||For the Goddess in You
A Quarterly Column
by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway
Be A Wedding
The Zen Way To Bridal Balance
loves a wedding … but are we living in a nation of
stressed out brides?
Runaway Bride story of recent headlines is not a typical
wedding season story, it helped shine a light on an
important topic: Planning a wedding can be a big pain
in the you-know-what. And while it supposed to be “the
happiest time of your life” all that planning and people
pleasing can zap the spirit and joy out of being a
bride. In fact, it can make normally stable people feel
completely out of wack.
If you are a
bride, plan to be one some day or know someone who is,
there are some things you should know about planning the
“perfect” weddings. For starters, “the perfect wedding”
is an elusive state of being conjured in images and ad
slogans by people who sell products and experiences to
wedding can be perfect for you and your beloved, just
the way it unfolds, if you can live it and see it
through your spiritual eyes.
You have to
know at the start that the pathway to the altar is paved
with some bumps in the roads …comes with the territory.
Bridal stress is unique. It is essentially temporary,
yet is connected to much deeper family issues and
emotional/spiritual challenges. It can easily be
triggered by practical issues – ask any bride who has
tried to interpret a tricky vendor contract or shop for
bridesmaid dresses with their attendants -- and is
exacerbated by family dynamics . There is often a
decision to make, or challenge to resolve, at every turn
of that journey to the altar. Every little nuance --
and nuisance -- can put you in a momentary tizzy.
It is no
wonder some women get the bridal blues.
Here are some of the
challenges, and the antidotes, for brides-to-be:
Bridezillas are made, not born.
It’s supposed to be the happiest time of your life – and
you want it to be – yet planning a wedding is, as my
colleague Arlene Cronk would say, like working a second
job. You have to find the time to tend to a multitude of
details as part of an already busy schedule while
managing vendors, family anxieties and demands, your
groom, your emotions and an array of tricky wedding
dynamics. True, some brides are downright demanding but
most are nice people, sucked into the vortex of wedding
planning stress, and overwhelmed by the stress, pressure
and expectations of those around her.
A bride has to include stress management, self-nurturing
and time to chill out as an integral part of her wedding
planning process. When you feel the stress building,
take time out, go for a walk, slip into a movie, get a
massage, go for a manicure, write in a journal, do
something un-wedding. You have to love, honor and
cherish yourself if you want to be loved, honored and
cherished by someone else!
Everyone has something to say about your wedding – and
you are not alone in feeling you can’t win!
No matter who you are or what age … everyone has
something to say about your wedding. You may be showered
with congratulations and gifts, but you are
simultaneously bombarded with unsolicited advice,
wedding horror stories you don’t want to hear, and
negative vibes from well-meaning friends and relatives
who are too lost in their own experience to realize they
are imposing on you. People tend to see your wedding as
a chance to fulfill their own needs and family dynamics
erupt in every which direction because as the clan
prepares to gather they begin to act out what it’s all
about for them – not you! The issues are classic – mom
wants it to be the wedding she never had, sister or best
friend wishes it were her, your groom is afraid to stand
up to his family. Or the experience may be fraught with
more modern challenges such as questions about mixing
faiths, opting for a non-religious wedding or planning
an alternative kind of affair.
A Bride has to clarify the wedding she truly wants, try
to stay centered and set clear boundaries that no one
can penetrate with words or attitudes. If all else
fails, consider this: The reality is that weddings tend
to be for other people, but marriage is for you two.
Focus on what your marriage will mean to you.
married can stir up a lot of emotions.
The process itself sets forth period of growth and
change that can be very confusing and nerve -wracking.
Once you decide to marry you will begin the process of
getting ready for marriage, and unresolved emotions
about parents and family, past loves and concerns about
the person you have chosen will come to the surface to
be explored. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t marry, it
just means inner work is called for along with all the
A bride can embrace the awareness that she is embarking
on a journey of evolution from one part of life to
another, and honor and address the emotions and fears
that arise. Trust they are natural and pay attention to
any issues that might require support or counseling. It
is important to stay on top of your emotions and be
honest with yourself during this time. Don't sweep
things under the rug.
planning can be a crisis.
There is so much focus on the external experience that a
bride can become mired in details and demands and lose
track of herself and the reason she is getting married
in the first place. When she feels that planning the
wedding of her dreams means going to battle – with
parents, family, friends, groom, and almost anyone
involved – she becomes hostile and reactive. What began
as a joyful experience turns into a fight … a fight for
having the perfect wedding. It is exhausting and can
turn even sweet tempered people can turn mean and
Wedding Goddess Solution: Remember that the true
meaning of marriage is to bring two together in sacred
union – the party is meant to be a celebration not
something that will kill your spirit in the planning.
When two people in love literally step up to commit
themselves to one another in matrimony they have the
opportunity to unite not just their hearts, lives and
families, but to unite their very beings. And it is not
just the couple that benefits from the ceremony – anyone
who witnesses a wedding can be empowered and inspired by
the love in the room. Focus on the love and remember it
is always your aim.
5. Your happiness in life DOES NOT hinge on your wedding
alone (it really doesn't ... so lighten up!) Some
brides believe that they must have a perfect wedding in
order to have a perfect marriage and a perfect life.
They give the wedding day too much power. They begin to
treat the wedding itself as something to be worshipped
and served. There is an underlying fear that if
something goes wrong with the wedding, it is a sign that
will make or break the marriage. Our culture places a
tremendous emphasis on having a great wedding and not
enough focus on having an awesome marriage. It's okay to
be temporarily obsessed and to yearn for the perfect
wedding -- we all go there at some point -- but you have
to keep your eye on what's truly important.
Wedding Goddess Solution: Step back and realize, the
most important part of the day is not the day itself ...
but that you walked down that aisle and into the arms of
the person you love … the one you look forward to
building your life with. You will have a lifetime in
which you can create more memories ... the wedding day,
while important, is only one of the many experiences and
memories you will share!
Most of all, relax and have fun on your big day!
© Copyright 2005 Rev. Laurie Sue
Brockway. All Rights Reserved.
Reverend Laurie Sue's Past Columns:
January-February 2005 - "Goddess Reflections"
2004 - "My Enduring Relationship with the Man of
August-September 2004 - "Move Forward … Make Change …"
2004 - "Meet the Amazing Alexander Kent Garrett"
2004 - "13 Steps for Making Your Romantic Dreams
2003 - Bring Light and Healing to Your Family
for the Holidays
2003 - "Even In Midlife,
We Can All Use A Fairy Godmother"
2003 - "The Secret to Serenity"
2003 - "A
Gathering of Goddesses: Our Girlfriends Keep Us Real"
2003 - "Love Has Its Own Schedule"
2003 - "A Spring Time Reawakening To Soulful Love
and Self Love"
2003 - "Marry Yourself First..."
2002 - "Who is the Goddess?" & "The
2002 - "How to Clear Your Love Clutter"
2002 - "How to Mourn a Broken Heart and Lost
2002 - "Relationships That Nurture and Inspire
Growth of the Soul
2002 - "Finding Peace in a Turbulent World"
2002 - "Sacred Sexuality For Modern Men and
2002 - "When Someone You Love Pushes Your Buttons"
2002 - "When Life Has You Down, Remember You Are
2002 - "Plan a Valentine's Day Team Date"
2002 - "Do I Hear Him Knocking … From the Other
2001 - "How Do We Make Our Love Dreams Come True?"
2001 - "What is the Future of Love?"
2001 - "Getting to Know
the Goddess of Good Fortune"
2001 - "Can't Hurry Love... It Will Happen in Its Right Moment"
2001 - "Family Rituals Help Us Grow Into Loving Beings"
2001 - "Dreams Warn It’s Time To Own Your Power"
2001 - "A Fun Visual of Your Favorite Romance"
May 2001 - "Someday
Your Mystical Soul Mate Will Come"
2001 - "Enjoy the Merriment and Fun of An Ancient Love
2001 - "Nourish Yourself On a Date for One"
2001 - "Get Ready for Soulful Love"
Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway is a non-denominational wedding
officiant, who regularly marries couples in love. She is
also widely recognized as a bridal stress expert devoted
to helping brides-to-be tap into their inner power and
poise. She is co-facilitator of The Bridal Survival Club
for The New York Wedding Group and author of WEDDING
GODDESS: A Divine Guide To Transforming Wedding Stress
into Wedding Bliss (Perigee Books, May 2005). Visit
her at www.WeddingGoddess.com.
TO SOULFUL THOUGHTS