My father, Hank Basayne, and his writing partner, Linda Janowitz wrote these words below more than 30 years ago. Their instructions even work for Zoom weddings in these COVID-19 times.
You have a choice. You can either be apprehensive, worried about all the last minute details, rushed, confused, tense, anxious - or you can be relaxed, savoring every precious moment of this rich experience, leaving yourself open to delight, joy, and happiness.
How you prepare for The Day and how you choose to experience it is entirely up to you. Here are some hints that may make your wedding day easier and more like the day you want it to be.
Decide not to let anything hassle you
Sure there's too much to do. You may never have done this before, but there are many people who want to help you. Delegate! Make this a day when you start sentences with "Would you please do me a favor...?" Don't take on the anxiety of others-parents, your soon-to-be-spouse, jittery friends, anyone. Decide that you will be an island of serenity in the sea of chaos.
If you like to sleep late, have everything out of the way the night before so that you start the day in the best possible mood. Give yourself enough time for a long bath or shower, time to dress carefully, a chance to go for a quiet walk or eat a leisurely meal. Pamper yourself in the ways that you know best - get your hair just so or get an extra special shave, take time with the kids, have a telephone visit with your best friend, or just take time to be by yourself. Don't wait until the last minute to leave for the wedding: you have enough on your mind today and you don't need a speeding ticket. Be good to yourself.
You've selected someone you trust to oversee the details. Now give yourself the seclusion you deserve, before the ceremony. Choose whether you will spend this quiet time together or alone, and then find a quiet, private place where you can contemplate what you are about to do.
Expect the unexpected
Every effective planner plans for the unanticipated: the humorous remark of a small child during a serious moment in the ceremony; a misplaced ring; a lost best man; a late wedding cake. These can try your patience and ingenuity. Face each unexpected occurrence with ease and good humor. Your guests are not critics. They bring tons of goodwill. They're with you to share your joy. Your mood will set the mood for those around you.
Let the wedding unfold!
You've done the hard part. You've checked the checklists and delegated tasks to others; you've covered all the bases. From now on the wedding takes on a life of its own. There's a beginning, middle, and end. Let it happen. It's going to be great!
(Shared with permission from Weddings: The Magic of Creating Your Own Ceremony, 1999)
Here are some thoughts about weddings, writing, and the world. Enjoy.