Weddings Refocused: Planning For Marriage

Friday, May 15

Weddings Refocused: Planning For Marriage

Photo by Esther Funk Photography

 

Not Fitting In The Wedding Industry.

 

It’s been a year since I wrote Finding Myself Outside of Work, and I haven’t written anything since. It turns out that in stepping back the more transparent it became – I no longer fit in the wedding industry.

We are led to believe that our wedding day is the biggest day of our life. We begin dreaming about it; casting visions of how it should look, including the experience we want our guests to have. This became the focus for SWE – creating weddings and events that would ‘wow’ the couple and their guests.

What began as a great passion and a lot of fun, eventually became a place of emptiness. I noticed an increasing focus on wedding details and a rise in wedding budgets; leading many couples into wedding debt.

Have weddings become more of a production than a union of marriage? Are we being distracted from the true purpose of the wedding day? Are we more prepared for our wedding than our marriage? This all became unsettling to me.

The passion Sharon Webb Events started with had died. I could either squeeze myself into this wedding box, ignoring what I was seeing, or stay true to myself and offer a voice and vision showing couples there is another way.

DISCLAIMER: Before I continue on, I want to make clear that this post is not intended to judge any couple, wedding or wedding industry.  This is my personal journey, conviction and passion.

 

Reset + Ask.

 

It would be wise for us to consider the ‘why’ behind the things we do and believe. If we don’t, we risk going through the motions of what society says and wants, potentially leading us to what may not be in our best interest.

Before Covid-19:

Brides: “Bad news for anyone with wedding planning in their future (or, alternately, good news for lovers of luxury): In just the last year alone, average wedding costs have skyrocketed. In 2017, a wedding typically set couples and their family members back about $27,000, but in 2018, that number increased to more than $44,000, according to the Brides 2018 American Wedding Study.”

Wedding Wire: “the average wedding cost in Canada is roughly $29,450 – which is pretty steep, especially if you’re working with the average millennial budget.”

Another 2017 statistic states that the average wedding in Canada is $42,400.

Covid-19 will have changed these numbers, but for how long? There is no better time than now to hit the reset button asking a series of questions. Here are some that can be applied to your little and big decisions:

  • Why are we doing this?
  • Why is most important?
  • Is this an emotional decision?
  • Will this set us up to thrive or become a stumbling block?
  • What is the reasoning or motive behind this decision?
  • What do we value?
  • Big Picture Thinking:
  • Will this decision matter 1 year, 3 years, 5 years from now?

 

A Lesson From The Good Old Days.

 

Perhaps a trip down memory lane to the wedding of Frank A. Pequegnat and Mary Witherspoon on June 7, 1905  can revive an old perspective. You can click the link to the full article, but to save you some time I’ve included a snippet:

“In this day and time of expensive and elaborate weddings, it is forgotten that weddings were much simpler affairs in olden days. Elaborate weddings were only affordable for rich people. Even in a city like Riverside, which had plenty of church buildings, most weddings, while conducted by a minister, were much more casual affairs, held at home in front of just a few family and friends.”

Summary of their wedding details:

  • Guests: “Just a few family and friends.”
  • Venue: “The wedding was at the home of the bride’s sister.”
  • The Focus: “The bride and groom tied the knot in a ceremony that started at 7 a.m.! Apparently they wanted to catch the 8:30 am train, which would take them to their new home.”
  • Decor: “The ceremony was under a swag of fern and sweet peas hung in a corner of the home’s parlor, from which swung a true lovers knot of white ribbons.”
  • Bridal Gown: “The bride wore her going away gown.”
  • Wedding Party: “Neither she nor the groom had any attendants.”
  • Reception: “After the short ceremony, the wedding party stepped next door to the home of the groom’s brother, where a wedding breakfast was held.”
  • Preparation before the wedding: “The groom had prepared a cottage home for his bride.”
  • Celebration: “Friends in Santee had a wedding supper waiting for the newly married couple when they arrived at their new home.”
  • Marriage: “After their simple wedding, Frank and Mary went on to be married for 55 years.”

There is something real and organic in their love story.  Their focus was to get married and get into their new home – to begin their new life together. I don’t think adding more details to their wedding would have added more value to their 55 years of marriage.

 

A Focus On Marriage.

 

For those of you not yet married, I would like to leave with you these final thoughts.

The wedding day is one day; marriage should be many years. With this in mind, it only makes sense to spend more time planning for your marriage than your wedding.

Please don’t be surprised by the difficulty of marriage is difficult. This is why building a strong foundation at the very beginning is so important. The choices you make today will impact your marriage. This is especially true when it comes to your finances. Choose not to bring wedding debt into your marriage. You can avoid this by having a wedding that reflects your financial budget.

We can gain wisdom and save money through the stories of other married couples. Look for couples that have been married for a long time; those with relationships you admire. Ask questions about their wedding day and marriage. What added value to their wedding day? What would they do again or differently? Do they have advice to prepare you for marriage? Having a couple mentor you through the process is invaluable!

Life is so incredibly short and we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I encourage you to not get caught up on this one day. Yes, it’s a big day, but it won’t be your biggest day. Whatever your plans, ensure they set you up for a thriving marriage!

 

Weddings Refocused: Holistic Approach

 

A wedding refocused switches the focus from planning a wedding to planning a marriage.

SWE has a passion to offer couples a holistic approach to wedding planning. It empowers couples to remain mindful of their wedding planning decisions, while keeping marriage the focus.

SWE is excited to help couples plan their intimate wedding that will bring them an organic relational experience. This leaves room for the couple to freely embrace their engagement, reducing the distractions of wedding planning. Couples are able to invest their time wisely preparing for their future marriage, laying a strong foundation.

If you had plans to get married in 2020, plans that are now altered because of Covid-19, there is still hope. You can use this as an opportunity to have an intimate wedding that you will always remember! It may not be like you originally planned, but if your heart is open, it could be better than you ever imagined! If you need help casting this vision for your wedding day, let’s connect!

Blessings To You.

Sharon