When you're swimming in the sea of bridal shoes, centerpieces, favors, white dresses, bridesmaid dresses, up-dos, and cake toppers, it can be easy to lose sight of the shore. In fact, you sometimes lose all control and get swept away in the current.
I feel for you. Wedding planning can be a very stressful and taxing time. There's a big party to plan, family complexities to cope with, friendships to maintain, pressure from the Wedding Industrial Complex to dodge, a relationship with your partner to build, and real life to keep up with (just to name a few stressors).
It can help to step back and remember that the wedding is the start of our marriage, not the grand finale.
While Matt and I were planning our wedding, we were also looking for new jobs, buying our first house (over a thousand miles away), coordinating a move, considering a new dog, and balancing our Montessori certification courses with full-time teaching.
After our wedding, things didn't get any less stressful. Soon after we moved into our new home in Houston, Hurricane Ike hit, damaged our home, and left us without power for 14 days. Then our dog got out of his collar, ran across a busy street, got hit by a car, and went missing for nine hours. A few months later, both of our cars were stolen.
In light of these life events (which were mild compared to more tragic things that could have occurred), our wedding didn't seem like such a big deal after all. Sure it's a meaningful and memorable shining star in our memories, but it's now a memory. What's left is our commitment to each other to be the best partners we can be, day in and day out, regardless of the challenges we face.
The wedding is like the icing on the cake*. It gets licked off. Therefore, we have to focus on the cake of our relationships--the substance--because that's what will be left when the icing is gone.
(*Please excuse the imperfect metaphor. The cake gets eaten, too. I was trying to think of something surface that comes off and then leaves something substantial behind, but I'm drawing a blank!)