We’ve Got This



Within two weeks of being engaged, my fiancé ran off to the Bahamas! He had already accepted a job in the Caribbean Sea and to top it all off, we had chosen the date to be married with only six months to prepare.

Little by little, over those two weeks we realised unless we engaged our village in the process, we were not going to make it through. Have you ever had to trust someone to do something that is really important to you?

Your wedding day is one of the three most stressful moments of your life. The first being the day you are born, the second the day you marry and the third day the birth of your first child. How did we arrange a day that was not only stress-free but brilliant? We engaged an army of friends and family to take part in every detail. Rather than rely on just our bridal party, we gave out tasks to many different people, starting with my ninety-something-year-old grandma to envelope the invitations.

The best part of all, now years upon years later, I still smile at the memories of all the different people who helped with small jobs. It was a flurry of encouragement as people said yes to contributing to the beauty of our day.

I have flashes of memories of a friend up a tree hanging decorations. A work colleague walking across the campus carrying a table. My dad spending weeks working on his special brew and my aunty sewing together parts of my grandma’s wedding dress into the bottom of my veil. Memories were made like a patchwork quilt of community, each and every person carefully contributing to what was the most stunning of days.

How can you trust other people in the midst of the preparations for your day? Firstly, I thought carefully about every person who was coming to the wedding and the strengths that I know they had. For example, my Aunty makes a mean slice, so I endeared her help with something she is really good at, asking her to bring it to the house as the bridal party got ready.

Little by little I weaved a network of strengths by asking my community to bring their best.

I learnt that not everyone has the capacity to do everything, but each and every person has something that they are good at. It takes courage to ask for help in moments of life that can be overwhelming, but a lesson I learnt from my wedding day was to not have high expectations of a small group of people, but to search out those in your life that have something small to offer that matches and celebrates their strengths. It is very rare that someone says no when I am asking them to do something that comes naturally to them.

Secondly, I needed to learn to communicate clearly and then release control. One of the hardest elements of a community life is thriving in the midst of diversity. You may have a very clear plan in your head of how you want something to go but the interpretation can be extremely different. The art of delegation is an important skill to foster in the arrangement of any event, but the magnification of your intention around your wedding day increases this tension.

It is really important when you are finding ways to trust people with your thoughts and ideas, that you find a way to describe your wants and needs in detail. This may be best described by a mood board, a regular coffee conversation or a task list with some great questions to help ascertain that your idea has been caught. There will come a moment, however, where it is really important that no matter the element within your big day, that you release control. The cake may have a little lean, the bridesmaid’s hairstyle may not deliver your original intent, but at the end of the day, you need to revel in the sheer beauty of the moment.

This lesson is so applicable to everyday married life. Often your ideas will not pull off the way you imagined them. That is the beauty of life. Tradesmen will interpret your ideas differently, your spouse will bring something into your life unexpected and it is still important to find ways to release control and love the imperfection of it all.

Allowing friends and family to contribute to your everyday life is a beautiful expression of a village.

Each and every person plays a part that flavours your world with difference. It is important that your wedding day has the flexibility to foster this environment because the results will be glorious. The generosity of people bringing their strengths. The hope of friends contributing to the commitment you are making for your tomorrow and the peace that comes when you learn to let go.


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