“Try to be present” and applied wedding advice

One of the most common phrases of advice before my wedding was along the lines of, “Just enjoy it and try to be present.”

First, I want to say that this is well-meant, good advice. However, it’s harder to take this advice to mind and heart when planning and executing a wedding. There is so much going on, and it’s challenging to enjoy the process. Also, the midst of all this busyness, I am often managing my sensory experiences and making sure that I am taking care of myself so overstimulation won’t overshadow my overall experiences and outlook. I do have skills that help me be more present, and I use them often, and I still struggle when juggling multiple tasks and stimuli.

The question that came up for me after hearing this advice is: How? How can I be present amidst that much stress? How can I enjoy it when there’s so much going on at once?

Another piece of advice I received provides a possible answer:

“Do your best that day to just be there – remember these are people that know and love you, and it’s especially okay to be you in front of them.”

In the end, this reminder helped me stay present. I was there to join my love, to be with loved ones who came specifically for this occasion. If something didn’t go according to plan, it wouldn’t matter – people were coming to be with us, not for an exact or perfect occasion.

At the ceremony, as I stood there in the circle, looking into my love’s eyes, feeling the love of all those around me, I felt safe, present, and alive.
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