This is NOT meant to be a commentary on the spiritual state of people who love wedding planning and are fully invested in it. I have found spirituality in far too many unlikely places to think that weddings are completely devoid of it. This is only my subjective experience.
To those who have been through the process of a South Asian wedding, they know it’s never as simple as: “It’s your wedding, you should do it your way.” There are people to engage, norms to follow, and expectations to fulfill. It’s about something much bigger than you. So the onus is on the couple to honour their parents’ wishes and ways of going about things.
Plus, I acknowledge the importance of a milestone event like this. It sets clear in everyone’s (including the couple’s) minds that a transition is taking place, and it’s a big deal.
All that said: at the end of the day, wedding planning gives me a strange kind of sickness. It feels like I am indulging in something that is spiritually depleting. In terms of negative energies, it gives me same kind of queasiness that the following things do:
- Junk food
- Too many tv shows/movies in a row
- Too many social outings in one week
- Working too hard
- Not praying
In short, I’m not the nicest person when I am wedding planning or doing any of the above things. Just like the woman who wrote the vent “My big day? Yeah right…”, my bridezilla flares up, but not because things are not turning out as I want them to. Rather, it’s because I have to undertake an endeavor I couldn’t be less interested in undertaking.
Since I got engaged, most people I am surrounded by can be divided into two camps: those who wish me well and then continue talking to me as they always have, (thank you, bestie) and those who think I spend my evenings and weekends contemplating the event from every angle. The latter folks always end up giving me loads of unsolicited advice (an experience also bemoaned by a fellow writer in her piece “Bad bridal priorities”). Just…why?
Moving on to a solution: to keep myself intact from the wedding industry complex, I have devised a strategy to do the work of wedding planning while not letting it get to me:
- I won’t linger over any decisions for longer than I have to. I know that I’ll be equally happy on the day whether or not the décor or dress turn out as I’d like them to. Why spend time fussing over the details?
- I’ll focus on planning something else to take the focus away from wedding planning–honeymoon planning, for instance.
- I won’t bring it up with people (which I don’t) and try to change the subject if anyone else brings it up with me (which I could do better at).
- I’ll continue life as normal and enjoy the usual old stuff and new stuff like cooking and skating, since life will continue long after that day is done.
- I’ll plan and look forward to my marriage: from financial planning to brushing up my cooking skills to enjoying the growing bond I have with my fiance.
- I’ll practice mindfulness and remember death, for it’s a bigger challenge to do that when life is treating one well.
May Allah save us from weddings being nothing more than a money-sucking plight.