Last month I had the wonderful opportunity to be a friend’s best man. This gave me a close, yet different, perspective on weddings. Being a best man rather than the officiant cemented the following beliefs I’ve long held about ceremonies:
Like relationships, wedding planning requires work, patience and communication.
No matter how much planning you do, something unexpected will happen.
Breathe and be present, since the day is going to fly by and you want to create memories in addition to pictures.
Don’t do anything just because it will satisfy Aunt Gladys’ wishes. This is your wedding, not Aunt Gladys’!
Pay your vendors prior to the big day, or delegate someone else to take care of the ‘day of’ business items. You’ll want to be spending time with your family and friends, rather than figuring out how to tie up the business end of things.
It’s totally okay to ask questions. Most people have limited experience with wedding planning. As each industry has their own vocabulary (including acronyms), billing methods and requirements, it is imperative that you understand what each vendor is providing so you are not surprised or disappointed on your wedding day.
Many people aren’t used to being the focus of attention. Don’t try to memorize anything. Have your officiant print the text out (in large font) so you can read it from the main binder.
If you think you’re going to cry, that’s okay. Weddings are emotional. Don’t hold back. Be in the moment, and make sure someone around you has a good supply of handkerchiefs! And if your or anyone else’s crying is going to get in the way of you speaking, remember that you only need to get two very little words out: “I do!”
The best guideline is to trust your heart. That holds true in romance, as it does in planning. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Some amount of stress is inevitable. Life is short, so try to breathe, and think about turning being stressed around: to desserts! Silly, but oh what a wonderful goal!
May all your celebrations be filled with more sweetness than frustration!
Howard M. Steiermann is an Ordained Ritual Facilitator based in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.SFHoward.com.