As we near the end of our road to the alter, we take a final checklist of the final events and errands we must complete before the Big Day. The last quarter before the wedding is the time to make sure all of the details are in place. Chances are the heavy lifting of planning is finished as now you’re adding the precious minute notes to your Magnum Opus. You should concentrate on finalizing the reception menu, seating arrangements and who the readers are (and what they’re reading). You should also be booking your transportation, if you hadn’t already done so, and going finalizing logistics (who’s coming? How? Where’s the rehearsal dinner being held at? Etc) and you should be finalizing any plans for your wedding shower (and relevant parties).
In the final months: it’s time for the last pieces to fall into place. Write and review the wedding vows with the officiant, get your marriage license and pick up the wedding rings. A month to two weeks is the optimal time for your final dress fitting, and finally call all of the vendors one last time to confirm orders. Procrastinating on these tasks is a sure-fire way to get stressed out during the eleventh hour, and that’s how mistakes (and a bridezilla rampage) happens. Either way, the last month will go by as if in a haze. A haze where it never seems like you have enough time, but there will also be this surreal tension building up inside you. That’s okay. Its’ not cold feet. It’s the anticipation and weight of everything this year’s journey has brought finally coming to a crescendo.
So the time has come. The wedding is around the corner. It’s safe to say you probably feel more like an overworked, stressed out mess than a chess master who is about to calmly see all of their carefully moved pieces positioned into some genius victory that makes everyone golf clap.
And you know what? That’s absolutely alright.
As the legend goes, The Emperor of China requested Sun Tzu to write the Art of War exactly because no one in his court had any idea what they were doing (We say, “legend” because historians cannot agree if Sun Tzu even existed at all). If you are calm at this point, more power to you. Some people just have a genius for certain things or that’s their general temperament. But don’t just because everything isn’t going according to plan that a wedding is set-up for failure. Just as countless generals throughout history studied the Art of War and yet still lost battles or had to adapt tactics, so too must we concede that we could keep this going all year and not cover every angle or circumstance.
We’ve ended every post so far with this adaptation of Tzu’s proverb: When you know yourself, and you know the wedding, you’ll find victory in every ceremony. Now you’re ready for us to explain it. Sun wrote:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
Knowledge is the root to all success. Not just of things but of yourself. When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you can focus and compensate accordingly. For example, great with a budget but bad at calling people back? Have the confidence to make the wedding budget and delegate the event planning to the MOH. But really, that’s only the obvious application of the words. Things can go well, and sometimes, like a general you’re forced to change tactics –to adapt to shifting winds of seize and opportunity when it arises. So know the wedding. Know as many ceremonies and be as involved as possible. Know what you are capable of and the wedding you want. So when something doesn’t turn out as planned, you know immediately how to adapt and get want you want. Victory in every ceremony.
And lastly, our party words: this is the happiest day of your life. Be prepared, but embrace the random, the silly and the unexpected. A Wedding may have logistics eerily similar to a military campaign, but there’s reason why it should have anywhere near the same severity. So go forth, our student, and plan the wedding that’s every bit of a complete victory as you’ve always envisioned.