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Everyone knows that between the two who are betrothed, brides hold a special place in a wedding. To be sure, grooms count for something, but let's face it -- they're only sharing top billing with their beloved.
Across the ages, this is the good news and the bad news. If you are the bride, or know one, this is intended to assuage some of the stress that comes with the territory. It’s written for all the mythical younger women out there whom I liken to Helen of Troy and her elder counterpart, the allegorical A Woman of Valor.
Here are some things to keep in mind when dealing with the stress of planning (and pulling off) a wedding:
It's Not Always Smooth Sailing
For weddings to be both memorable and magical, women need to share their heart and love with family and friends. But everyone knows weddings are blessings rife with stressors. Along with the pleasures, they must acknowledge the inevitable divisions and be mindful of natural fault lines on the way to the sweet spot.
Don't be Afraid to Ask for Help
Many hands make light work - ought to be part of the agenda to rally support and get everyone on board, from paying the bills to cutting corners by assembling your own invitations. These days that means drawing resources -- financial and in-kind or deed -- from every corner and team member.
Whoever is helping launch Helen or is on the Valor end of the spectrum faces a tall order gathering forces while not stepping on toes to keep the agenda from being hijacked -- which, of course, is antithetical to producing a triumphant happening. From a destination wedding in Malibu to a City Hall/Chinatown lunch quickie, all weddings require lots of sensitivity to go along with time, thought and planning.
Consider the Bride's Perspective
There are some basic things you can do to make life easier for her. Every bride has in mind some investment in how things should look. If you plan on buying an outfit for the event, think about letting the bride choose the color of your dress and even the actual dress if she’s so inclined. It’s even better if she’s adept at cruising the Net for sites that have deep discounts during flash sales. Looking together online may be a small touch that turns out to be an immense time saver and a bonding experience.
Help with the Toast
Jog the parent’s memory, the roles Helen had in her school plays and Valor’s notable achievements. Allow the toaster to rehearse their speech with you several times out loud before he or she has to deliver it. Rehearsing allows them to refine the attunement - the prosody - the harmony and tempo to the occasion. This may enhance chances that the toast becomes an embodied experience that raises the ambiance of the whole event. This may help Mom and Dad to be ready with the bon mot and an extemporaneous touching aside -- such as describing the sky as a Dutch Master painting and then the rainbow appears.
Remind everyone to dance the night away by doing just that. Think of it as if it were your own wedding. Don’t steal anyone’s thunder, but have a great time. It is said that when marrying a person you are actually marrying their family and friends too. Be the one who brings the least baggage.