Last week I received an email from my future sister-in-law that held a note of...well...stress. Or two. She's working through the preliminary wedding-planning decisions and getting all kinds of conflicting information from the people around her (sound familiar, Delightfully Engaged?) on where, when and how to plan her wedding and get married (with the added complication of being from another country and having to worry about visas and potentially complicated legalities).
Oh, wedding planning, how difficult you can sometimes be.
At the risk of sounding like I think I know what I'm talking about (believe me, I probably don't), I offered her some simple advice: don't panic.
This was shortly followed by making sure that she knew that she should be the one to figure out what she (and my brother, I suppose!) want for their wedding...and that when they made their decisions we would do everything in our power to help and support them carry their plans out.
When I think about my own wedding planning experience I remember how easy it is to get overwhelmed by all the decisions that must be made and all of the different forms of input and opinions that are involved almost every step of the way - everything from food to flowers to bridesmaids' shoes is a choice to make, and there's a very good chance that the bride is not going to be the only one with thoughts on the matter!
Which is a good thing, by the way, because it means that the people around you are invested in your day and your happiness and your marriage. But it also tends to lend a few more variables to every conversation - variables that can go from feeling like a gentle trickle of information to a tidal wave very, very quickly.
I think though, in my experience - and please let me know if you think I'm off my rocker on this one - that once I figured out that at the end of the day everyone around me was really there to help me carry out my idea of my perfect day, I was able to breathe a huge sigh of relief. I realized that, no matter what we might differ on along the way, when it came to crunch time all of these people were just there to make sure it all came together exactly the way I wanted it to.
And that, with that kind of love and support, none of the decisions that had worried me before were worth the stress or the worry. Because everything, from where and when to those pesky bridesmaids' shoes, is all going to work out beautifully in the end.