When my love and I decided to start wedding planning back in January, we had NO IDEA what we were getting into. I honestly thought that as a new bride, the “collective community” would gently take my hand, congratulate me on this sacred time in my life, and ask me questions that would invoke my heart space to create my wedding day. After all, this is a uniquely sacred time in our lives where we cross unknown thresholds within our heart and soul and with one powerful action of sacred union say, “I believe in love. I believe in myself enough to take a leap of faith to join with someone else in heart and soul. And I believe so deeply in another human that I am willing to say yes to support their heart and soul as well.”
My deeply sensitive and intentional self was utterly shocked in my first four months of venue-searching and wedding planning. It turns out that the reality of the wedding industry, coupled with some of the social chatter about what is and isn't “supposed to happen,” has a tendency to be based in illusion and commercialism more than evoking and honoring the sacred.
For a moment my heart closed. I felt like I couldn't dream because my budget was too small. I felt alone in holding my tender vulnerable heart. And I desperately wanted my heart to be “held” not just by my friends and family, but also by the businesses and community members that are part of the wedding service industry. I wasn't looking for over-the-top, “make me the center of your universe” service. I was looking to simply be met in my heart space, and if I answered, “I don't know” to the onslaught of bombarding detailed questions that always get asked, I wanted it to be okay to not know. I wanted affirmation that this planning is a process filled with unknowns, and that the process of planning, in and of itself, creates the feel and the soul of the wedding day.
I want to acknowledge the sacred and the mystery of wedding planning. I wonder why the process of getting engaged and wedding planning are not themselves rites of passage? They certainly feel like it.
The past four months that I have been looking for a venue I have made the most intimate, internal leaps inside of myself. The times that I have been on Offbeat Bride, and read all of your posts and heard your voices, I hear themes. We are learning how to draw healthy boundaries (both in saying yes and no). We struggle with how to build family and community differently as we stand in the “center” of that connection. We confront what is terrifying and transformative about being the center of attention (which I am now realizing is not at all about being the center of attention but learning how to hold ourselves in the most powerful authentic center of our heart). We learn how to open our hearts with our loved ones amidst tensions. We are transforming ourselves and consistently unfolding in preparation for that moment of union with our love. That is some powerful shit, too powerful to NOT be in the forefront of the wedding dialogue.
Why isn't the social and collective dialogue more about this? Why isn't intimacy at the center of all things wedding planning? Why am I considered “offbeat” when I say to my family, “I may not want this or that because it is not coming from my heart”? Or when I say, “I need help exploring how I feel in my heart and belief system about this or that tradition before I commit to its detail.”
It has been a tough go at finding the wedding venue, but I finally found it! I just found the place, the very container, with which I can drop into my dreams. I feel a little safer about getting carried away in my heart after going through the first cycle of tension and making it out the other end. I endured saying no to family, and learning that it is okay to do that. I learned how to protect my heart and simultaneously keep it open when I encounter something or someone who may not meet me in a heart space. I have also learned to decipher my real dreams from my illusions (either a false belief inside of me, or an external image created from a social stigma that encourages fantasy over intimacy).
From now until our wedding date, I honor and acknowledge that all parts of this wedding planning process are transforming me to step into my most powerful deep-hearted self. I acknowledge this rite of passage, for myself, is the corner stone to the soul and mystery of the union that is being created by my Love and myself.
I call out to all you offbeat couples with whom this post resonated with. Join me in this rite of passage, celebrate yourself, honor whatever it is inside of you that needs to be healed, changed, and owned in order to deepen in love and intimacy. Let all your unknowns create more soul. Let all sources of tensions or dramas be mirrors into what is not yet internally resolved. Let let this be a sacred and joyful process… and bring intimacy to the forefront of our weddings!