First, I want to offer my deepest sympathies to anyone who has had to postpone or cancel their wedding. I am sorry that you had to delay what will surely be the best day of your life and I hope that my words can offer encouragement during this time. While you look to the future and revisit your plans, please consider these ideas while moving forward.
1. Grieve with your Fiancé
When expectations are not met, we naturally respond with disappointment. This can even take the form of grief. Let me tell you there is nothing wrong with the sadness you are feeling. You had an expectation for your wedding and that fell through. Maybe you chose a specific date and have had to let it go. It is perfectly natural to experience feelings of sadness and loss. You don’t need to add guilt on top of that.
So, go ahead and feel those feelings. Cry, journal, go for a walk, eat some ice cream, do whatever you do, just don’t bottle up those feelings or push them to the side. Tell your fiancé how you are feeling. Express your disappointment. This is a great opportunity to learn how to handle difficult situations as a team.
Set an end date for your sadness. Give yourself the amount of time that you need. Is it an hour, a day, a weekend? How long do you need before you are ready to hop back on the wedding planning horse? Grieve but don’t wallow in it. Yes, this is incredibly disappointing, but a lot of good can come out of this.
2. Who’s Wedding are you Planning?
Wedding planning is a lot like project planning. As time goes on you can get analysis paralysis and loose sight of the bigger picture. Pinterest is great for ideas but terrible for setting expectations. You can easily plan the perfect Pinterest wedding and totally loose your individuality. Now is the perfect time to go back to the drawing board and ask yourself, “Are we planning the wedding we actually want?” And if the Pinterest wedding is what you want then by all means go for it!
The point is, your wedding is more important than that couple’s on Instagram. Your wedding is meant to symbolize the love you and your fiancé have for each other. It is meant to represent YOU. So, take this opportunity to sit down with your beloved and revisit the main aspects of your day. What are the most important features and are there some things to let go of?
3. Pick Three Things
As a fun exercise I ask couples to come up with three things they want for their wedding. Obviously, your main goal is to get married but it is fun to think of three adjectives or feelings you want to accomplish. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to think about those three things. Do your plans fit with those three things or do you need to revisit some ideas? Are there extra things that you can let go of or ways you can save some money?
This exercise is designed to help reduce pre-wedding stress. It helps focus your priorities on what actually matters. It also gives you a great excuse to say no. As I’m sure you have found, advice and suggestions will fly at you like you are planning an earth-saving trip to Mars. Remember this is a day of celebration and it is for you as a couple, not anyone else.
So, if you realize that your Great Aunt’s offer to play the harp upon your entry isn’t really your style, or that you would rather have cupcakes than the expensive cake your sister picked out, its ok to say no. Point back to your three things and explain that you considered the suggestion but your going to stick to what fits you and your fiancé best. Thank you so much for the offer Aunt Martha, but we chose a song that represents us and we would love for you to relax and enjoy the day.
4. Speaking of Expectations
Now is also a great opportunity to review your expectations for marriage. Whether we realize it or not we bring expectations into every new situation and relationship. When they are not met, we can feel disappointment and frustration. For example, I just found out that Drew has been eating the double stuffed Oreos when we already had a box of plain Oreos open and I never expected someone would betray me like that.
All jokes aside, you will want to discuss some expectations with your fiancé. These can be as menial as who will mow the lawn, or more relational such as who will we visit for holidays? Who will do most of the cooking? How often will you eat out? Discussing topics like finances, raising a family, social activities, and sex will set a great foundation for your marriage.
Your wedding will still be an amazing start to your marriage. It will be a celebration of the love shared between you and your favorite person. I hope that you can take this time to grow closer to your fiancé and focus on your priorities both for your wedding, and your future together.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic and how you are coping with any expectation that was not met during this difficult time.