10 Steps to Building the Perfect Wedding Ceremony: #2c The Place

What is it about this venue that represents either your history or who you are as a couple today? Has every member of one of your families been married here? Are you a couple who finds meaning in the outdoors and a stand of redwoods seemed perfect to you. Are you golfers and the club-house is a place you are often found?

Tell people why this place is special to them. Make the connections so that they can make the connections. Selecting a place that is part of your life is a great way to keep reinforcing your marriage. Every time you visit, your brain will remember, “I was married here.” That kind of reinforcement helps you remember your wedding vows. That helps you keep them.

Tip: Choose a place that has meaning for your wedding venue. and then tell your crowd why you love it.

budget weddings, what are they good for?

I’ve been writing a series over on http://articlesbyann.com about planning your wedding cheaply. The thing I keep stressing in that series is that you can change what you do and how you think about your budget when you focus on meaning rather than money.

In today’s great examiner.com article, Elizabeth Oakes rues the mass purchasing weddings. She asks whether you really save money and reminds us that these weddings require a far greater time commitment of brides and grooms. Always amusing, (really, read her, follow her over there.) she points out that you often get exactly what you paid for. Another thing I never have understood about weddings is why everyone wants their weddings to be exactly like the next one. Warehouse weddings offer way too many possibilities for that.

Tip: There are lots of good ways to cut costs at weddings. Some of them include not doing some of the “musts” at weddings. (Never saw a reception that wasn’t impoved by skipping the expensive garter toss!) But here are a couple things to consider.

  1. Make a wedding budget, figure out where you want to spend your money and stick to it. So much of wedding cost is over-run.
  2. Simplify your wedding notions. What are you really trying to accomplish here? And you know what, there’s nothing that says you can’t have a great party at some other point in your life. Gather your friends on a frequent basis, it’ll make your marriage better and it’ll be a lot of fun.
  3. Shift from money to meaning. Create a fabulous wedding ceremony and great wedding vows. Now people are there for the celebration and not the party and that’s a good thing.

Ten of 1-10: the Work of Wedding Vows

It’s frustrating that with our emphasis on the importance of the wedding, we fail to understand that marriages are made day by day. Sure, in your wedding ceremony you announce your vows. But really, these are promises you’ve been working out over the span of your relationship. They will continue to transform and become more clear and more useful along with the relationship.

But something else is true about vows:

Promises are something you make and keep every day. Your wedding day is simply the start of your promise-making. Everyday is the day you agree to the importance of these vows. Every day is the day you decide to make your marriage happy and healthy.

Tip: If you understand that your promises are a work in progress, that every day when you roll over in bed to greet your beloved, that you are recommiting to marriage, your marriage will be richer. Every day you have the opportunity to do what is right for you, right for your partner and right for your partnership. It’s up to you: are you going to guard your promises and work hard at loving, honoring, cherishing and respecting. I hope so. No reason not to make your marriage a work of art and love.

Nine of 1-10: The Work of Wedding Vows

The old saw, “Love means never having to say I’m sorry,” has pretty much been consigned to the trash heap along with the rest of the rusty notions about relationship. The fact is good relationship thrives on each partner’s ability to be self reflective. Here’s what that means with regard to your wedding vows:

That you will recognize, admit, repent and make amends to transgressions, both large and small of those vows.

Being able to say “oh, I could have done that differently, I’m sorry if my actions hurt you” is an incredibly important activity in a marriage. Obviously, there are times, when transgressions are larger, that you will need more than an ‘aw shucks, honey, I didn’t mean not to listen (when you said it hurt you that I was having an affair!), but even when you blow past the intentions of your promises, you want to reconsider and recommit to their value in your life.

I found someone to agree with me as I was running past twitter on my way over here: Lonnie Hodge: “I think true integrity lies in the ability to express remorse –especially when there is nothing to gain except the truth.” But in marriage what there is to gain is a great relationship.

Tip: Keep your marriage vows close to your heart and your mind. You know it’s not always the big ways we offend our vows that breaks them down. It’s the tiny little slights and indifferences. How well do you cherish your partner? How does that reflect on you? Do you want to be a person who doesn’t keep your vows, who doesn’t cherish your partner? No. you don’t. So, you want to do your work here!

Eight of 1-10: The Work of Wedding Vows

It may be that one of the most important pieces of being human is the ability to make and keep promises. (Breaking them? Not so much!) I feel as if this isn’t really explored in our world today. There’s been so much emphasis on how we get ahead recently, that there’s less attention paid to being true to who you are. Well here we are. the getting ahead thing didn’t work out so very well for the economy or even the individuals involved!

I don’t mean to say that people haven’t been keeping wedding vows. Many do. (Although there are disturbing new stats that say somewhere north of 20 percent of couples are unfaithful in the first year of marriage.) It’s just I don’t know that the importance of this is emphasized. I don’t know if people understand how much it matters to each individual to be a keeper of promises!

Today’s message about the work of vows (or the work IN vows) is that you will police your keeping and breaking of those vows. There are personal and familial consequences to not keeping your word. Your marriage suffers when this happens and your sense of self is eroded. You could easily make this simply a legal issue, but what’s real here is paying attention to the spirit of the vows.

Tip: If your wedding vows are rules for living that you and your partner have constructed and agreed to, then you want to be the person reflecting on whether you are keeping them. Marriage isn’t a police state, it’s a covenant.
Are you living into yours? Are you altering behaviors when you notice that you’re not? They’re your vows, are you going to honor them?