This is it. The big day. For some, the biggest. And should you choose not to avail of some form of sedative, you’re likely to experience a range of thoughts and feelings; from the seemingly trivial (but completely valid), “Are my hands a shade too brown?” to the more terrifying “Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with this man?” Yes, your hands probably are verging on that time Ross was an 8 but it is your God-given right on this day to make even a Kardashian look pale. As to spending the rest of your life with this one man, chances are you’ve made it this far for a reason. And if you change your mind, there’s always the bathroom window.
You’ll question whether you’ve done enough; whether you should have opted for the veil with the satin trim; whether you should have seated your friend next to his friend because of that one awkward time they woke up next to each other. These unanswerable questions are inevitable. After all, you’ve spent months planning this day; you’ve spent what could have been the deposit for your house on this day; you’ve ate nothing but quinoa and avocado dieting for this day.
Thankfully there’s an upside to the frightening picture I have thus far painted for you. Alongside these niggling, ultimately irrelevant worries are moments of complete bliss. Moments so perfect you wish you could take into your hand and hold. The details that consumed you for months on end will inevitably fade with time. You won’t recall which genus of flower formed the focal point of your bouquet – despite the headache coming to this decision gave you. You’ll forget which grape produced the gallons of table wine: in part because of your fading memory and in part because you drank too much of it. It is the memory of your husband-to-be’s face as you walked down the aisle; the image of that wonderfully gratifying expression that only a grandmother can make; the memory of your dad squeezing your hand a little too tight as he gives you away that will stand the test of time.
That’s why we seize the moment try to freeze it and own it, squeeze it and hold it. (Eminem, Sing for the Moment).
This is not to negate those finer details. I have no doubt they will make your day truly beautiful. The food will be sumptuous; your dress sensational; the music show-stopping but what is all this worth if, in the midst of all this splendor, you can’t behold the true beauty of this life-changing day?
My brother was married last week and, unfortunately, I could not be there. Their service was performed in his fiancé’s grandparent’s back garden with only a handful of adoring onlookers. His bride-to-be, being 8 months pregnant, could not find a suitable white dress in their local city (Brandon, Canada) and instead, she wore an above-the-knee, floral dress that perfectly accentuated her bump. He wore a corsage to match. Soft music played in the background – I’d imagine from a Spotify playlist. And within minutes they were married. Bound together for the rest of their lives and, watching from 4,000 miles away via Messenger, it was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
In an era of wedding one-upmanship, it is easy to get caught up in the fuss of it all. No matter how low-key your intention (speaking from experience), the temptation to splurge greets you at every opportunity. The words of others “Oh, you must get a videographer” echo in your ear, leaving it hard not to feel in some way deficient if you don’t. As my second wedding anniversary comes around, I say “trust your instinct”. Slow down. Remember what this day is really about. Be as present in every moment as possible, for it is in these small moments that you will find the greatest treasure worth holding on to.
This is it. The big day. Enjoy every single moment.
(And yes, just to clarify, I did quote Eminem.)