Wedding planning can be tough- the opinions, the pressure, the money. But we do it because it’s also magical- the ritual, the dancing, the dress. In many ways the journey from engagement to wedding day is rocky for good reason. It’s a great precursor to the types of challenges that lie ahead in our marriages. The differing approaches, attitudes, and priorities that are revealed when we tackle this first big joint project together. It’s when all of the other players in our inner circles really start to come into play. We learn which family members and friends support or disappoint. None of this is wasted- it all is useful information as we are expanding into the new identity of a married couple. Being engaged is an important growth opportunity not just for you as a couple but also as an individual. You are going to have to decide how you are going to manage yourself within this new ecosystem of married life. And it can be stressful and draining while also exciting and beautiful.
I want to share with you three prayers or mantras that are the perfect anchor points as you go. Whatever you are experiencing, these three prayers are the lifeline you need in that moment. Articulated by the brilliant author Anne Lamott- Help, Thank You, Wow.
Help- This is the prayer that you will need. No matter how successful and capable and type A you are and have been in your career and life so far, there will be a moment or 50 during wedding planning that you just need help. Whether you are knee deep in a DIY project or at a complete impasse with your future mother in law, you gotta know when to surrender and just ask for help. And I want you to be able to soften in to the energy os asking for help from God and the universe but also from your friends, fiancé, and family. I know this can be a hard for myself personally because I don’t want burden other people or be a bother and I like the feeling of doing it myself. But there is so much magic in letting people in to help you. That vulnerability is what fosters bonding and allows other people to show their love. You know how great it feels to help others, let others have that uplifting experience but letting them help you. Practice this now, because trust me, it will serve you later.
Thanks- This is the central prayer. This is where we want to stay and marinate. Just roll around in gratitude. Saying thank you is a lightening fast way to break through the drama that rolls into your life after you get engaged. Gratitude cuts through the fog of stress and overwhelm like a knife. Sometimes I think that is why we get the ring- something so tangible to remind us of the miracle that we already have- which is having met our person. Just being in love is enough. The wedding is literally just icing on that cake. I remember when I was 12 or so and Sarah Ban Breatnach’s Simple Abundance gratitude journal came out. And trying to come up with three things a day to be grateful for. And it was a muscle, at first it felt hard and then so so easy. I started looking for things during the day so that I could later write down. I started leading with gratitude. With my kids, the first and sometimes only prayer I do with them at night is thank you. We start to list all the things we loved about the day and those little rampages are so heartwarming. So as you plan, scan for the mini miracles that are happening. list the things you are grateful for in your journal or in your own mind and speak the words thank you to everyone who is helping you on this sacred path toward your wedding day.
Wow- The wow moment is what we are working so hard to achieve with our weddings. We want to impress our guests, our social media followers and ourselves with the beauty and fun and splendor of our wedding day. This is all about being in the moment and really noticing and feeling the miracle that is your wedding, your relationship, your loved ones, your life. It’s the state of awe that is always available when we slow down and get really still. This idea of wow as a prayer and a feeling state reminds me of the famous poem ‘When Death Comes’ by Mary Oliver. There is a line that says “When it’s all over, I want to say of my life, I was a bride married to amazement.” Isn’t that really what all of this is about. Isn’t it why weddings get this huge party- because it’s literally amazing to find your person. It’s one of the very few things that bring people together in celebration in the most spectacular, memorable specific way.
So that’s it. Help. Thanks. Wow. The only three prayers you need. Whenever you are lost or spinning, start with one of these these and you will immediately be back on course.