This year we are going to hear “I do” echoing loud and clear throughout the globe.
According to the Wedding Report, nearly 2.5 million weddings are expected to take place in the United States. That’s the highest number since 1984. And the Americans are not alone in this pull toward marriage.
With May being the prelude to the big ceremony season, we can pause before we get sucked into the ball of chiffons, ribbons and toasts. Whether we’re asked to be a maid of honor or a wedding guest, or we are getting married ourselves, we can turn our attention inwards and make the wedding ceremony more conscious and deliberate. Before jumping into the wedding business, create a space to consider these ideas:
1. Meditate on your intention
As a bride/groom: If you decided to get married, congratulations! It’s a beautiful moment and a big transition in life. Whether you have a year to plan everything, or you decided to elope on a whim and your wedding is next Friday, take your time to ask yourself some questions that highlight your intention for this life decision. Write down your answers and exchange them with your partner. Make sure you listen to each other with open hearts and create a safe space where you both feel heard and understood.
Contemplate on: Why am I getting married? What does marriage mean to me? What kind of union am I hoping to build with this other person?
As a guest: Whether you’re coming as a plus one or you’re your sister bridesmaid, it’s always best to know what is our intention as we attend the sacred union of others.
Contemplate on: How does this wedding invitation make me feel? What does it bring up about relationships and love in general? How do I want to feel during the ceremony? How do I want to show up for the newlyweds?
2. Acknowledge the community
As a bride/groom: In the West we often overlook the importance of the wedding being not just the union of two people, but also of two tribes, two cultures, two communities, and a group of friends. All wedding guests are also witnesses to your marriage. Think of ways to make them feel like a part of it.
Contemplate on: What is the significance of the people who will be witnesses of your wedding? What do they bring to your union? How do you want to have them involved? How would you like them to feel? What would you like them to remember?
As a guest: You might be invited to a wedding where you know no one or a family gathering that can bring up a lot of emotions. Take your time before the wedding, not only to buy a perfect outfit and a wedding gift but to connect to the collective of the wedding tribe that you’ll be a part of.
Contemplate on: What is my role in the community that will witness this union? How do I see myself as a part of the whole? What do I want to contribute to the community of witnesses?
3. Consider the symbols
As a bride/groom: Anything that you decide to include in your sacred ceremony bears weight and meaning. That’s why when we get conscious and elaborate on our actions we can choose what we want to manifest. Some symbols can help us elevate the relationship, some honor our ancestors and some give thanks to the Earth. Taking time to discuss our important objects and their symbols can help you understand your partner and co-create a wedding that is meaningful to both of you.
Contemplate on: What objects do I want to include in my marriage ceremony? What do they symbolize? How can I use them to amplify the meaning of this day?
As a guest: It’s really easy to be pulled into the capitalistic idea of weddings in the West and the endless items on the wedding registry Before you get ready for the ceremony, consider the qualities of the couple. Find gifts or offerings that can support their union best. You don’t have to spend a fortune to support the couples union with a gift that holds a sacred meaning.
Contemplate on: What are the qualities of this couple that I would like to support, amplify? How can I offer them something that brings out the magnitude of love? What do I want my gift to communicate? What ideas does it support?
4. Study the meaning of love
As a bride/groom: Getting your wedding day all ready can pull us into thinking about our own experience, more than love in general. There’s just so much to think about, so many aspects that we get to choose what we want. It’s easy to lose perspective of the bigger picture. During the preparations pause and come back to love. Love is the universal force that everyone in the world can connect to. Allow yourself to be vulnerable with your partner as you both connect to it throughout the days leading up to your wedding day.
Contemplate on: What did I learn about love from my previous partners? Where do I see love in day to day life? How does the power of love impact people in the world? How can I contribute to greater love in the world?
As a guest: Weddings always bring up the feelings of love and our stories with relationships. We are all interconnected and a day to celebrate love brings it in front of us. Be mindful of this. Notice how the subject of love and connection makes you feel. Maybe it brings up stuff that is painful. Maybe it fills you up with gratitude. Connect to different aspects of universal love and let the wedding day be your opportunity to study love in general.
Contemplate on: When it comes to love what can I learn from this couple? How do I feel about relationships in general? What is my love story? How do I see love in my life? How can I contribute to greater love in the world?
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Photo by Foto Pettine via Unsplash