I recently came across the following article on The Huffington Post: Is Your Self-Esteem Tied to Your Wedding? The author, Shannon Kellogg, is a psychologist who also happens to be a recent bride. She writes. . .
As I was planning my wedding, I found myself thinking about every decision carefully -- weighing not just what I wanted, but how others would view it. I felt I had something to prove to my fiancé's family, my friends, my frenemies who might see my wedding pictures on Facebook. I wanted them to see how happy I was, what an amazing relationship I had with the man I was marrying. I was so thrilled and in love, and I desperately wanted that to shine through on my Big Day.
I became consumed with how this wedding represented me. It was the culmination of all that I was and all that I was going to be. Did the flowers represent who I was? Did the venue really reflect our style?
With all of the might I could muster, I realized I was going too far. . .I knew that I had to feel secure in myself and to feel good enough without needing anyone else's approval.
The article reminded me of a couple whose wedding I officiated last year. They were getting married at a private estate––a fun place that was going to allow them to personalize many aspects of their celebration. When I mentioned this to the bride, she looked sadly at me and said, “you don’t understand. . .my family is going to judge us for not giving them a grand party.” I was floored. Grand? The wedding was costing over $30,000. How was it not going to be “grand”?
She went on to explain that compared with the weddings of her two cousins, this was going to be a modest affair.
Throughout the entire planning, she made herself miserable because of what she thought other people were going to say.
I understand all about family politics. Trust me; I really do. I’m Bronx, Irish, Catholic! So, I know it’s easy for me to say, don’t worry. Recognizing that, here are a few questions for you and partner to ask yourselves:
What are you telling yourself that is making you feel nervous or worried?
Why is your wedding a referendum on how people see you?
Why invite people whom you think are going to judge you?
You can only keep the “I” in your “I Do” if you have some sense of who you are, who your partner is, and who you are as a couple.
A wedding isn’t about “proving” anything. . .it’s about celebrating “everything” that you are and that you hope to become.
If people aren’t willing to joyfully celebrate your life, then so be it. Why, though, give them the power to ruin your happiness?