Updated: Jan 28, 2019
1) Setting the Stage for a "Mindful Bride & Groom"
The "Big Day" inspires so many definitions and ideas, the spectrum of these emotions is vast. As thrilling as this idea, and in time...this experience is, what can often get lost in the pace of planning is the true heart of a sacred union between two individuals.
Having worked alonside hundreds of mindful brides and grooms, and interacting with many various personalities as to the process of their planning, I came to find that the mindfulness of the moment is a critical focal point that must be of supreme importance.
Timelines get created, vendors are contacted, budgets designed and the work begins full speed ahead. The momentum is powerful, as the excitement grows, this is normal, and to be celebrated.
2) Touch~points for a "Mindful Marriage"
At this point in the planning journey, I always want to set aside meaningful moments to reconnect with the couple, and assist them in reconnecting with each other. So often, the bride tends to take the reigns, compose the design and story of this amazing day in uniting their lives. I often make the effort to really engage both parties in composing a design and experience that honors both of their truths in very authentic ways. They each bring a specific magic to this moment, and I believe that each perspective is critical in being expressed.
The fun in this, is creating that dialogue between this stunning set of people, and watching them design a symphony of emotional expressions that they want to play out for each other, and any others that join them in that celebration. This also brings them back to the present. Creating meaningful dialogue about their love, their passions, their goals sets the stage for a magical present, a "gift" if you will, that can re-focus their true intentions towards themselves and each other collectively.
a) For starters, have them both imagine and verbally dictate what the music will feel like as they walk down the aisle and then recite their vows to one another. Is it playful Indie Rock, purely acoustic, is it poetic, melodic and romantic? Get them both to really emote a truth of what they want the other to feel in experiencing this magical, mindful moment together!
b) Have them both write down the images, colors, themes and textures that they believe truly reflect their style for this big day. From the Arbor, the flowers, the centerpieces to the table settings and paper gifts...what is the sensual essence of these items, from both parties points of view?
As the process of planning develops, I always specifically create these touch points to assist them in learning how to come back to the moment...reflect in gratitude as to all the elements and personalities that came together in composing this experience.
Gratitude is the supreme state of well-being. To be thankful is to be whole, and when these beautiful people can remind themselves continually of how many amazing components have collaborated in bringing this moment to life, the process again becomes infused with a blissful resonance.
3) It's All About A "Mindful Marriage" not simply a wedding day
Above all else, I remind them that they are developing themselves for a lifelong marriage, not simply a one day wedding. This allows for a big picture point of reference when the details of planning can become a bit overwhelming. When everyone is trying to get their attention, and costs are inflating on various levels....the mind can start playing tricks. The "big picture" reminder of the love and delight they intend to develop over their lifetime together can be that soothing salve of relief.
Designing the focal point about preparing for a marriage instead of simply a wedding day, designs a much more stable and durable theme, and reduces the level of stress on many fronts.
* To do this with a "big picture" intention, I compose a design story for their venue, their tables and their experience with products that they can bring back home with them! Amazing floor rugs at the alter can become the center of their living room sanctuary. Stories lanterns that design the aisles can add that sweet touch of soft lighting in their bathrooms, lounges and study!
To me...this is so valuable. These couples can invest 100's if not 1000's of dollars into the design aspect of this big day. Why not allow this design investment to become the home decor that honors their lives together moving forward?!
4) Keep it All About the Fun
Continually emphasizing the reality and playful possibility that the day of the big event may not go exactly to plan, provides a childlike malleability to the wedding day. This mindset provides a much more flexible mindset, and can reduce the stress of the event tremendously. The goal of a wedding planner is to assist the couple in experiencing a set of moments the inspire their hearts and minds beyond the event, but into a future life together.
* Offer some easy and playful thoughts about unexpected outcomes...for example, I always say that whatever doesn't go to plan makes for a much better story to tell over time! I also always remind them that the love the celebrate that day is the only thing that matters, and everything else is just icing on the cake!!
I hold this space as a designer and coordinator with integrity, and I feel honored to assist amazing couples in creating a day that ignites their hearts with wonder, delight and unconditional love on as many levels as possible!