Friday, 14 December 2007

What's the Story Here?

Let me continue to clarify the reason for this blog. It's about the journey of getting married and being individual, waking up, being conscious, making things matter, making decisions and choices that fit with who you are and want you want.

It's not about commercial wedding planning. It's not about doing things right, following trends, following others but about following your heart. Listening to your heart, yourself, hearing yourself, becoming a person in your own right.

Everything that I choose to write about connects to those ideas. I coach people to think for themselves, trust themselves, have confidence in themselves, understand themselves and generally emerge on their wedding day with a strong sense of themselves so that they can take a whole person into their marriage.

It's also about life transition, change, rites of passage, life events and looking at the bigger picture. It's about putting heart and soul into something that has become increasingly soulless and about looking at the whole experience of getting married and planning a wedding as an opportunity to develop and grow.

And why? Because these are things that I care about. Because many people don't have the best experience possible when they get married and step into their new status in a bewildered and mildly traumatised state. It's got to be better than that. Greater than that.

I feel strongly about living in such a commercial world; a fanatical consumers society where bigger, better, faster and brighter are king and weddings are meant to be as perfect and sanitised as a Hollywood A-listers teeth. I feel bound to share my views, my ideas and experience in a way that can and may make a difference to someone else's experience and could and may change, just a little, how getting married and planning a wedding is perceived. That's what I hope, anyway.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

First Dance


Here's inspiration. Swaying around the room's just not right for some folk. They wanna do their thang! This may not be for all couples but it's a great illustration of how to express the different parts of yourself in your wedding day.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Choose Words

Presents for the bridesmaids, paige boy, best man, mother in laws. Presents for each other? What is all this unnecessary present buying that has become de rigeur? The wedding forums are full of brides asking each other what they have bought for everyone and pleading for inspiration for a particularly judgemental mother in law to be.

There is already too much pointless expense. Why does a groom, on his wedding day need a present from his bride? Is it not enough that she is marrying him, exchanging lifetime vows with him, emerging from the day as his wife?What present can match that?

This is the tireless work of the fat cat wedding industry sending out relentless messages that wedding party present buying is good etiquette. What a load of old bollards!

Of course, everyone likes to be recognised for the roles they play at a wedding. People like to be appreciated and to feel important but genuine gratitude can be beautifully conveyed in a speech or a personal, hand written card which can be kept forever.

Weddings are not award ceremonies and present buying isn't obligatory.It doesn't mean that you are stingy if you don't show your appreciation with a gift. It has all got way, way out of hand. Keep it simple, keep it real and, perhaps with the exception of the little ones, feel proud about communicating your thanks in words from your heart and it will be received in the spirit in which it was given.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Arrange Me a Marriage

Another angle, another show about marriage. This time, not strictly weddings-though that's obviously the desired end result for the people who have put themselves up for this. With their belief that they will find 'the one' by normal Western methods on the wane, they have offered themselves to Aneela Rahman, an attractive Asian woman-who will take them down the more direct husband hunting route favoured by Asian cultures. That's the idea of Arrange Me a Marriage currently airing on BBC2 ''What matters,'' Aneela says, ''is matching up class, expectations, family and earnings.''

What about chemistry? And love? I think that's supposed to gradually grow. It's an interesting debate-What's best, marriage for romantic purposes or pragmatic ones? There is a strong case for each -I understand why we in the West, eventually came around to the idea of Romantic marriage but we live in a throw away culture where divorce can be filed for after just twelve months and perhaps if were to adopt some of the strategies used in Eastern and some African cultures, we may end up with more suitable partners. It's so hard to judge well when you are in love!

I wonder, when a final choice is made from a selection of suitors presented by the family, does the Indian bride still ask How can I be sure? How do I know I'm doing the right thing? Is this really the one? Some Western brides-and grooms, drive themselves insane looking for definite answers. A sign from above-whatever.

Can anybody ever be 100% sure? I really don't think so and it's necessary to accept that. Getting married is something of a leap of faith however you found your partner because we cannot know what lies ahead. The best that you can do is to let go of expectations, go with the flow of life, be open-minded and rock solid in your own reasons for getting married and saying 'yes' in the first place.

When you have clarity on what you are doing, why you are doing it and what marriage means to you, when you have acknowledged and thoroughly understood your intentions then your intuition, your gut feeling will give you an indication of whether you are doing the right thing for yourself or not. Truly, it will. The question is, are you prepared to listen to it.?