Why Little Girls Should Not Plan Their Weddings
We are born with a premise of understanding that one day, we will be granted our secret wish to dress up like a princess, eat a thousand dollar slice of cake, and be the center of attention in the eyes of everyone we’ve ever known. The whispers of awe will ring in our ears like perfect echoes in heaven of our beauty, and the stunning dress we are draped in. We will be escorted down a long isle, awaiting us will be a prince charming who will for time and all eternity live up to the promises he made in front of God and our father’s, both of which will strike him from this planet if he steps one foot out of line. We will be carried out, on the wings of angels to set forth into our new lives, and from that moment on, everything will be perfect.
I may have just threw up in my mouth.
But let’s face it, most little girls have this misconstrued ideology of importance on the wedding day (or several wedding days if they really are “normal”) where they get to say “I do” and become someone’s princess wife.
Months go into this process….publications are written about it, and banks are broken. No. Banks are destroyed….over creating this alter-reality we crave.
Having been married myself, and caring more about getting it over with than selecting colors, know what the process looks like and the great lengths people are willing to go to to make the event “special.”
I was stunned when my soon to be mother in law, (and now…very very very mother out law) called to inform me that her and my sister out law, had selected the wedding colors for me. I had apparently taken too much time to do so. Pink and Champagne.
I was 18. Not only did I hate pink, but didn’t have the foggiest clue what color champagne was. But sure lady, if it puffs your skirt…have at it. I gave them 3 months to dive into the arrangements, plan it all. And when it boiled down to it, we were still two teenage kids with no business getting married, and no business starting a life.
After my second wedding, which was hosted in my kitchen, while I was bare foot and my real prince charming let me stand on his boots so I could kiss him…..A shot of whiskey and a burger from 5 Guys later………I started thinking.
Maybe we should stop teaching our girls to dote over a moment in time that is likely to come and go faster than latest high waisted shorts fad.
Maybe we should teach them to plan their relationship instead.
If our little girls had it in their mind, the finite details of a relationship they wanted, we would dramatically reduce our need for peony center pieces, and fabric imported from Italy to hug our princess curves…… flawlessly while we stroll down the aisle.
Instead of “My wedding will be…………” blah blah blah puke blah blah…….
We would have “My relationship will be……….”
To put this into perspective, I will show you the brash comparison of the two.
My wedding colors will be….pink and champagne.
My relationship will be founded on respect and honesty.
My bridesmaids will wear pink.
My husband will have the same core values as me.
My tiara will have 34230928 diamonds in it.
My relationship will require a date night at least once a month.
I will have 10 photographers there to capture the moment.
My husband and I will decide how many kids we want, but won’t have any for at least 2 years.
Oh my sweet baby Jesus. Are you trying to tell me this should be a point of conversation before you tie the knot.
Yes. In detail.
Although pre-nuptual agreements take a bad wrap, at the end of the day, the agreement and promise you are making to each other should be transparent. That shouldn’t be something you shy away from. I can assure, all of you bride to be’s out there, and brides who used to be for that matter, can attest to the fact that your concept of marriage, the day your daddy gives you away, is very different than the man who places the ring on your finger.
Spend 6 months planning your relationship, writing down your goals and aspirations, and let the day you say “I Do” be the cultural DAY that it’s meant to be. Stop making that single moment in time the cornerstone of your relationship, and the ideology you will base your expectations on.
Lift the veil on reality and start working on something that actually matters. Kiss real life, smack dab on the lips and accept it for what it’s going to be.
My husband and I……(Yes, second husband…..learned from the mistakes the first go round, and still signed up again) sat down and drafted a contract for our relationship. One that outlines expectations for both parties entering the agreement.
Although I’m an entrepreneur and corporate strategist, this really had more to do with my understanding of relationships and agreements. Which is what Marriage is. It’s an agreement. I wanted our strategy to set us up to win….through the hard times we would face, and the turmoil we were bound to encounter. I also understood that second marriage fail rates are exceptionally high, as are first marriage failure rates.
Without divulging our personal details, a few items that were brought into the agreement are as follows:
How many times a week is sex expected?
How often does either party expect a home cooked meal?
Who is responsible for cooking the meal?
What is the protocol if one party is terminally ill, or incapacitated to the point of not being able to work?
What are the repercussions of infidelity? (ps. This was complete loss of all funds from any bank account owned by either party)
What are the repercussions of obesity?
What are the repercussions of job loss?
Do you expect gifts for holidays? If so, which ones?
What are the repercussions if the gifts aren’t delivered?
Who is the primary bread winner?
What are the life goals of both parties?
What are the objectives for raising the children?
What are the monthly expenses allocated to Dating?
How often will the couple go on dates?
As you can see, these are the tiny fights throughout a marriage that result from a lack of clarity and transparency in the infancy stages. If unmet with mitigation early on, it will result in the fight we have all had, or heard.
“I didn’t know you expected a birthday gift! You told me I didn’t need to get you anything and my love was enough.”
“Damnit John, that’s just what people say so they don’t sound selfish! Of course I expect a birthday gift!!!”
Yeah…..well……..people can’t read minds. Women are emotional. Men are logical. And we interpret information differently.
But when we write it out, in clear language, and sign it…..it’s a different story. It’s no longer a fight. It’s …….”Hey John, you knew this was a big deal. I made that clear. You had an epic failure, and now you owe me 10k.” (exaggeration….but you get the point.)
On a bi-annual basis, we take a few days off and go over the contract for anything that has changed or needs to be addressed. These “retreats” give us a chance to check in with our marriage and keep things fresh, relevant, and evolving alongside of us.
So put the tiara down…..script out your end of a relationship agreement, and when you have the chance to meet a wonderful person whom you think you could spend the rest of your life with, ask them to do the same.
If they line up……order the cake.
If they don’t….work at it until they do, or find a new relationship that isn’t doomed to failure.
Love is not enough kids.
If you would like a copy of the blank relationship agreement, please let me know. I’ll be happy to provide!!!