One of the “mantras” I shared with brides in my former shop, as a reminder to really pay attention during their quintessential rite-of-passage, was something like: “However you 'be' while planning your wedding is how you’ll ‘be’ in your marriage.” And years later when I read the expression, “how you do anything is how you do everything,” it seemed the experts agreed with me!
Working with countless brides through the years, I encouraged a woman to use her time in the bridal spotlight to look inside, find and be guided by her inner voice; to love her body just the way it is; to ask for what she needed and don’t be afraid to make “unreasonable” requests in support of her well-being; and, if possible, find someone who is a wise listener she can talk to about anything. (Many bridal shopkeepers become that “good listener” and sympathetic ear for a bride’s concerns and life stories.) The inner-process of a bridal rite-of-passage—which can be a very intuitively expansive feeling—is the perfect time to deepen relationships with family and friends while hearts are already open. It’s the perfect time to complete any withheld communications, to say the “hard stuff” with love, to heal old hurts and wounds, and especially to practice forgiveness.
After their wedding and once they’d become part of a married couple, many women reported back to me about what they had noticed. By staying focused on their relationship during the wedding planning hustle and bustle, it was easier to notice what was in the way of making a deeper connection in their marriage. Long after the wedding day is over, when the day-to-day routine replaces the spotlight, looking inside makes a difference.
Even though Diana didn’t seem to have a reflective practice at this stressful yet expectant time of her young life, I believe that something was guiding her, moving her into a divinely destined future where she would be calling attention to the importance of where women placed their attention. Looking back at that time, her life brings up queries not only for brides, but for all women. When women attend to things important to their hearts, something changes immediately. When Diana put attention on her jealousy and upsets, she made herself sick. When she put attention on where her heart led, she felt more at peace, on purpose, and she lit up the world. ~
[Photographs: top by Julie Mikos; middle from Martha Stewart]
[Upcoming post....another book excerpt from The End of the Fairy-Tale Bride called "Who's Inside the Dress"....]