Weddings + Self-Worth

If you have to stand on your head to make somebody happy, all you can expect is a big headache.

Ilene Beckerman

Shannon Kellogg, is a psychologist who got married several years ago in a hard-to-remember pre-Covid time! She reflected on her wedding in an article I saved from The Huffington Post: Is Your Self-Esteem Tied to Your Wedding? 

Here’s an excerpt –  

As I was planning my wedding, I found myself thinking about every decision carefully – weighing not just what I wanted, but how others would view it. I felt I had something to prove to my fiancé’s family, my friends, my frenemies who might see my wedding pictures on Facebook. I wanted them to see how happy I was, what an amazing relationship I had with the man I was marrying. 

I became consumed with how this wedding represented me. It was the culmination of all that I was and all that I was going to be. Did the flowers represent who I was? Did the venue really reflect our style? 

With all of the might I could muster, I realized I was going too far. I knew that I had to feel secure in myself and to feel good enough without needing anyone else’s approval.

The article reminded me of Emily and Jared (names changed), a couple whose wedding I officiated back in 2017. 

They were getting married at a private estate – a fun place that was going to allow them to personalize their celebration.  

When I complimented their venue choice, Emily looked sadly at me and said, “you don’t understand. . .my family is going to judge us for not giving them a grand party.” 

I was floored. Grand? The wedding was costing over $50,000. How was it not going to be “grand?”

She explained that compared with the weddings of her two cousins, this was going to be a modest affair.

Throughout the entire planning, Emily made herself miserable because of what she thought other people were going to say.  

Emily was not the only bride I’ve known who made herself miserable over what she thought people were going to say.

And now here we are, slowly emerging from a pandemic, and couples are debating whether to go “grand” or “micro.” 

Over the past year, as I’ve listened to my couples share their disappointment at having to reconfigure their celebration, I’ve also heard a certain panic, “what will people think?”

I understand all about family politics. Trust me; I really do. I’m New York, Irish, Catholic!  

I know it’s easy for me to say, don’t worry. Recognizing that, here are a few questions for you and partner to ask yourselves as you re-envision your celebration:  

  • What is your wedding celebrating?
  • What is the most important aspect(s) of your celebration?
  • Who needs to be with you IRT and who could share their joy with you in other ways and at other times?
  • What kind of team do you need to assemble to help bring this new vision to life?
  • What fears / concerns do you have about your re-imagined celebration? What’s the worst that could happen if they came true?
  • If you’re worried that people are going to judge you why are they in your life?

lYou can only keep the “I” in your “I Do” if you have a sense of who you are, who your partner is, and who you are as a couple. 

A pandemic can’t take that away from you.

A wedding – grand or micro – isn’t about “proving” anything. 

It’s about celebrating “everything” that you and your partner are and that you hope to become.  

If people aren’t willing to joyfully celebrate your life, then so be it.  

Why, though, give them the power to ruin your happiness?

If you want 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!

OR –

Treat you and your partner to a communications coaching session with me. 

Click HERE for details!

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