Wednesday, October 14, 2009
GUEST BLOGGER: Amanda Kane, LSW
Lessons from a Wedding
I’ve returned from a hiatus following my recent wedding. Weddings certainly provide excellent fodder for a relationship blog! Mixing relationship dynamics with swan ice sculptures and intense emotion is never boring, right? My wedding was more than I expected it would be—more hectic, emotional, beautiful, and crazy. As a mental health professional, I know that the word “crazy” is taboo, yet sometimes it is the perfect descriptor.
I won’t go into details about the craziness, (professional boundaries and all), but let’s just say that after reflecting on the day I’ve learned some important lessons. The following is some slightly silly, yet utterly genuine advice for brides and grooms.
If you have a dog, then that dog should be in the bridal party. Relationships with animals are so much simpler than those with humans. This has never been truer than on your wedding day. You’ll be glad to have your pet close.
Unless you are in recovery, consider having a glass of champagne or something along those lines before the wedding. (Everything in moderation). Alcohol should never be a primary coping tool but sometimes it really can take the edge off. And there will be an edge. Also, deep breathing has never been more important. Several…deep breaths…with slow exhales…
Rely on your friends! Social support is always important—especially on the big day. When family drama hits, reach out to your extended, created family for some TLC, to vent, or to fetch you that glass of champagne.
It’s not about you. A wise therapist once said that weddings are “communal blessings.” I think this is a lovely sentiment, which highlights the fact that weddings are about family, celebration, and participation. (And evidence for the societal value of allowing gay couples to wed…but that is another blog). If you want the wedding to truly be about the two of you, then I suggest you elope. See the sitcom “the office” and Pam and Jim’s recent wedding for scientific proof of this truth.
Disregard Suze Orman’s fiscal advice and definitely take a honeymoon. Pool your cash gifts and max out your credit card if necessary. (Okay, I may be overstating the importance of this just a little, but definitely plan a get-away with your spouse immediately after the wedding, even if it is a long weekend.) You will need time after the wedding to relax, recharge, and refocus. Weddings are wonderful but they are not relaxing…ever.
Hire a great photographer. Flowers wilt, pigs in a blanket shrivel--the wedding goes by in a flash. But the pictures will last until at least your second marriage. Make sure you capture the moments you missed while you were thanking your Aunt Enid for the toaster. I’m still waiting for my official pictures and will share one with the blog when they arrive!
Write a blog post about the experience! Or at least process it with close friends and family—or anyone who will listen. Such an intense emotional experience needs to be discussed, dissected, and relived. You will have a variety of feelings on your wedding day—some you will be prepared for, and others you will not, but allow yourself to feel all of them.