I believe there are five stages to every Bride/Groom’s engagement. First, there is the euphoric excitement known as the ‘Blissful Stage’.
There is where the bride is overjoyed to wave her bejeweled finger across the faces of her friends and family, and when the groom is totally pumped she said yes. The next phase is the ‘Thinking About Planning' stage, and this can linger for an indeterminate amount of time as is variant according to B/G’s personal procrastination levels. The ‘Thinking About Planning Stage’ is more of a daydream state, involving happily tilting one’s head to the side and musing about floral arrangements and how cute your niece will look in a Flower Girl dress. This is all dandy, until you start to wonder how on earth your niece is going to have enough self-control to actually throw the petals on the ground instead of in people’s faces, start to feel your wallet hurt as you contemplate how you’re supposed to feed 200 people, and worry that you're Event DJ won't have your song*.
*Limitless Events will always have 'Your Song'. 100%. If we don't have it, we will sing it accapella.
"Is this real life?"
The brain begins moving in a bit of a panic and now you are entering the 'Oh My Gosh I’m Getting Married There’s So Much to Do' Stage. Symptoms of this phase are list-making, pining away at Pinterest Wedding Boards, swearing off of junk food because you want to fit into the dress you haven’t purchased yet, and near constant utterance of the phrase, “THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO!”
If you have managed to approach stage 3 with a sense of calm, it is likely whatever little poise you have left is about to get unraveled as you enter the final two weeks before the wedding:
Crunch Time is where all the loose ends get tied up, the ribbons get curled, you settle on the Baby’s Breath floral arrangements because they didn’t have the Daffodil’s you wanted, and you consider un-inviting your entire family if they don’t start getting their acts together. Crucial to surviving Stage 4 is remembering the real reason you are going through all of this – love for your significant other. If you really clear your head and take the time to remember that, you won’t care that your mother can’t even be in the same room as your father’s new wife, you will be okay with Salmon instead of Halibut because the caterers got confused, you will survive all of it because in the end, this day is about you – your love, your union, your life. So breathe through stage 4, and when you successfully make it to the big day – hair done, dress on, the wedding march about to usher you into your future – you are finally able to enter stage 5.
the final moment: “Ooey Gooey Love / Triumph / Cupid Shuffle with Grandma”
You have walked down the aisle, ignored your great uncle snoring in the back during the vows, said your “I Do’s”, maybe knocked back some champagne, and it is time for the fun. Months of preparation, work, and compromise have led up to this moment, and it is important to breathe and take it all in. Appreciate the people who have gathered to celebrate love, make sure to hug and thank every elder relative who skipped their 7 pm bedtime to dance in a loud room for you! Soak it all in. This is your day, this is the light at the end of the long tunnel that is Wedding Planning. I have attended dozens of weddings, and I always love to hear the story of how they got there, and more importantly, what roadblocks got in their way. If there’s anything I’ve learned, it’s that even the most well organized wedding will run into hiccups – I’ve seen the Wedding cake get dropped, the venue’s power go out (twice), the caterers forget to bring plates, a bride who spilled wine on her dress before the ceremony, a golf ball hit a groom in the head, and endless snaffoos to that effect. But the key is to relish in the Stage 5, and realize none of those things really matter* if you have love in your heart and a can-do attitude!
*Well, the guy who got hit in the head with the golf-ball did have a rough go at it. I do not recommend having your ceremony on a golf course during a Tournament.
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