Firstly, allow me to introduce myself. My name, which everyone always leads with out of obligation and not because it actually reveals anything about a person, is Melissa. What am I doing here? Well, I’m one of Daniela’s brides, for starters. But really, I’m here because she’s the only person in my life that has ever asked me to be. What do I mean? Let’s rewind a bit…I am a writer by trade and by definition; I am a paid journalist in Dubai and if I had to define myself in only one word, I am a storyteller.
Now, ironically, I’ve never put down personal words with the intention of sharing them. I don’t even post Facebook statuses. Who knew that my wedding planner would be the push I needed?
Now for my main point: I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned about planning a wedding, which I have now officially been doing for almost a year. These steps also happen to be similar to those used for writing, and really any passion at all. Being a bride, for me, is a lot like being a writer. The following steps can be applied perhaps universally, but for the purpose of this piece, I’ll explain how they inform my current situation as both.
Step One (and it is absolutely critical that this step not be missed): FIND YOUR MUSE
Now, for me, my muse for both writing and my wedding happen to be one in the same. His name is Mo and in just over four short months, I will get to call him my husband. I have defined myself as a writer for as long as I can remember, but I didn’t put my pen to paper as an adult to even write down anything personal until one short month after Mo and I met (six years ago).
Finding a muse is not easy, but it should be the thing that draws you into yourself and results in a creation that mirrors the truest parts of your soul.
Throughout the wedding planning process, even the stressful bits, I remind myself of the person I’m marrying and I let that love inspire my actions. I ask myself: is this decision going to honor and reflect our personalities and the love we’re celebrating?
For example, when planning our destination wedding, one of our priorities during a trip to Italy was to visit accommodations for our guests. Many people asked me why we’re “wasting” time with something that will not effect us on “our big day.” The answer was simple: this wedding would not be ours if we did not make the effort to ensure our guests were well taken care of in every aspect.
Now, this is not to say that that should be a priority to everyone or you’re a selfish couple; however, for us, it was, and so we took the time to do it.
Which brings me to Step Two: UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT
When I write something, I always first ask, what do I want to get out of this? And then, what do I want my audience to get out of this?
Weddings are the same. Before getting caught up in every detail (and there are plenty), a couple should talk about their priorities. Mine were the music, the food, the venue and our guests enjoyment (for a bride, almost everything is a priority, but we have to use some word to describe the MOST important things). For Mo, the food, the honeymoon, our guests enjoyment, and the website (yes, we have a website) were the most important things. Of course, I’ve skipped our personal happiness throughout the process, which was of course a priority, but we’ll consider that a given).
When you take the time to understand the most important things, you know where to spend your time, energy and of course (it’s a wedding, after all) your money.
Step Three: ASK FOR HELP
When I started as a journalist, frankly I sucked, but fortunately I had a colleague who was kind enough to let me disrupt her thoughts all day to ask for help.
Of course, this post is going to live on The Tuscan Wedding website, so saying anything but absolute praise would likely not make sense. But please don’t let the placement of these words jade the belief that I mean the following with my whole heart.
If there is ever a person in your life that you hope just gets you (aside from the obvious: your spouse, best friend or perhaps even your mother) it’s your wedding planner. I interviewed a few candidates early on in the planning process before I got to Dany (Daniela) and as soon as the Skype call ended, Mo looked at me and said, “Well I guess we have a wedding planner.”
This woman has a way about her that is professional and understanding while also implementing the real-talk a bride so often needs. I truly believe that we could let her plan the entire thing without consulting us (which I could never do because I’m totally neurotic) and likely a wedding that reflects our wishes more than the one we’re currently planning. [NOTE: She is not paying me for this endorsement, in fact, I’m paying her.]
And finally, Step Four: WRITE YOUR OWN ENDING
In a piece of writing, if you’ve captured your reader long enough to get them to the end, this is where it counts the most.
The same goes for a wedding and all it represents. I’m not talking about the last toast, dance or photograph of the night, not even the honeymoon. I’m talking about the finish line, only crossed when couple can look back on their lives and know they did their best for each other. Love is not a wedding or a honeymoon, it’s a lifetime of compassion, empathy and compromise.
My favorite written quote about love is by Gabriel Garcia Marquez who wrote, “Only god knows how much I loved you.”
Now, I’m not a religious person, but the sentiment behind this message says it all, really. Regardless of your beliefs: the universe, god, or nothing at all, loving someone the real way sometimes leaves us in awe of the capacity of our own hearts. But…
Five: Even if you never truly find the words to express something as profound as love, in a marriage, the point is simply to never stop trying to make that person understand your love[:]