Weddings, along with having a child, starting a new job and moving are among some of the most stressful events that take place in our lives. Although we cannot control the outcome of events, we can decrease the stress when “stuff” happens.
What are some of the things you, your fiancé, family and friends can do to limit stress or ideally have a stress-free wedding?
- Let go of expectations. Stop scanning the bride magazines, don’t watch reruns of the movie “The Wedding Planner” where Jennifer Lopez plans a perfect wedding, much in the way that a film director creates a big budget movie. Of course you can get ideas from many sources including bride magazines, but the images they convey of picture-perfect models in picture perfect settings are distant from reality.
- Stay within your budget and resources. If you get caught in the “gotta have this,” “gotta have that,” you are setting yourself up for not only a stressful time planning the wedding, but also dealing with the aftermath. Remember going into debt for a wedding day is not a great start to the most important event of your married life.
- Follow the Old English rhyme. “Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe.” This is not a Muslim tradition so don’t stress about following it verbatim. If incorporated in it’s spirit it can be something simple which passes on love, culture, and more from wedding to wedding. Something old, represents continuity, e.g. a mother or grandmother passing on something from her wedding to the daughter. It could be a ring, a bracelet, a Quran etc. Something new represents hope and the future. It could be something as simple as a guestbook with advice from the guests. Something borrowed, represent happiness, again it could be a wedding dress or some jewelry. Blue represents trust, faith, love, stability, and heaven. You can accent any aspect of the wedding with blue from confetti to the brides scarf or purse. A sixpence, represents good fortune and prosperity. Sharing a valuable coin or bill from the bride or groom’s ancestor can be another great thing to pass on. The essence of something old, new, borrowed, blue, and the sixpence is to make the wedding personable. As we have emphasized before personable trumps glitzy, glamorous weddings.
- Remember, if you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one. In life the people we know and are connected to whether through blood or choice, are a cross-section of wonderful and wacky personalities. Decide in advance who will be responsible for what. For some things there may a small group of people and for others just an individual. Some things will only be for you and/or your fiancé, e.g. honeymoon. For others, especially if a family member is paying for it, or just because of their position in the family, they may have a greater say in it.
- Avoid focusing too much on material aspects. This includes the dress, ring, and events e.g. dholki or mehndi (henna). Do not get lost in keeping up with the proverbial Ahmeds, Khans, or whoever. Don’t get caught up in “What will other people think?” “Did you see her dress?” “Wasn’t that food the worst?” “Did you see the look on his/her face?” Do whatever is within the confines of our faith and then within the values of your respective families and friends. Do your best and then pray to God for the rest.
As we have said in other posts, perfect does not mean flawless. Unexpected things are going to happen guaranteed. Maybe the wedding dress isn’t quite the color or the fit that you hoped for. Maybe the event didn’t run on schedule or the power went out in the reception hall. When something unexpected happens, avoid the feelings of “Why me? This is the worst thing in my life ever. How could this happen?” If something happens, brush it off and move on.
You can label the event any way you like. You can see it as a calamity or just a setback, a catastrophe or just a mishap. The more you focus or amplify the accident, the more the guests and everyone will feel it. We need prayers along with humor, coupled, it’ll go a long way. A wedding is a day, a marriage is forever. Just keep things in perspective and you too can have a stress free Muslim wedding.
Reference: http://voices.yahoo.com/wedding-traditions-ideas-something-old-borrowed-364753.html Wedding Zen: Calming Wisdom for the Bride by Susan Elia MacNeal