Thursday, June 26, 2008
There's one thing that couples tell me they worry about more than anything else - emotions. Grooms seem to worry about this more than their brides as they feel it is socially acceptable for a woman to cry in public but not a man. This is a shame because, in my opinion, there's nothing more touching and endearing than seeing a man be openly emotional.
Most couples are most apprehensive about their emotions coming to the fore during their vows. In humanist ceremonies you can write your vows yourself but if a couple is worried that their heartfelt words will move them to tears, we can write the vows in a way that I ask them as a question and all the couple has to say is, "We do."
I have had a couple of instances where either the bride or groom was worried about the wedding because they had recently lost a parent. It is so awful to think that their wedding day might not be the joyous occasion they hope for because it will be touched with sadness that a special person in their life won't be there. When couples have lost parents before they marry, I always advise them to pick up the marriage schedule a few days before the wedding and have a good look at it. If a parent has died it will say "deceased" in brackets after their name. This could come as quite a shock to a couple signing the paperwork if they haven't seen it earlier.
I think that a good way of dealing with bereavement before the wedding is to take some time out earlier in the day to think about the person you will be missing and focus on how happy they would be for you. It is also good to share these feelings with another family member or friend so that they know how you might be feeling on the day and can support you.
Sometimes unexpected emotions can make a wedding extra special. One of my earliest weddings was for a couple who had been together for 20 years and were mainly getting married for practical reasons although they were having a big wedding and had invited all their family and friends. When I asked the groom how he felt about getting married he sort of shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well, we've been together all this time so its hardly that exciting." And on the day? Let's just say that I don't think I have married a more emotional groom! Thier wedding was a celebration of the time they had been together and was incredibly moving.
I have had to supress a sob or two myself at times but only because I was so happy for the couple!