Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Re-defining the meaning of a perfect wedding

Dear Brides,

Without a doubt, the media’s portrayal of beauty has a significant influence on our definition of beauty. I believe the influence of media’s definition of beauty is directly correlated to weddings as well. The world tells us, "You’re the bride! You can do whatever you want, and spend as much as you want!" Or perhaps some of us don’t even need media to relay that message to us, since it has already been engraved in our minds and hearts; most of us have been dreaming of our “perfect wedding” ever since we were little girls.

However, glancing through bridal magazines, you cannot help but feel that weddings are, and should be, nothing less than an extravagant affair. All the beautiful photos you find in magazines such as Modern Bride, InStyle Weddings, Elegant Bride, and Martha Stewart Weddings can sometimes be a little discouraging if you don't have the budget to go all out. (Let me tell you right off the bat that those extravagant weddings can easily cost up to $100K or more, depending on the venue they work with.) We all start off by browsing through those bridal magazines in order to gain inspirations and ideas for our own weddings, but sometimes that pure intent can transform into comparison or even envy. It seems as if those brides in the photos look so happy wearing their Vera Wang wedding gowns and Jimmy Choo shoes, and all of a sudden your preparations seems shabby and you cannot help but get stressed about your tight budget.

My purpose for this entry is NOT to criticize those women who are fortunate enough to have such grand weddings. Rather, my purpose today is to address the issue of the need to redefine the meaning of a perfect wedding- an issue that has been tugging in my heart for a long time.

As a wedding planner, I have experienced both ends- I’ve worked with brides who have $20K for their wedding budget and brides who are fortunate enough to spend $70-80K. Do I turn down my clients because they have lesser budget? Of course NOT! Do I think brides who spend more money have better weddings? No way! I have coordinated weddings that have touched my heart and left a big impact on each guests’ lives, regardless of how much was spent on flowers or wedding gowns. Of course, spending more money will definitely help your wedding look more beautiful, but it does not necessarily mean that the wedding will be "PERFECT."

There is no doubt that we are all being disillusioned about what a perfect wedding should look like. I myself have been caught busy with preparations for the wedding, and forgetting the real essence of the ceremony through which I was to marry the man I love and respect. Having a “perfect wedding” NEVER guarantees a lasting marriage. I believe that if we examine our hearts deeply, there is a competitive nature within all of us, or in other words, an "I can do it better" mentality than the weddings we have attended previously. If not, we have this “perfect” picture in our head about what will make us a happy bride.

So, what is a perfect wedding then?

My belief is that your wedding is a time in which you should make a statement of heartfelt gratitude to your parents and guests for being there for you. Also, it is a time for you to team up with your fiancée to work together and make decisions together, something you will be doing together for years to come even after the wedding day. I know that many grooms don't care too much about all the small details, but I think it is important to communicate with them and let them get involved as much as they can, allowing them to have a sense of ownership for the wedding.

Three major questions to ask yourself everyday before you start planning your wedding and as the day approaches:
1) What kind of message do I want my guests to take home after our wedding?
2) Am I doing a good job of appreciating my future husband, in-laws, and parents?
3) How can I personalize my wedding to make it more unique?

As long as you remind yourself of these three questions, the look and feel you desire for your “perfect wedding” can easily be achieved in various ways by you and your wedding coordinator. In other words, you do not need to break your bank account in hopes of achieving the perfect wedding! Instead, you should rather try to focus on having a wedding that is truly meaningful,memorable, and fun to you and your loved ones.

To end, I would like to encourage and challenge all the brides out there to remember this simple question, "Who Am I getting married to and what does wedding/marriage mean to me?" After all, a wedding is ultimately a sacred ceremony between you and your husband to-be, surrounded by the people you love most!

Good luck planning your weddings and let's all redefine the meaning of a perfect wedding


Angela Lee said...

esther that was beautifully put!
i feel like you read my mind hehe

it was such a great reminder of what is really most important as me and other brides are trying to navigate the wedding process=)