1. Remember that the engagement, while on a one level is a time to plan your wedding, is really about doing the emotional work that will allow you to transition healthfully into marriage. This means allowing yourself to feel grief that your single lifestyle and identity is over, fear about the unknown and uncertainty of marriage, vulnerability of opening your heart to the biggest commitment you've ever made, and a host of other uncomfortable feelings. Is it joyous and exciting as well? Absolutely! But for the sensitive soul, for someone who has struggled with transitions in the past and is no stranger to fear, grief, and anxiety, you will have to make room for these culturally undesirable feelings if you're going to experience the joy and excitement.
2. Stay connected to your intention about your wedding day choices. Are you planning a wedding to impress others or to prove something to yourself or your community? Or are you planning a wedding as an expression of your and your partner's values and love? Planning a wedding can be a highly creative experience, but only if your intention is to express yourself instead of prove yourselves.
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3. Stay connected to your fiancé. If it's not about the two of you, what is it about? Many women become so obsessed by the planning that their groom becomes an accessory in the whole affair. What I like to remind brides-to-be is that the only thing that truly matters on your wedding day is that both of you show up, not only physically but emotionally as well. If you spend your entire engagement obsessing about planning the perfect event, you're going to feel completely disconnected from yourself on your wedding day and you're going to look at your groom like he's a stranger. Is that really how you want to feel? The details are simply the container designed to hold the two of you as you transform from dating partners to husband and wife and celebrate your union. In other words, the details are the accessories, not your groom.
4. On your wedding day, let yourself feel whatever feeling arises. Wear waterproof eye makeup so that you can cry when you need to cry without worrying about your face! When you try to stuff the tears because "happy brides don't cry on their wedding day", you stuff the joy as well and end up looking and feeling like a zombie. It's normal to feel sad that your single life is ending! It's normal to feel sad when you let go of your dad's hand at the end of the aisle or when you dance with him at the reception! It's normal to feel scared, anxious, and numb as well. If you attach onto any of these "negative" feelings as meaning that there's something wrong, then judge them and push them down, you create a wall around your heart which doesn't allow the joy and calm to enter either. The wedding day, like all transitions, in a microcosm of life, so expect to feel every emotion times a hundred, allowing them all to flow through you so that you can be present to experience one of the most joyous days of your life.