I always like to start the year with an intention or a resolution. Sometimes I’ll come up with a straightforward resolution like, eat healthier or meditate more, but this year’s resolution is different and warrants some explanation.
My resolution this year is to be a bride forever…
Brides are “free to have their own opinions”
Like many women, I have always had a hard time knowing what I want or speaking up for myself. If you ask me what I want, I often say things like, “oh, I’m flexible” or ‘I don’t care’. Many times, this is true. But I can be so focused on being cool & easy going that I don’t take the time to think about what I really want to do. This can often leave me feeling drained and tired.
However, when I was a bride, it was the first time in my life that I felt free to have my own opinions. It felt really important that the wedding reflected who my husband-to-be and I really were. Despite the tons of input I received from others about the wedding, I was able for the first time in my life to trust my intuition and say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ based solely on what my opinion was.
Be comfortable with having your own opinion
So, the first step in being a bride forever is learning how to be comfortable with having opinions. I know many of you will have a hard time with this but having an opinion doesn’t mean you’re selfish or uncaring, it simply means you know what you want.
Because my wedding was so important to me, when someone asked me what I wanted, instead of pausing to think about what I thought they wanted me to say, I would pause and think about what I actually wanted and then share my conclusion.
It was definitely hard to do and sometimes people disagreed with me but I realized that I could roll with the punches. It’s ok if my companion doesn’t share the same opinion, we will figure something out that works for both of us.
The second step is to communicate clearly. Being a bride, I quickly learned that the more explicit I was about what I needed the easier it was to find people to help me. For my wedding I wanted homegrown lavender and wildflowers for the tables and the bouquets.
My wedding was in Montana (where my honey is from) and I hardly knew the area. I would describe my vision of wildflowers to others and I could see in their eyes that they thought I was a crazy city slicker from San Francisco.
But I kept putting the word out and my caterer ended up giving me the name of friend of hers. This woman grew all the flowers for our wedding in her backyard. She was amazing and the flowers were a highlight of the wedding. I was specific about what I wanted, asked until I received and it turned out beautifully.
Embodying the benevolent queen
The third and final step in being a bride forever is what I call embodying the benevolent queen. As the bride, you’re the boss and the center of attention. You are the only person who knows the answers to all the questions. What time is the photographer arriving? Where do the tables go? What do we wear to the reception? Phew! It’s a big job!
As the benevolent queen/bride your attitude sets the tone for the whole wedding and I was not used to taking charge like that. I was accustomed to trusting others more than myself. But this big event forced me to stay focused, communicate clearly, not take things personally and, most importantly, be accountable.
Yes, I wanted those brown tables. Yes, it was my idea to take pictures during the reception. No, I don’t want so-and-so to sit over there.
It’s hard to be the one to draw hard lines and stay graceful but that’s what it means to be empowered. It means that I am kind and firm at the same time.
I used to find myself apologizing all the time but now when I am faced with decision, I try to stay calm, take my time and figure out what I want to say.
Getting married is a huge rite of passage and I tried to stay as conscious and present as I could for the whole event. And I discovered that by stepping more fully into myself, I was able to commit myself more deeply to another person.
(lead image credit: Brandon Shuler)