Create a Shared Vision

[The most difficult thing is the] pressure from outside sources to create an elaborate extravaganza — the ‘perfect day.’ For me, I want my wedding to be primarily about family/friends coming together, and also about the religious ritual and, I hope, a sense of spiritual/emotional closeness and life-affirmation. The onslaught of pressure to spend more money and buy more stuff makes my heart feel heavy.

This bride (who answered our 2014 survey of 100+ people) has a clear vision for her own wedding, which is wonderful. But she’s still struggling with the expectations of others.

You might face similar challenges, whether those expectations come from your oh-so-excited mother, your well-meaning future brother-in-law, or the latest issue of Bridezilla Magazine. This is an important event, not only for you and your partner, but for your families, and even your friends.

Weddings can bring out the worst in people, and surface tensions that you didn’t even know were there.

Having a clear vision of what matters most, and importantly, sharing that vision with others, is your best defense in the Battle of Expectations.

Ready to start creating a shared vision? Check out the shared vision activities in the Toolkit.

Exit Clause

Sometimes the best way to be true to yourselves is to opt out entirely. Weddings are not a requirement for a real, true commitment. There’s nothing wrong with eloping or heading down to City Hall – or deciding against the institution altogether!