If you’re a bride and your wedding date is coming swiftly nearer, chances are your stress level is rising quickly. If a few things get cancelled or changed, it can rise even faster.
I was doing wedding photography for a bride recently in Indiapolis, Indiana (USA), and as we chatted a few weeks before the wedding, she mentioned that in her efforts to stay calm and un-stressed throughout the whole process, she had set herself three goals for the wedding, which were:
1. Get married.
2. Have fun.
3. Get great wedding photos!
Naturally I love these three goals, and despite my temptation to shift goal number three into the first slot, I do realise that there is no point in goal 3 if goal number 1 never happens! (And without the success of goal 2, wonderful photos are much more difficult.)
It’s very easy to get swamped and frustrated and exhausted when dealing with last minute wedding details. This same bride – the one with the three admirable goals – arrived in the States from Greece only to find that her makeup person, hairdresser, wedding cake, AND flowers had all cancelled on her, a week before her wedding day. As we sat around at the rehearsal dinner the night before, one of her bridesmaids was giving a short speech, and mentioning that all of these had been cancelled. The bride-to-be, sitting happily with her groom, Ed, piped up, “But Ed didn’t cancel.”
There were cheers, laughter, and a few ‘awwww’s’ that filled the room at that comment. To me it showed Stacie’s determination to stick to her goals, and not let these small things weary her or exhaust her or stress her out. Yes, I’m sure she had a few moments where she wanted to tear her hair out (or perhaps that of the flower shop or cake decorator), but she managed to remember that none of these things would prevent her from achieving the three most important things to her on her big day.
Having been part of countless weddings (as well as engagements, rehearsals, and other wedding-related events), I can tell you that by the time the bride is walking down the aisle to meet her groom, suddenly all those things that seemed so critical fade in the light of the bigger picture. Her friends and family are there; she is beautiful; and her groom is waiting. Does it matter so much that there was no pillow for the ring bearer to carry? Or that those extra ribbons weren’t put on the flower vases? Or that a few of the fairy lights wouldn’t turn on? No, it really doesn’t. And when I see the glow of expectant joy on the bride’s face as she comes down the aisle, and the laughter when the best man drops the rings, and the triumphant blaze of success on the groom’s face when the couple is announced as the new Mr. and Mrs., I realise too that these little things are just that. Little.
So stay focused on the big goals, the important ones. Everything else is just extra.