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Bridal Feature February 10, 2005

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Wedding Bells?

by Judie Diamond

Are you hearing bells? Years ago that was an expression used for ones powerful response to a kiss implying you had found your true love if you heard bells ringing when your lips met hers/his. And, perhaps not surprisingly, the phrase hearing bells evokes the sound of wedding bells.

There seems to be a mythology wrapped up in this something along the lines of the Cinderella story, which, as we all know, ends with and they lived happily ever after. The implication is that soul-mates are soul-mates are soul-mates. That there is a certainty of success in marriage (living happily ever after) whenever that fateful kiss affects its perpetrators strongly enough. An immediate link is suggested; youve kissed and heard bells, now you must have wedding bells.

What happens between that first, sweet, promising kiss and the commitment to marry seems to me a crucial time to examine. Lets stretch it out and look at it more closely. Here are some self-examination questions to ask yourself in order to do that.


How well did you know the person before The Kiss? What were your impressions or, if youve known the person over time, what was your experience around her/him? One really important question to ask yourself is: How do I feel about myself when I am near or with that person? A reminder: you will be living with yourself the rest of your life, wherever that other person is whether with you or not.

What are the persons interests? How do they blend with mine? Would I be open to living with a person who pursues those interests and are they open to living with me and mine? What are the persons values and how do they blend with mine? These are really crucial questions. It is known that the first fire of love, no matter how strong and even if it is to be a long-lasting love, does not continue in the same vain for long. Something happens over time that mellows and deepens the feelings between two committed partners. So, when the sparks are dimming, what will there be to keep the relationship going? Thats where the interests and values come in.

Each one is responsible for oneself, even though we care for our partner with devotion. An emotional dependency on another is generally unhealthy for both the one depending and the one depended on. Will you be free to develop yourself in ways that are fulfilling and keep you growing? Will being with this person restrict aspects of yourself that are necessary to your health and well-being? These are important matters to explore before making a long-term commitment like marriage.

After the exploration period is over and you are clear whether this person is to be yours in marriage or not, you can continue along your life path strengthened in your self-knowledge and in your understanding of what kind of relationship you want. One thing I believe is not well understood is this: being drawn to a person for a time and then going your separate ways is not a waste of time in any sense, nor are you a failure for having given it a shot. You are always learning about yourself, your needs, your ability to do what you came on earth to do. Every experience enhances your self-awareness. We know that experience is crucial in so many ways, whether practicing a sport or an instrument or writing a story. Why should this not be true in relationships, which are so much more complex?

And, if you are one of the lucky ones and feel this person will enhance your life and vice-versa, you may indeed choose those wedding bells.

Wedding Tips

by Rev. Patsy Henry, Centenary Pastoral Charge

Welcome to one of the most wonderful times in a persons life! You have found the person you want to share all of your life with! Now comes the time of planning, not only for your day of days but for all the days and years to come.

So much needs to be done, so many plans and dreams are unfolding. You may very well be feeling a little overwhelmed with it all. Where do we start? How can we keep stress and tension to a manageable level? How can we do to keep the fun in arranging this wedding?

Here are a few suggestions I might offer which come from my experience both as a clergyperson who has guided couples through the preparation for the wedding day and their married life, and as the mother of the bride.

Once you have made the decision to marry and have a date in place, contact the person you wish to have officiate to determine his or her availability. This should be established before other arrangements are made. Occasionally engaged couples have found themselves in the position of having made all the other arrangements (catering, reception hall, music, photographer, musicians) and made deposits only to discover that the person they hoped to perform the ceremony is unavailable. Remember also that professionals and facilities particularly for the traditional wedding season are often booked a year or more ahead of time.

If you wish your wedding ceremony to be a religious one, come talk to your clergyperson about the customs and guidelines of your denomination in regards to weddings. Most denominations today require marriage preparation classes be taken. These are designed to help you get your married life off to a good start. Plan to make these sessions part of your schedule as you look forward to your wedding day.

As soon as possible and early in the planning process arrange a meeting with those family members, and friends who will be an important part of your wedding. Talk openly with them about your hopes and wishes for the wedding, your budget, and how they might assist you best in the busy time ahead. Items discussed ought to be: the guest list, special needs of guests and wedding party (i.e. diet, accommodation, allergies); wedding party attire, financial concerns of attendants; availability of wedding party to take part in pre-wedding events and the scheduling of vacation around the wedding date. Addressing these issues, as well as others that will inevitably come up early in the planning stages, will go a long way in reducing some of the stress and tension which will naturally be part of the process.

When your marriage involves blending families, address the issues that will inevitably arise. Be sensitive to the feelings children from a previous relationship will bring into this one. Face challenges head on realistically and with understanding. Seek help and support from outside when and as needed. Remember that a listening ear and understanding spirit can go a long way in making the adjustment reasonably smooth.

Be yourself. As your plans take shape, keep them true to who you are as individuals and as a couple. Give some thought to the words you will share as you take your vows. Think about what they will mean to you as you commit yourself to a lifetime partnership. Your wedding day and your entire marriage ought to respect who you are now and who you hope to become.

Keep the fun and joy of this wonderful time intact. In all the busyness of planning and arranging, schedule time out -- alone and with your fianc Exhaustion can easily set in, as anyone who has arranged a wedding can well testify to; look after yourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually as you approach the day that will permanently change your lives.

Very best wishes to you for love thats giving, faithful and kind, as you grow together in mutual love and care.

Planning the food

by Anne Howes and Ilona Cox

One of the most time consuming and important details of wedding planning is the food. Whether it is the tradional sit down three-course meal or one of the newer trends, it involves a lot of pre-planning.

The bride and groom tend to have a general idea of what they would like their wedding feast to be. Some things that should be decided before the initial meeting with the caterer are: the number of people; type of food; if a reception meal is needed; and the type of serving style the couple would like. Other details that need to be discussed concerning costs are whether real or disposable plates and cutlery are to be used. These are all items that should be decided before meeting with the caterer.

A caterer can be chosen through word of mouth or some research with other wedding planners. It is recommended that the couple check prices with two or more caterers, as they can all vary. Some facilities that are being used for the wedding also provide their own caterer as part of their rental. The catering company will probably have a contract that requires signing, and will also request a deposit to secure their services.

Options are wide open to the bride and groom on which style they would like for their meal. Some trends that are popular now are to have the ceremony in the early evening with a light buffet to follow before the reception, or even just a dessert buffet before the reception takes place.

All of these details can be discussed, planned and even paid for well in advance of the wedding day. It will give you peace of mind as one big item is checked off your list.

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