The wedding industry is mega. According to the US Census Bureau, there are more weddings in America every year. Sound Vision reports there are 2.3 million couples saying yes every year. That equates to 6,200 weddings a day in America. According to The Knot, the average wedding will cost $31,213 for an event that lasts approximately 24 hours. The number of guests is down. In 2009, the average was 149. Now, in 2017, the average is 136. On an average, couples spend $3,657 for their romantic getaway.
With all this time and effort spent for an event that can be stressful, time-consuming, costly and exhausting why do we do it and how can we make sure our relationship doesn’t suffer in the process? Let’s counsel with a wise ol’ sage, Lao Tzu, who wrote over 2500 years ago,
“To love someone deeply gives you strength.
Being loved by someone deeply gives you courage.”
I agree with Lao Tzu. Love makes it all worthwhile. The expense, the effort, the stress, the joy, the fun of it all makes a wedding event worthy. Love is the answer. Love is the driver. Love is the artistry of each and every wedding.
While I truly believe this, I know that planning a big wedding, an out-of-state wedding or even a small wedding where children from previous marriages will now be a blended family can test even the best relationships. Planning a wedding is a lesson in letting go of control. Affirming that your love is the most important thing in all the hoopla will keep you feeling connected.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR KEEPING THE LOVE ALIVE
1. Schedule time each week to work on wedding details together, like Saturday morning when you're rested rather than obsessing on it daily. Decide that anything that is causing you stress may not be worth doing. Some of this can be done while taking a walk or relaxing on the back porch. Especially when you're just bantering ideas around. Have fun with it!
2. Know your strengths. If one of you is good at spreadsheets, let them take on the invitation list. If you love flowers and they really don't care, you work with the florist. Is there something neither of you are good at, but your maid of honor or best man is? Delegate! Give everyone involved creative freedom and then trust them to do a great job.
3. Have date nights. On date night there is NO wedding planning, just fun!
4. Are your friends and family pressuring you to have pre-parties? Just smile and say "Great! Can you take that on?" Then let them. Even a party that isn't quite what YOU would have planned can't be all bad.
5. Remember that you're going to live a life together. If a lot of tensions are arising now don't ignore them. Pre-marital counseling is one of the best wedding gifts you'll give yourself to make sure you walk down the aisle happy and relaxed.
6. Finally, nurture each other. To keep things in perspective, spend a few minutes together writing down your responses to the following...
WEDDING WISDOM EXERCISE
My love for you gives me strength in the following ways…
Your love for me gives me the courage in the following ways…
What I most love about us is…