Wedding Planning Is Like Couples Therapy


For some reason, marriage is on my mind, and I have decided that nothing prepares a person for marriage like a wedding. And I’m not talking about the two-word commitment of “I do.” I’m thinking about the many, many, many, many multi-word commitments that lead up to the “I do.”

It starts with “Will you?” If you get an “I will,” it quickly progresses into “What about this day? No? How about this one then? Still no good? Well, what about some time next year?” This goes on and on until a date is settled upon that is satisfactory to both parties and most of their guests.

Guests. That’s another single word that quickly escalates into multi-word dissertations. Because budgets are seldom bottomless, it’s only fair that each half of the wedding couple should be allowed to invite half of the guests. But some people are from big families and some are not. Should the one with 11 brothers and sisters have to give up all his friends to accommodate all his family? That doesn’t seem fair. What if one person’s nearest and dearest live nearby and the other’s live a continent or two away? What then? You can see where things get complicated.

Food. Oh, food. Choosing wedding fare used to be so easy — chicken or beef, some broccoli on the side and a slice of white cake. If you had an open bar, you were good to go. Not anymore. Alice has allergies. Glen can’t eat gluten. Virginia is a vegan, and Larry is lactose-intolerant. The meat has to be free-range or Freda will get on the lecture circuit, and if the cake was baked anywhere near a peanut, Penelope is going to swell up like a balloon and possibly die. I don’t know how children who used to eat dirt ended up like this, but mine is not to wonder why.

I don’t know how today’s couples do it.

Then there’s clothing. Guys have it easy. They rent a tuxedo that’s already seen 100 weddings and have the slacks shortened. Done. Girls have to get the whole bridal party together for lunch, drinks, a group meeting and, hopefully, a consensus.

This consensus, of course, is something that is next to impossible to achieve, because if you have six bridesmaids, you have six different body types. Add in hair color and skin tone, and there is no color in the world that’s going to look good on all of them. Don’t even get me started on shoes.

In addition to all of the above decisions, there’s an invitation to be chosen and worded, transportation to be arranged, rooms to be booked, flowers to be ordered, champagne to be bought and on and on and on until — oops! — the day is here! The time is now! Should he? Should she? No time to back out now but, let’s face it, if you got through all the words needed to get this far, saying “I do” is the least of your problems. It’s almost a relief. You’ll be fine. After all, you’ve survived the process of planning a wedding!