Your Wedding Is Not The Most Important Day Of Your Life

Danielle Rothweiler is a celebrity wedding and event planner. This essay originally appeared on the Huffington Post, and is reprinted here with permission.
Photographed by Maria del Rio.
Just yesterday, I attended an event that included a panel of several highly regarded and extremely talented members of the wedding industry. The topics discussed ranged from trends in weddings, the technological side of planning, and how the millennial population is the current driving force behind it all.

While we are seeing a shift in the wedding world, one thing that has remained constant is the notion that a wedding day is the most important day in a person’s life. At one moment, the legendary Sylvia Weinstock spoke up and said that when a bride tells her that, she replies with "I certainly hope not." I started thinking that while today’s bride differs from brides of the past, that sentiment is one thing that many of them have in common.

It might come as a surprise that a wedding planner who makes her living planning weddings would scale down the importance of the big day. After all, without people wanting to get married, I would have no one hiring my team to design their wedding and plan out all of the details...which pretty much translates to not being able to pay my mortgage or put food on the table (or indulge in my obsession for vintage furniture). However, the reason I love my job is because I get to play a small part in a huge moment of the lives of two people. Of course, the details are wonderful and producing a beautiful wedding is incredible, but that’s not what it’s really about.
Too often, I hear from couples about how stressed out they are over things like pleasing their guests and making sure that their wedding is “perfect.” In fact, there are moments when I have sat my clients down to let them know that they are missing their engagement and they’ve lost sight of why they are planning a wedding in the first place. The overwhelming details can snowball, and pretty soon you have a bride who feels pressured to offer more than she can or even wants to at the wedding solely so that her guests will be happy. This is ridiculous.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t keep your guests in mind, but here’s the problem with trying to please them all: It cannot be done. There will always be that guest, or even several of them, who will complain about where they are sitting, the date of the wedding, the food, the music, whatever. The bottom line is, you aren’t planning a wedding for them, you are planning it to celebrate the love you have for each other. This is not to say that inconveniencing your guests is acceptable, it’s just to make mention of the fact that it’s not about them.

Planner tip: When making your guest list, only include people who you will want to know 10 years from now. Weddings are a bad time to be introduced to anyone new.
Photographed by Maria del Rio.
So if it’s not about your guests, and it’s about you, why is it not the most important day of your life? Because it’s a moment. It is a five- or six-hour long party, and usually a 12-to-16-hour-long day. All you hear from brides that went through it is how fast it went and how much they feel they missed. The day can easily become a blur. To put so much pressure on one day to be the most important day ever, and then have it fly by to the point where you can’t remember the details, is setting yourself up for disaster. Not only will you regret labeling it as “best day ever” on the actual wedding day, but you will be miserable during the planning process and even more miserable when paying the bills after the party ends and all that is left are the photographs. You might regret it even more once you get those photographs back and see moments you missed because you were doing everything in your power to enjoy this best day of your life.

I’d rather label a wedding day as one of the most important moments in your life, to hopefully be followed up by even more incredible and important moments. Look at the moments leading up to your wedding. What about the day you met the person you are marrying? I’d rank that higher in importance than the wedding day.
Because a wedding isn’t about the perfect dress or the combination of flowers; that is simply the production side. A wedding is about this: The billions of people on this planet, and for whatever reason, you and your significant other were in the same place at the same time and met. Think of all of the things that could’ve prevented that meeting. All of those things that didn’t happen because you were meant to meet and be married. Think of all of those moments when you questioned why certain things were happening in your life and now you look back and see that they all led you to each other. Think of the moment you knew and that feeling you had when your mind and your heart said, “This is the one”.

Think of those moments when you can’t find the perfect linen, when your guests complain about where they are sitting, and when you feel the pressure creeping up on you to make this the most important day of your life. It is a moment in time, a short moment created by all of those other important moments. When you look at your wedding as not the “best day ever” but as “the best is yet to come,” you will free yourself from the pressure of everything having to be perfect, and instead you will realize one thing: It already is. Because you found each other.

Lucky you.

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