This past week I had a most delightful evening with one of friends. One of our topics of conversations was her daughter’s wedding which is looming in the near future. She made the comment that her daughter has gotten to the place where she’s ready to have the wedding over with! Stress has hit. This is “HER” day, but there have been some things that come up that make it not all about her, unfortunately. My husband and I have experienced five out of five of our children’s weddings. All had some stress, the girls a little more than the boys, but either way there was stress.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet a very creative person that realized that Stresses happen in a wedding. She and her dad (who is a marriage and family therapist) have seen how weddings can either bring out the best or worse in people. Elizabeth Doherty Thomas and her father, Bill Doherty, have teamed up to write a great book “Take Back Your Wedding”. In this book she talks about the stresses and usually the stresses are about people. Relationships can be stressful.
One of the most important points that she makes in the book, is that once you are engaged, “it” is no longer all about you or the two of you. You are now somebody’s daughter-in-law or son. You must include everyone else. I think a myth that has been encouraged in our society right now is that the wedding is “THEIR” day. Let me just say, that yes it is and it is a very special day for the two of them, but there are many people that care about you and want to be there with you on your wedding day. They will be effected by your union. My friend made a very good point when she told her daughter that had become very good friends with a girl that had a child that she loved dearly, “Would you want to be included when this child grows up and marries?” That helped her realize how others might feel that are excluded.
We all want to feel important and we all want to feel included. Empathy helps to bring reality to a situation. When we truly have empathy, we can see the perspective from another’s point of view. No, you can’t make everyone happy, but you have to at least try to put yourself in their shoes and see their viewpoint. Then you can approach the problem in a softer manner.
I encourage all new brides to get Elizabeth’s book or at least go to her website. I believe you will find the most help right there for the stresses of your wedding. You want to look back and think of how beautiful it all is and that you felt loved, not resented during your wedding. Good luck!! Elizabeth’s website is full of great ideas and downloads to help.