Let’s start by asking ourselves why we care about the perfect wedding? I mean really, does a quality wedding mean that you are going to have a quality marriage? Absolutely not! Are you getting married because your parents are telling you that it is the right thing to do and that this rite of passage is the seal that will set you up to have a happily wedded life? Maybe. What if you get married within a belief system that requires you to do all kinds of traditions, then later on in life, you drift away from that belief system; does that mean that the actual ceremony itself had no meaning and is no longer valuable to you? More than likely, no.
A wedding is ‘the most important day of your life,’ the manuals declare, flying defiantly in the face of divorce statistics. Through birth we pass unable to remember our emergence into daylight. And upon stumbling into the darkness of death, there may be no self to recollect the ceremonial occasion. But in marrying, we are active agents capable of recollecting and even designing the occasion. If we are typical, we ritually mark the births of our children, and we turn over the funerals of our elders to professionals, but when we marry, we anticipate the event, help plan it, and remember it afterward with the help of photographs and videotapes.
The reason why we get married, regardless of all the hype, all the money, all the pampering, frustration, and planning, is so that we can stand in front of people that we care about and publicly make a commitment to another person. It’s that simple. The problem is that we take that for granted and we focus on all of the other things that we have been dreaming about since we were old enough to dream about our perfect wedding.
Very, very rarely does the actual commitment part of this day go wrong. The things that go wrong have absolutely nothing to do with why this ceremony is happening. However, it becomes our focus and through that, it becomes important. I know that the key to the perfect wedding has nothing to do with all of the traditional and cultural requirements stated by every one of the “how to” books and the “must have... for your wedding” articles that I have sorted through before I sat down and started writing. It has nothing to do with what I have even said over and over, “planning is the key.” Planning is important for the traditional, cultural requirements and the wild details, which is what we all focus on, but the real key to a perfect wedding is whether or not you are ready for that moment.
That moment when you are standing up there, staring this other person in the face and committing with all your heart to their soul. If you are ready, that moment alone trumps everything else that has happened that day or will happen that day. If you find the absolute utter joy in this moment, you will be alone with all your friends watching and light as a feather.
Let’s assume that you are ready or will be when the time comes and talk about the things that can make your day incredible. Keep in mind, though, the true key to the perfect wedding has nothing to do with money or style: it is that moment. Everything else is just fun! If you can hold true to that, even a drunk DJ falling over a table could be funny (as long as he is done for the night and someone is there to drive him and his gear home).