics first: your body. Your body is managing a lot as you prepare to marry. The changes, your future possibilities and goals, can be uncomfortable for you. Breathe. Breathe in and out. Breathing nurtures your cells and helps you let go of the stress in the body.
Try this breathing technique for yourself. Take 5 breaths. Breathe in for the count of 5, hold for the count of 5, exhale and let go for the count of 5, rest and be still for the count of 5. No need to get obsessive about this. Taking a good 5 breaths this way can calm the nervous system, bring your concentration to the present moment, and help you relax.
Relaxing is a good thing! We think more clearly when we are relaxed, make better decisions and simply enjoy ourselves. So another tool is to move. Take a walk. Even 10 minutes of fresh air away from your desk can nourish you.
Exercise. Go to the gym, ride your bike or treadmill, play tennis, swim, take a yoga or tai chi class. Play a song on your i-pod and dance. A little exercise can go a long way for relaxing. Be good to your body. It is doing so much to help you through these times. Taking a bath, relaxing and resting will restore you in this period.
There's the phrase, "Don't sweat the small stuff, and it's all small stuff." So breathe, relax and take care of yourself as you prepare for the wedding.
For me, intention is having one's mind, will and focus concentrated on a purpose of significance and importance. It is an inner state or attitude we hold regardless of the external outcomes or results. Intention is the process of holding the position of what you are wishing to experience as you live and move toward your goals.
As you handle all that is required for your wedding celebration, ask yourself this question. "What actually is my intention for my wedding?" Some intentions could be to have fun, to complete all the required tasks with ease and grace, to go with the flow and to cooperate with vendors, family members and soon to be in-laws. Remember the love you share with your spouse-to-be and why you are planning this celebration!
Take some time to clarify and determine what you really want to experience as you get ready for the big day. Write your intentions down on a card and keep them in a place where they are accessible to you. Review and recall your intentions daily and keep your focus on what you want as you prepare for your wedding. Your intentions will draw you towards them as you let yourself know what is truly important to you. They will help you align with your true purpose. When you are not in concert with your intentions for your wedding, you will have the choice to refocus on what is important.
I have found that by being more conscious of their intentions, many couples discover that they experience their wedding and marriage preparations as a fun ride- not a ride that is necessarily devoid of any ups and down, but a ride that is enjoyed with those they love. People see that the world and those in it want to support them in a fulfilling wedding.
Hip Hip hooray! You're getting married. Then sometimes you can feel, "Oh no. Too much going on and too little time to do it all." With work responsibilities, family and wedding planning foreground in your mind, you may temporarily forget the gifts of the love you share and your motivation and reasons for marriage.
Gratitude is a way of accessing the blessings of the moment and the richness and abundance you have available right now. Use gratitude as a daily key to refocus on the good things in your life. Be grateful that you found someone you want to spend your life with. Be grateful you have friends and family to include in your celebration. Be grateful that things aren't worse. Be grateful you have energy to do what needs to be done. Be grateful you have fingers that work to answer all the e-mails and make the phone calls. Be grateful that you want to love someone in ways you have yet to do. Be grateful you can create a wedding that will acknowledge the beginning of this phase of your life together.
Take a minute each day to remember what you are grateful for, before you go to bed, when you eat your lunch or when you are being bothered with what is going on.
Rather than looking at the cup as half empty, gratitude helps us to see the cup as half full, even overflowing with clear, healthy water to drink when others may see none.
Love opens your heart to another person and into the adventure of marriage. Love opens you to parts of yourself that you have yet to know. Love also opens you to experiences of pain and joy- challenging you again and again to give and receive, to support another and to allow another to support you in your dreams and goals. Love pushes us through boundaries, judgments and limitations that restrict us. Love pushes us to expand.
When the wedding preparations seem overwhelming to you, when the last thing in your mind is love, ask yourself, "What can I do to be more loving? How can I love right now?" You may be surprised by what you notice, observe and hear, and by what you might do to align yourself with love.
It is said by some that love is the universal healer. Allow yourself to let love in at those times when this is the last choice you want to make. Isn't this why you are getting married in the first place?
Have fun as you take these next steps of love and marriage. The celebration is about to begin. Congratulations on your marriage and your commitment to this path of loving.
This article is written by Elizabeth Frumin - Weddings With Heart. Dr. Rev. Elizabeth Frumin has worked as a therapist and minister for over 35 years in the greater Philadelphia area, providing counseling, spiritual and wedding support and pastoral services for individuals, couples and groups. For more information, can contact Dr. Frumin by phone at 610-667-8353 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.