Simon Caruana with a manís eye view about putting a wedding together.
My wedding is a few months away now. If thereís one thing I can truly say, is that the months leading-up to what Iíve come to call D-Day are not the easiest of times for a couple.
It is a time filled with obstacles that seem to be constantly testing the relationship, as the couple is forced to juggle a number of things simultaneously Ė from trying to finalise every single minute detail for the big day months in advance, to getting the so-called love nest finished on time. Add to those the pressures of work, and for some studies too, and youíve got one roller-coaster ride ahead of you.
Planning for the big (wedding) day takes so much of your energy, time and money. Good thing we werenít overly fussy or we would have had to book, with the torture of anxiously waiting that goes with it, a couple or so years before the big day. However, just one look at the checklist of things that need to be done is enough to give you the shivers, and Iím not talking cold feet here! As you start ticking off more obvious and important stuff like the church and reception venue, your first thought is, ďGreat, weíre almost done!Ē But you barely have time to savour the moment, when you get to realise what Hercules must have felt when facing the Hydra.
In the beginning of a relationship, when the only thoughts revolve around where youíre going to dine-out or what gift to buy your partner, you feel that the strength of your love will be enough to overcome all the problems that life will choose to throw at you. Fast-forward a few years and while love will remain a very critical ingredient, it might not be enough. Itís amazing how in times of stress, seemingly trivial items are sure to spark major arguments that often lead to, or originate from, more deep-seated discord. It might be that you forget or just start taking for granted the fine arts of compromise or listening. Iím not saying either is easy. At times, after a long day at work, the only thing you feel like doing is to head home and crush into a comfy sofa or bed.
Having to run around getting estimates Ė whether itís tiles and furniture for the house, or gifts and invitations for the wedding Ė can eventually take its toll on your system. Itís just too bad you donít get frequent-driving-miles! Luckily, you would have already filtered the list to something more digestible thanks to recommendations from friends or colleagues, who would have lived to tell the tale. That, or by the time youíre married the mere mention of the yellow pages, or any other directory for that matter, will start giving you a tic or allergy.
Just like the capturing of the beaches in Normandy on D-Day, getting married can take months of preparation and careful planning, even if you donít intend to go for broke! Anyway, as with any well laid-out plan, thereís always the infamous Murphyís Law to contend with. Thereís no denying that on that day so much can go wrong, starting from the dress, to the weather, to the risk of some family member getting drunk and making a rowdy scene; and here Iíve barely skimmed the surface.
Itís only when youíre on a plane, heading to some far-off and exotic location, do you finally manage to draw a sigh of relief (or so I hope!). At that moment, despite any casualties or scars along the way, the battle would have been won and itís time to relax, breathe in the fresh air (far from this polluting island) and enjoy oneself. However, like with the Normandy beaches, the challenges would have only just started.
Unlike what some might think, getting married is not a sprint that culminates on the wedding day. Itís more like a marathon that would have started long before officially saying ĎI doí. For me the wedding day is just a small oasis to refresh you along the way, to recharge you for the challenges that lie ahead. And as with any marathon, one should watch out not to run out of steam too early.
Why so much effort for one single day then? There might be some who believe that by turning the day into the closest romantic thing to a fairytale, by spending lavishly and going for broke, their marriage will be full of happiness. In movies, which barely last two hours, you get a modern-day Cinderella and Prince Charming overcoming adversity until they finally re-unite and run-off together; with no mention of what happens after. You are left to assume that they will inevitably live happily ever after. In real life, more often than not, the adversities come after running off together. So unless the last few months prior to getting married would have been used to support one another through compromise and careful listening, all the fanfare and luxury will come to mean nothing.