It's all well and good to talk ideals and big dreams, but we need to take some action to make change in the world, in particular, in your world as you get married.
So here's the definitive checklist on how to plan an intentional wedding.
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How to have an intentional wedding
The path to an intentional wedding is light and airy, it’s not supposed to be hard. That’s my biggest gripe with the world today, that when you do the hard work of finding someone you really like, and then you fall into love, so much so that you would want to marry, the entire narrative is that it’s hard, it’s stressful, it’s expensive and basically terrible.
It’s the narrative you read about, you hear about, and everyone parrots, that as you proceed through the steps of life things get harder. Getting married? Hard. Having kids? Hard. Buying a home? Hard. Starting a business? Hard.
The truth is that all these things are hard if you’re not walking your own path, living an authentic and vulnerable life in a community with people that you love, and love you. When you’re freed of the burdens of keeping up with the Joneses and the Kardashians, and you make decisions as a couple things aren’t hard, they just are what they are because you decided so.
Take the example of hiking a mountain. If you never climbed the mountain the mountain would be fine without you, but there are personal fitness gains to be had from the hike, it can be enjoyable, the view from the top will be unforgettable, and if you’re doing it with friends it will be enjoyable. The unavoidable fact is that walking up a mountain can be tough on your body, but you’ve made the personal choice to embark on the adventure. It’s not hard, it’s just exactly what it is. A large amount of energy is required of you.
I’ve got two daughters and raising them is much like climbing a mountain, they require a lot of me, but they bring me so much joy and fulfilment, and they have certain requirements of Britt and I, but it’s not hard being their dad. It is what it is because we decided to become parents. We were so very intentional with this decision.
As you embark on marriage, it’s impossible to be married without getting married, so as you get married, make those decisions with intent. Knowing they may require finance, energy, and talking through decisions with your partner, but it’s not hard. It’s not stressful, it is what is, the beautiful process of getting married.
To have an intentional wedding the steps ahead of you include:
- Figure out how people like you marry. What is important to the two of you when you marry? When people like you marry, what happens?
- Assemble a team of people that can make that happen. From venue to photographer, celebrant, and ice sculptor, figure out who you need to make what you want. But don’t lock in dates yet.
- Work out where in the world it should occur. Start with which country or state, then start narrowing it down. What matters with location? Do you want to make a getaway out of it, or keep it close to home? Which kinds of venues are available in that area and are they the kind of place you’d like to marry?
- Build a list of the people who absolutely have to be there to celebrate with you. No obligation guests, only the people who are contributing parties in your life. Jim from work does not have to come unless you’d like them to. Be intentional with each guest and who would accompany them.
- Knowing the rough costs (after getting quotes, and multiplying guest numbers by food and beverage costs) work out when you can get married according to your current finances and your saving ability.
- Collaborate with your wedding-creating team and venue on available dates for everyone according to your financials.
- Book everyone in for that date, start saving, and collaborate with your vendors to make it happen, and look forward to that date.
- Let your wedding happen to you!
In the coming chapters, we’ll explore these steps and the actual wedding planning in more detail. But the important takeaway today is that your expectations are in line with your realities, and you chose a date last, not first.