You will hear from every person that got married ever that something unexpected happened. I believe that’s part of wedding planning. There is a point in the wedding planning process where you’ve done all you can do and you just let it go. It’s in God’s hands now.
So how to you navigate knowing that something unexpected is going to happen and manage your emotions around it? Let’s talk about it.
If you’re planning your wedding with intention, it means you’ve put love, care and effort into each decision. You’ve chosen certain things to be a certain way for a purpose. That’s wonderful and that’s what intentional living is all about. Then there is going to be a point as you get closer to your day, where you have to let the reigns go. I know, it sounds scary. You’ve poured your heart and soul into wedding planning so how are you supposed to let it go? Well, what if I tell you that letting go will actually create space for magic to happen? Stay with me for a second here.
Mike and I intended to have an outdoor ceremony under the pine trees, the cocktail hour by the water and our reception in the tent. That was what we planned for and that was what we envisioned. Mother Nature had different plans. The day before the wedding, while we were on the phone with the florist, we decided to set up the rain plan. If it turned out to be a beautiful day, we would’ve pivoted from there. Our rain plan was the ceremony in the old 1800s dairy farm on the property and the cocktail hour and reception in the tent. It wasn’t what we originally imagined and working my mind around this new plan was a bit challenging since so many things changed with that decision, like the length of the aisle which meant that the music selection may have to shift, location of the musicians would have to be figured out and the entrance way of the guests needed to be decorated differently. I wasn’t expecting this shift but there we were.
The weather held up enough for us to take gorgeous outdoor pictures with our families before the ceremony and the rain rolled in just in time for the main event. When the door opened for me to walk down the aisle, the sight before me took my breath away. The barn was transformed to an intimate, candlelit ceremony that was better than anything I could’ve dreamed of. It was the magical ceremony I never would’ve chosen that was exactly what we needed. Absolutely magical.
I believe the fear creeps in because we believe unexpected things mean that they’re bad. I could’ve believed that rain on our wedding day was a bad thing because we wouldn’t have the dream wedding we spent all that time planning for. Instead, what if we can believe that there is purpose behind everything. What if the unexpected happened for a reason?
So, keeping this in mind, let’s talk about how you can manage your emotions when the unexpected happens.
Expect the Unexpected
Yup. Before anything actually goes wrong, expect that something isn’t going to go as intended. It’s the easiest way to stay flexible. Instead of thinking each decision is cemented in place, imagine that it’s actually held in place with silly puddy – something that is moldable and removable. You won’t know what’s going to come up but just know that something is. It might be something small like you’re a few minutes behind on your timeline, or something big like the weather, but either way, you’ll be able to handle the unexpected if you expect it.
Validate Your Feelings
When something unexpected comes up, you’re going to feel a certain kind of way about it. Those initial feelings are going to be raw and unfiltered. Feel them. It’s okay to be sad or angry or disappointed or any other emotions that come up. Don’t bypass feeling these feelings. If you try and pretend they’re not there, you’ll be stuffing them down only to find them come up later. Give yourself the space to feel the emotions. Laugh, cry, scream, punch the pillow, talk it out, whatever you have to do to validate those feelings, do it. Don’t wallow in it though. It’s about validating them so you can move on without them creeping back up later.
Take A Deep Breath
Once you’ve felt all the feels, will be time to take a deep breath and let it all go. The thing happened, you felt your feelings, and then it’s time to move on. Take deep breaths and find your heartbeat. Listen to your breath and your heartbeat to bring yourself back to the present moment. This will allow you to find your center before you move forward. If just taking a couple breaths isn’t cutting it, find a quick two-to-five-minute meditation to listen to. Once you’ve taken this time, you’ll be ready to start making decisions and moving forward.
Remember Your Foundation
When you’re ready to start moving forward, it will be helpful to remember your foundation. You and your fiancé had a vision for the day, the things that were important to you and the things that weren’t as important. Bring yourself back to this foundation. It will be the reminder you need to make the next decision.
If the florists’ refrigerator broke and now they’ve lost all the flowers for your day but they have other flowers, just not the ones you wanted, and you really wanted flowers everywhere for your day, does it really matter what kind they are or just that you have them? That’s the foundation. If you really wanted live music and the band’s lead vocalist is sick but they can find a replacement, would you rather them find a replacement, or just see if you can get a DJ instead?
When something goes awry, you will be faced with lots of other options. Remembering your foundation is going to remind you of your vision so you’ll be able to make the best decision given the new set of options before you.
And depending on what happens, the only thing you may have to decide is to adjust your mindset. If the officiant you spoke to originally can’t make it but the company is sending a replacement, the situation has already been redirected. In this scenario, the only thing you have to decide is to get on board with the new officiant. Sometimes deciding to have a positive outlook is the toughest decision you’ll have to make.
The Meaning Of The Day
Big or small, something unexpected will happen. That’s just life. It’s easy for an outsider to say don’t sweat the small stuff when they haven’t been the one pouring over table arrangements or invitation suites for months. I get it. I’ve been there. Which is why I’m telling you now, don’t lose sight of the meaning of the whole day. It’s about you marrying your best friend and that’s the only thing that matters.
Once I mentally got on board with the rain plan, it gave me the space to go with the flow as other things came up. The morning of the wedding, the band arrived and I found out the lead singer was sick and wasn’t going to make it. He was the one we were in contact with throughout the entire wedding planning process so this news could’ve been unsettling. Our new band point person had our timeline, our song selection, the rundown of the ceremony and reception and every other piece of information he needed to step up to take over the lead singer’s role. He was empathetic for the news he delivered and confident that he knew what was going on and that he could handle it. He asked if I had any questions and I smiled and said nope.
Because he showed me how prepared and capable he was, the only decision I had to make in that moment was to decide that I was going to have a positive outlook on it and remember what was most important; that later that day, I was going to walk down the aisle and marry my soulmate.
Just like unexpected moments will come up in life, it’s the same for your wedding day. The best thing you can do is be prepared and go with the flow. Feel the feels, remember your foundation and don’t forget what’s most important. At the end of your wedding day, the two of you will begin your new life together, as one.