Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. George Carlin
This photo was taken byVictor Sizemore. Memorable is the first word that comes to mind to describe Victor's work. He's a classy guy with a keen, intuitive eye. I encourage you to visit him at vcsphoto.com
There is a host of reasons why we don’t listen well to each other. In the whirlwind of our daily lives, the most common reason is that we are just too busy and because we’re busy, we’re tired, and when we’re tired we don’t want to take the effort needed to listen well.
There is another very common reason for why we don’t listen. Do you ever want to listen to someone who is “pressing your buttons?” Why would you want to listen to someone who enjoys tossing out phrases such as:
What’s wrong with you?
Why don’t you ever listen to me?
You always. . .
You never. . .
Know what you should do?
The truth is that we don’t listen to people who complain, whine, nag—people who press our buttons. We simply tune them out.
You and your partner have been together long enough to know exactly how to press each other’s buttons. So, why do it now as you’re planning for your wedding?
You know that you have more than enough people in your lives who are fighting for a chance to press your buttons.
“Is there anything you know you do want or anything you know you don’t want in your wedding ceremony?” is one of the first questions I ask a couple. When I recently asked this question, the bride smiled (sort of) and said:
“we were supposed to talk about this stuff on the ride over here but he (the groom) was too busy taking calls from work—so, we don’t know what we want.”
She actually seemed more resigned than angry. After all, that’s what life is like for all of us these days.
Blackberries. Trios. Text messages. I.M. Email. Voice mail. We do business and live our lives in a swirl of information. Yet, how often are we actually communicating, listening?
It’s been said that
listening is the greatest act of love.
If so, then the greatest thing you can do for each other, while planning your wedding (and beyond), is to listen to each other.
And how you listen to each other now is a sure indication of how you will listen to each other the week after your wedding.
Do you listen to each other?
or, better. . .
Do you feel that your partner listens to you? Really listens?
The Chinese characters for “listen” are:
Think about it. Isn’t it true that when you really listen to someone, you are not just “hearing” them? You are focused on them—on their face—on their body movement—and on what they don’t say.
I was grabbing dinner at one of my favorite bistros. The staff knows me and brings me “the usual” without my having to ask. I was lost in a book when I happened to glance up and look across the room. Two tables lined the opposite wall.
At one sat a young couple—20’s—laughing, animated. And at the other table sat an elderly couple—70’s—talking, smiling.
I thought—now here is a snapshot of marriage—before and after. And except for the wrinkles, little differentiated the older couple from the younger.
Smiling, talking, laughing.
A lifetime of hearty conversation.
Sometimes couples tell me that they’re so busy they hardly have time to talk.
Do you want to reduce stress? Then schedule time to talk—about the important things of your wedding.
Here are 3 conversation starters:
1. Who are your role models for marriage? Why are they models?
2. When people speak of your wedding, what 3 words do you want them to say? What 3 words do you not want them to say?
3. On you 25th wedding anniversary, what would you like to look back upon?
Last month I met a fellow who is getting married in a Catholic church. Neither he nor his fiancée go to Sunday Mass. They wanted to have an outdoor ceremony. His parents “threw a fit.” They threatened to boycott the wedding. He and his fiancée didn’t want to hurt his parents, so they caved-in. Now they are not happy and they just want to get the whole “thing” over with.
The simple truth is—you are not responsible for other people’s feelings. We are each responsible for our own feelings—and the choices we make based on those feelings.
Brides often tell me of the compromises they’ve made so as to “make peace.” It’s fine to please your mother and go with her choice of table linen. It’s another thing to get married in a church, where you don’t even worship, just to make your parents happy.
Remember--this is your wedding.
This is not your friends’ wedding. It is not your vendors’ wedding. And it certainly is not your parents’ wedding.
While it is good and important to keep others’ feelings and wishes in mind, it is not in your best interest as a couple to be guided by the mantra, “we don’t want to hurt anyone.”
You are not going to please everyone. It is not your responsibility to please everyone. Nor are you responsible for how people react to your choices.
Be true to who you are as a couple and create a wedding that authentically celebrates you.
From this day forward
You shall not walk alone.
My heart will be your shelter,
And my arms will be your home.
This photo was taken in Malibu by Veronica Puleo. Veronica is classy and intuitive and caps it all off with a great sense of humor. She is a photographer of memories. Click http://www.verofoto.com/karapatrick and enjoy a slideshow of a wedding she captured last November.
I recently met with a couple who impressed me--they were so in sync with the planning details.
When talking about the vows, I wanted to point out that different religious traditions and denominations have their own unique wording for the vows. As I began to explain this, the groom interrupted and said that they had already checked out the particular wordings and had made their selection.
I was amazed. I’ve never met a groom who was this well-versed. How did he do it?
The bride smiled and told me that while she does most of the initial research on various aspects of the planning, she runs everything by her fiancé.
She said: this is our wedding and I’d never do anything that we didn’t both agree on.
From my perspective this is how a couple should plan for their wedding. Too often a groom will say: whatever she wants is fine with me. That’s cute and in some aspects is probably wise. A wedding, though, is a bride AND groom’s celebration day. It will be a shared memory.
Plan together and I promise that you will reduce stress!
One of the things I enjoy about officiating weddings is that I get to work with some wonderfully good and creative people. Each week I will invite various vendors to offer their perspective and advice on planning for your wedding.
One of my favs is Michael Willms , an event planner who is wildly creative and generous.
Michael offers some tips on make-up. When planning a wedding, Michael tends to every detail.
Looking Like Yourself - Looking Beautiful Makeup – Not “Made” Up
When getting ready to make your beauty services selection for your wedding day, why not think about your setting and who will be around you, not just what you look like in front of the mirror?
Ask yourself a couple of questions to get centered:
• When is the last time everyone was looking at me all evening?
• When is the last time I wore a formal gown (the lightest color in the room) at a party for 8 hours plus?
• Is everyone really going to be looking at me from across the room all evening?
Yes, they are, and they are going to love it! ..if you make sure you have sufficient well blended make-up to have it work for you.
Take some photos out of magazines that have similar coloration to you with brows/hair/etc. in line with your own complexion. Lay all photos you selected out together and choose the one that best captures what you want your feel to be.
Get a really good professional artist to do a trial face on a day when you can plan to spend the evening with your fiancée if possible. Wear a button front shirt as close to the wedding dress color when you go for trial beauty. It makes it easier to swap out to a hot little dress. Get ready for people to look at you a bit more than usual and get feedback from your baby. Does he love the way you look? He is probably the one you want to look great for, right?
Make sure and take some photos in daylight and with flash at night. See how the shadows work your face from your makeup. Does it look fantastic on camera? If not you may need to keep looking until you find an artist that gets what you want.
Remember, every face absorbs makeup at different paces and different amounts. You will probably be walking the aisle about 1 ½ to 2 hours after your face is done, so do your real looking and inspecting then. You may think you have too much make up on at first – let it absorb a bit before you get too critical.
You want to look pretty when seen up close and from a ballroom away. If your makeup is correct this magic will happen.