When planning your wedding day, it’s worth considering what you can do to maximize savoring every precious moment. Doing so can help ensure the emotional memories will be more accessible as the years go on. Becoming a curator of your own memories that go beyond your photos and/or videos, can make all the difference.
It’s not just about the images that strive to capture the perfection you aim for on your wedding day with everything from what you wear to the flowers adorning the setting. With all the attention placed on the perfect angle for capturing these visual memories, what can often be overlooked is how to position the inner camera. It’s the lens you can employ to not only deepen your experience, but enable you to access memories and remember more of each savory moment to bring back those wonderful feelings. It’s important to take time outside of the stress and anxiety of planning and details, to practice stillness as a palette upon which you can paint your emotional memories.
I’ve worked at and attended hundreds of weddings, and one thing I found to be true is
that it’s virtually unavoidable that a small percentage of what you’ve arranged will not
necessarily go completely as planned. Preparing and allowing for that eventuality is a good idea. One way you can do that while concurrently cultivating the memory saving mindset, is to
practice mindfulness. Some of you may be unfamiliar with the concept. And for those that
already practice, you already know that we can never get too many reminders to be present and mindful in the moment and in our bodies.
You can stop wherever you are, closing your eyes if possible, and start to notice your breath. Then look at the thoughts that get in the way of a more relaxed, even fulfilling breath, the kind that starts at your spine and travels unencumbered to your heart on its way out through your nose or mouth. Notice the way thoughts of details or concerns or fears of how things will go are just thoughts. As soon as you notice these thought forms, is precisely when you return gently to your breath. Do this with compassion for yourself and your straying fretful mind. The simple act of repeatedly noticing the disparity between the source of your breath, and of your thoughts, will strengthen an important muscle of awareness. By the time your wedding day comes along, it will not only come in handy for navigating the inevitable hiccups the day can bring, but your ability to distill the pleasurable experience you long to have.
This practice can be done in a traditional mode of meditation or mindfulness or breath
practice. It’s called all those things and more. Whatever you call it, know it can be carried out at any time. Even if driving or otherwise engaged, a shift in perspective and attention to your breath can help you focus on what you’re doing, while at the same time be exercising the awareness muscle of the delicate yet reliable relationship between your heart and mind.
No matter what is going on that may be out of your control, this is the one place you can
rely on to reside with complete sovereignty over your thoughts and feelings and experience. One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Wayne Dyer who wisely pointed out, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Arming yourself with mindfulness tools to sharpen or shift your perspective can be the difference between a wedding day that goes by in an overwrought blur, and one that is seeped in mindful presence. You can make it a point to practice this and think of it as an important appointment you make with yourself. It reaps benefits far beyond enhancing your wedding day, in fact it can help you in all areas of your upcoming marriage and new life chapter. This simple proactive conscious act of noticing your thoughts and your breath and your heart in relationship to each other, is a practice that grows every time you choose it. Perhaps it would work best for you to set aside time in the morning and/or early evening to energize yourself and refresh. Or maybe you like being more spontaneous, calling upon the practice when needed. However you decide to try it, think of it as testing out a new discipline. Like any other new behavior, when taking one small step at a
time, before you know it you’ve developed a skill set that can go a long way toward your well
being. As well as becoming a better, more present conscientious thoughtful loving partner.
Over time you may notice how quickly stressful or anxious thoughts can be reigned in and put into better perspective. How you can begin to see things from a heart of stillness. In fact this idea is the inspiration for a new wedding song I’m writing, “With a Still Heart.”
The more you partake in this simple awareness practice, the more apt you will be to
ground yourself in each delicious moment. Noticing for example, the way your dress sounds as it sweeps against your legs and the floor as you walk down the aisle. Paying attention to the smile on your father’s face or the way your mom’s eyes light up to see you in your glory. Feeling the careful steps you take as you’re carried along by those carefully selected perhaps heightened shoes or coiffed toes that may be peeking out. Literally smelling the sweet aroma of the flowers you’ve chosen. The way your cinched waist feels. Are the butterflies within happy or agitated?
Notice how your thoughts and intentions can quiet their flurries. Look more deeply into the eyes of your beloved and see everything there is to see, vowing to never take those eyes on
you for granted.
By locating these feelings where they are in your body, you are fostering an experience of presence in the moment. And by turning on your inner camera or radar, you are better able to
retrieve and re-experience the moment when perhaps needed, or simply desired. You could be browsing through your
wedding album one day and through this somatic memory process you can increase your experiential recall for the sheer pleasure of it. Or maybe in a moment of tension or friction you can shift to witnessing the infraction or hurt from a place of cultivated centeredness and calm. Go back to the words and sentiments of your ceremony to bring back not only the sacred vows you made, but the heart mind and body connection you felt when speaking and hearing those vows. If you both practice in this way, all the better. It can serve to be a beautiful bridge of connection to the source of your love, promise and highest intentions together.
I love wedding ceremonies because of all the sweet sacred moments that comprise the
rituals. I still tear up at most every one. Although each wedding is unique, officiating and singing at so many over the years, I have grown to appreciate the most salient of aspects. One can take solace in the fact that this practice and awareness of deepening our relationship to the moment at hand, can be embodied anew at any point on this wondrous journey of life. And what better time to begin to learn this lovely skill, then as you embark on the road to your marriage.
One of the reasons I decided to offer music as part of the ceremonies I officiate at, is
because I know how the beauty of song can enhance the heart mind and body connection is the most wondrous of ways. So that the sentiment can return as if on speed dial when a particular song is heard. If you’d like to hear some of my favorite songs that have embellished ceremonies with their simple beauty, you can visit the Officiant page of my website at
debrasong.com/officiant . As a singer/songwriter, shamanic healing arts practitioner, ordained
minister and Justice of the Peace, it is always a joy to share what I have learned and studied to help others in whatever way I can. I consider the role of wedding officiant as one where I serve as a unique guardian of the upcoming union. I love to engage with couples not only to co-create their ceremonies, but through pre-marital discussion or counseling.
May the days before, during and after your wedding be filled with enduring joy for each
You can contact Debra at (203) 988-6702 or email email@example.com.