If you read through my blog posts I think you’ll see that as a non-denominational wedding officiant I’ve been lucky to meet up with some wonderful people – couples, their families and friends, along with some of the most talented, creative and deep-down good people you’ll ever find wandering the earth!
And if you carefully read through my blog, you’ll also notice that I’ve had some unusual, if not downright wacky experiences – and it’s not just because most of my weddings are in the Southern California counties of Los Angeles and Orange!
I may not have seen it all, BUT I’ve seen a lot.
Since it’s the first weekend of summer and a great time for story-telling, I’m going to tell you one of my all-time favorite wedding stories – perhaps my most whack-a-do wedding story EVER and for that reason it is also a story that comes with an important lesson.
It was an outdoor wedding.
Argentina and Marco (30’s) (names changed) had been together five years and were great partners. Towards the end of their ceremony, as I was on the verge of zapping them with a blessing and then pronouncing them husband & wife, Argentina’s mother suddenly stood up and walked towards me.
I was puzzled but then remembered she was a widow. Maybe she wanted to thank folks for coming? Maybe she was supposed to read a poem and the couple forgot to tell me?
I walked over to her and in a voice only I could hear, she said these immortal words, “Do not pronounce them husband & wife, I have reservations.”
beyond stunned, I thought, “Do you really think I’m going to hand over my mic so we can enjoy a Jerry Springer moment?”
I smiled and said to her, “The only reservation you better have is for dinner.” Hey, I was born and raised in New York City!
It was now the mother’s turn to be stunned; she didn’t move. I raced back to the couple and pronounced them husband & wife.
The photographer, musicians and coordinator later swarmed me – no one could believe what had happened. But – I was concerned about Argentina.
When I found her, I gave her a big hug and she then told me something I think of every time I meet with a couple. She said, “I guess I forgot to tell you about my mother.”
Everyone knew that momma was “unpredictable.”
Everyone knew that momma was not happy with the marriage.
Everyone told Argentina not to invite momma.
Argentina knew her mother was trouble, but, out of guilt, she felt she “should” invite her. After all, she was her mother. And so she invited her – knowing that her mother may attempt to disrupt the joy of her day.
Throughout the morning, Argentina was anxious. Throughout the ceremony many of her guests were apprehensive. All because of her mother, who held the day hostage.
Argentina and Marco had gotten into many arguments over her mother. And, yes, I think I detected an “I told you so” smirk in Marco’s eyes after the ceremony!
Here’s the thing –
While planning your wedding, you and your partner can easily buy into the crazy making belief that there are things you “should” do regarding your wedding because that’s how things “should” be.
Stop and ask yourselves these Sanity Saver Questions –
- Are there any decisions you’ve made out of guilt rather than desire?
- Are you and your partner ready to live with the outcomes of those decisions?
- What is the worst thing that could happen if you refused to be influenced by “guilt”?
No one – no friend, no family member – has the right to take your day hostage by selfish whims and desires.
Do not plan your wedding out of a sense of “should.”
Plan it out of a sense of what you and your partner want to do. Be guided by what reflects you as a couple.
If you want more tips on how to communicate in smart, healthy ways with your partner – during wedding planning and beyond –
check out my book,
How to Plan Your Wedding AND Stay Sane!
Treat you and your partner to a communications coaching session with me.