Goodbye Bridezilla, Hello Wedding Goddess
Interfaith minister and author Laurie Sue Brockway talks about how to stay sane and soulful while planning your wedding.
BY: Interview by Lisa Schneider
Sometimes we bury these by worrying about the color of the napkins and yapping at the bridesmaids about their shoes. What is at the heart of the worry may be, "Whoa, we are really having a wedding here, I am marrying this guy, this is for real. Am I ready? Is he ready? Can we handle it?" So a bride may focus on the details of the external experience rather than the internal. We all do that. Forgive yourself if you get lost there for a while and come back to the inner journey soon as you can.
What are some ways a bride-to-be can make the planning process a rite of passage?
Treat every step of it as sacred. From the day you become engaged to the moment you say "I do," make every moment count as a special occasion to be savored. The first time you try on dresses, the meeting with the caterer, the day you get your license--these are all the small steps you take to the Big Moment. Cherish them. They are just as important in getting you ready for marriage. You need all the things that happen in between the engagement and the wedding day to get your soul ready to be in a committed relationship that will become the foundation of your life.
What are the most important spiritual and emotional issues that brides-to-be need to address?
First off, you want to make sure you are in this for the marriage, and not just the wedding.
Can you suggest specific examples of exercises and rituals that can help them address these issues?
I am big on release-and-cleansing rituals. The first chapter of wedding goddess is on letting go of the things that will not serve your marriage. That means everything from the old couch your ex-love and you used to watch TV on, to jewelry and items from relationships past. Even if you have to have tea with an ex-lover to be really, really clear it is over, do it--release and let go and move on from old ties that bind as much as possible before the wedding. I also think bathing in sea salt cures many ills--it really helps reduce stress and spiritually cleanse.
Most people may feel as if they don't have time to do anything beyond the practical/logistical planning of the wedding...
It's a challenge, for sure. Some brides tell me they have nightmares about not getting everything done in time for the wedding. As my colleague Arlene Cronk (founder of the Bridal Survival Club) says, planning a wedding is like a job and most of us already have full time jobs. Time is a stressor but you have to counteract the fear of time running out. It's a must! I recommend beauty rituals for the inner and outer goddess--take care of YOU. Get up early and meditate; it will help you feel more balanced. Do yoga, it will take the kinks out. Take time out from wedding planning just for you, and just for the two of you. Pray. Have a chat with God, Goddess, or your guardian angels. Do things that help connect you to the expansiveness of time and all there is!
Those approaching marriage can become sad about saying goodbye to childhood and independence, or scared of failing at marriage. Do you have advice for women dealing with difficult emotions like these?
Embrace them. Explore them. They are completely normal. There is dying of the old that happens with the creation of the new. It is part of the cycle of life. If you are riddled with anxiety about these passages, seek counseling and spiritual support, or a good friend who can help ground you. Don't sweep your feelings under the rug, but don't make them the reason to not enjoy the journey, either.
Your subtitle is "A divine guide..." and your suggestions are very eclectic (aromatherapy, meditation, astrology). Could people of all faiths benefit from the tips in your book?
Yes, it is completely interfaith, intercultural, and non-denominational. It’s meant for any bride of spirit!
Your book is written for women. Where do the men fit in?
There are five chapters on how to plan the ceremony together and several on how to stay close to your groom, how to turn getting the marriage license into a special ritual and do purification rituals that will serve your married life together. I would NEVER leave out the groom!
You were writing this book and planning your own wedding at the same time. Were you able to remain spiritually grounded?
When it was my time to be a wedding goddess, I realized that I would not be spared all the stresses of wedding planning. I really got to see how hard it is sometimes to stay true to yourself when planning a major life event. I also got to see how important it is to be flexible and open minded, and to pick the things you battle about, and worry about, wisely.