Ah, Weddings!

Tall palm trees swayed with the breezes as seagulls cried to each other overhead. Clouds scurried across deep blue skies, playing tag. On the beach, a picturesque scene is unfolding, chairs are placed in rows, with tulle and flowers attached to the backs of them while a pergola is in the process of being enacted. Several yards away, the waves lap gently on the shore. Everything seems to be in place for the wedding later on in the afternoon.

Photo credit: Arshad Pooloo

On the other side of the beach, angry, raised voices could be heard coming from behind a grove of palms. Several people seemed to be engaged in a heated argument, and a seagull flying overhead heard voices demanding that the wedding ceremony include certain elements while other voices angrily say no.

There is nothing like a wedding to get the juices flowing and people riled up. As joyous as they can be, weddings also bring out the worse in people as expectations rise to a crescendo without always being met. Traditions, expectations, and opinions are all ingredients in a recipe that calls for disaster unless everyone knows their place.

Once the proposal is done and the wedding plans begin, it is up to the couple to let their close families know what their expectations are, and who they will place in charge of the different areas. At this point, it is good to remember that there are two sets of parents and neither should feel they get to call the shots nor feel left out. If they offer to pay for part or all of the wedding, there should be conversations about what that entails to all parties involved. An offer is a gift that should not have strings attached. However, if the bride and groom-to-be ask their parents to pay for part of the wedding, or expect that their parents will pay for the wedding, then the parents should have some say in how they expect the wedding to go.

After everything is said and done, the important thing to remember is that the wedding day belongs to the couple and how they want it should be the priority for everyone involved. However, in today's society, there are also many marriages between people of different cultures and faith, so that is something that also needs to be addressed right from the beginning with family members. People will all have ideas, suggestions, and opinions and those are fine and good as long as they understand that the couple is the one who has the final say in how they will utilize those suggestions, or not. A suggestion for the couple is to write down all the ideas that family members have in a notebook so they will know their ideas are important and are being considered.

One thing to bear in mind is that someone will always be offended or get their nose out of joint no matter what decision is made, and while it seems like the ideal thing to please everyone, that is simply not possible. If the person insists on staying offended and refuses to see reason or keeps insisting on having their way, there is simply nothing anyone can do except to let them deal with being offended on their own while everyone else moves on to the other things that need to be done. There is still a wedding to be planned, after all!

Do remember that there will always be glitches and unexpected occurrences no matter how well a wedding has been planned. My wedding dress corset dug into my ribs and the only way I could avoid that was to sit ramrod straight, and I sat like that in the car outside the church chatting with my dad for 45 minutes while waiting to get inside. The person in charge of the music had left the flash drive at their home, and thankfully, someone was able to download a playlist via spotty WiFi at the last minute. To everyone who attended the wedding, nothing out of the ordinary happened, but for my husband and I, we definitely knew. We still laugh about all those things that made us break into a sweat then, acknowledging that those were special moments now cherished as memories. Those glitches are that which make every wedding unique and memorable years later, perfect for a shared laugh together. Half the time, they are the things that only the couple knows about and no one else will have the slightest idea that something that wasn't supposed to happen, happened. So, don't sweat the glitches that happen.

Above all, despite the stress of planning your wedding, breathe in deep and take the time to savor and enjoy every moment of it. Make the planning journey and the day itself memorable for you, it is yours to cherish for a lifetime.