Q: My boyfriend and I are getting married in about a year. That gives us plenty of time to plan the wedding. The biggest problem for us is that people are telling us what to do. We feel torn. We want our families and friends to celebrate with us. The last thing we want to do is disappoint or hurt anyone.
How can we do this with so many people pulling us in so many different directions?
A: Traditionally, a wedding was a time when families and friends could come together to celebrate and support the loving and caring relationship two people shared. Apparently getting that harmony and support from families and friends is a little more difficult these days.
Families are scattered, friends are following career paths that may distract them from celebrating your relationship and parents may be struggling with the pains of their own divorces to support you fully.
If you are trying to please everyone on your list, you are setting an impossible task that will add unnecessary stress.
Your best bet is to take a weekend as a couple and figure out what you want for your wedding. The clearer the two of you are in what you expect your wedding to be, the less vulnerable you will be to the countless suggestions that well-meaning friends and family invariably make.
Don’t forget that this is your day and you are the ones who will live with whatever you plan for the day.
Your key to good planning is your comfort level. If you are not at ease wearing that spectacular bridal gown, it will not look good on you. This is the same for the entire wedding day.
You need to have some comfort with your guest list, the music you choose should be what you would normally enjoy and the ceremony needs to reflect what you and your fiance see as the strength of your relationship.
Spiritual people will want to commit strongly to the church through their wedding vows, while others may prefer to highlight their love for each other in their presence of family and friends.
Others see the ritual in the ceremony as a simple step, giving them permission to later reaffirm the strength of their commitments to one other.
Once you have decided your comfort level, the rest is easy. You can talk to your families and friends and pore over the many wedding resources.
As long as you do not get caught pleasing others, you could and should have a lot of fun figuring it out.
Jacklin Andrews is a family counsellor from Saskatchewan. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.