This is originally from a post I wrote back in 2008. Enjoy.
For many guys, tying the knot is less about the ceremony and more about the actual engagement. It’s usually more about picking the ring (that drains your bank account with just the right amount of terror) and getting creative about how to pop the question. From there, most guys go into auto-pilot.
“Just tell me where to be at what time and I’ll wear a tux.”
I got married almost two years ago, and I remember how I entered this mode of cruise-control in the preceding months. There was a lot of energy and talk around where and when and who and how much and inevitably my eyes would glaze over. I lost touch with the fact that this was also MY ceremony.
One day I woke up and this scared the hell out of me.
Was this a representation of how I was going to check out and lose touch with my wants, desires and dreams? Was this how I was going to continue living my life?
It sure as hell coulda been.
Something shifted, and here’s what it was. Somewhere along the way, my girl and I decided to set aside an entire weekend to do some visioning. During this weekend we interviewed one another on everything about how we defined happiness, health and even the mundane — “What is a ‘clean house’ to you?”. It all got laid out. There was nothing left to assume.
The format was simple. Whoever was interviewing just interviewed. It was the speaker’s turn to explore, and it was a helluva lot harder than you’d think. A good interviewer won’t let someone off the hook if the answer feels limp or “safe”. We pushed each other to give those real answers — even if that meant we would not see eye-to-eye. This was scary with an impending nuptual.
“What if I say something and we have to call the whole thing off?”
Once we explored the who/what/where/when/how/why (and for all you integral geeks, the four-quadrants) of what we wanted for our lives, I felt incredibly empowered. The things my girl wanted to do in this lifetime — even the stuff that meant less time with me — had me inspired. I wanted to support her. And on the other end, I really felt that my girl “got me” and was going to be a partner for all the stuff I wanted to do before I die.
I was now invigorated to get married — something I thought I would NEVER be. But that’s another story.
So, now the ceremony actually meant something to me. I wanted it to reflect our shared values and dreams and for us to take vows to support one another — even if that meant getting the hell out of the way.
Don’t let your ceremony and your entire marriage be solely focused on a party for your friends and family. I challenge those of you who are getting married this summer (or anytime soon) to get your head out of your ass and get in the game. Buck tradition (if it doesn’t fit) and make your wedding, your relationship and your life an extension of you and your values. Feel free to contact me for help. Good luck.
And BTW — our wedding ROCKED. 🙂