Yesterday, all day yesterday, I was at the coolest wedding ever. Two of my close friends were getting married and, despite my hatred of big weddings, I had a really amazing time. In this post I want to show you nine things I learned at this wedding and how they might help you. I actually learned quite a lot about myself yesterday.
9 things I learned at the coolest wedding ever
1. Your day will be about as good as you want it to be
Before the wedding I was a bit of a grouch. I was walking around the house looking for my fancy clothes thinking about how stupid weddings are and about how much I didn’t want to go. After a few hours of this negativity I snapped myself out of it and realized that the day would probably be a lot better if I approached it with a more positive attitude. Guess what? I was right.
Our mental attitude shapes the way we view the world. Sure, everyone sees the same things but we all perceive them differently. If you choose to perceive an event as a negative thing then you are going to have a bad experience. If, on the other hand, you approach it with a positive outlook you day is going to be a lot better.
2. Everyone has a story
When you are at a wedding (or any other function for that matter) it is easy to think that there is no one there worth talking to. You sit alone in the corner with your drink and just stare at all the people chatting away. It can get quite lonely. But one thing I learned yesterday is that everyone has a story.
I was seated at a table with a bunch of people I didn’t know. At first I thought it was going to be a long meal but as soon as I sat down I made the effort to introduce myself and flash everyone a big smile. Within two minutes I was talking to the lady next to me about her travels through the Middle Easy and by the end of the night everyone at the table was a new friend. Everyone has a story. Just give them a chance to tell it.
3. Ethics filters down to everyone
Today over lunch I was thinking about how lovely everyone at the wedding was. I was simply blown away by how kind each and every person in the bride’s family were. They were warm, loving, funny and very gentle. And then I remembered who their mother was – one of the nicest ladies I have ever met. And these nice people were here children and grandchildren.
This family, to me, is proof that ethics filters down to everyone. The mother had brought her children up in an ethical and loving way and as a result everyone they meet gets touched by their example. This is how we can really change the world and seeing it in action was extremely inspiring.
4. No one cares what you look like
At about 9pm the entire population of the wedding jumped on to the dance floor to consummate the marriage. It was time for the chicken dance! As I was shaking my tail feather I looked around to see about 15 or 20 of the younger guests just sitting back and watching. It was a little sad as we were having a lot of fun and they were missing out.
Later on I was in the bathroom and got back in time to watch the last minute or so of another ridiculous looking group dance event. And what I noticed, as an onlooker, is that I really didn’t care about how people were dancing or whether or not they looked foolish. I just enjoyed seeing everyone so happy and having such a great time. This was interesting to me because I realized that no one REALLY cares about how you look. Don’t ruin a good fun event because you are worried what other people are going to think. It isn’t worth it. Life is short!
5. Overdoing the booze is a bad idea
I do not drink alcohol so I cannot really comment on how it causes me to act like an idiot. I have never personally experienced being drunk. But, I went to high school and college and as such I have a pretty good idea about what a drunk person is capable (or not capable) of doing. And yesterday at the wedding I saw some pretty dumb stuff.
Towards the end of the night one of the guests got so drunk that he lost all his inhibitions and did some things that really upset the bride. At the time he didn’t care but I imagine he will feel like a right idiot when he realizes today what he has done. If you drink make sure you do it responsibly. One or two hours of hard drinking might have ruined a 20 year friendship for one person yesterday.
6. Love is good but it is not the only thing
One thing that struck me about the wedding is how much emphasis the celebrant put on “passion” and “love”. And while I think love is nice and should have a huge role in a marriage, it should not be the only thing mentioned.
Anyone who has been in a long term relationship will tell you that things like trust, honor, loyalty and respect are just as important as love. Love does not solve all the problems in a marriage and so I thought it was a little odd that the vows were based entirely on this one aspect of the partnership. Perhaps I am a little off with this one. What do you think? Should those other things be given as much weight as love in the ceremony?
7. The “thank yous” should come out more often
During the speeches a lot of time is given to the “thank yous”. The best man thanked the bridal party for all they had done. The father of the bride thanked his wife and the parents of the groom. And the groom thanked his best man for being such a good friend. It occurred to me during all this that we should spend more time saying “thank you” to those we love.
Think about your parents or your spouse. They spend a lot of time doing things for you just because they love you. We don’t always ask them to do it but they do it anyway and often without appreciation or a “thank you”. Yesterday’s wedding reminded me how important it is to say those two special words and inspired me to say them more often.
8. Being outside brings people to life
The wedding itself was held in a botanical garden up in the hills near my city. It was an amazing location. There were flowers, birds and a giant lake and forest behind us. The family handed out bubbles and throughout the day people were floating in a sea of bubbles and sunshine. Everyone felt alive.
Being outside in the garden reminded me how much I used to love going for walks alone in the forest. I promised myself that I would pick this habit up again because it made me feel so alive and close to nature. If you ever feel depressed or cooped up in your office a walk in the park is a great way to cheer yourself up.
9. Our parents did the best they knew how
Everyone has parental issues. For most of my childhood and teenage years I hated my dad. And I know a lot of people who feel the same. At the wedding I was told that it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the groom and his father and that for a long time they didn’t even speak. Yesterday, however, they seemed very close.
During the speech the groom’s father burst into tears when talking about how proud he was of his son. He related a few stories and admitted to the fact that he didn’t always do the right thing by his son even though he tried his best. At that moment the groom got up and gave him a big hug in front of everyone. It was as if he was forgiving him or showing him that he loved him anyway. It was quite an intimate moment and it reminded me of the fact that our parents did the best job they knew how to do.
Quite often life throws us an event that opens us up to some new lessons. For me, this wedding was a reminder of a few important things that I had forgotten or put on the back burner. I am glad I went. I feel like I learned a lot.