Has Life Ever Surprised You?

Has Life Ever Surprised You?

We welcome Alessandra Macaluso to the porch today to share an interesting story! You may have met Ali on her own porch. I don’t want to spoil the surprises she will share but come back here and check this out when you’ve finished reading. I wish I’d had this wonderful book when I was planning my wedding! Take it away Ali!

I remember when life surprised me. I had just gotten engaged (that wasn’t it – I had a feeling that was coming.) It was what happened after.

When the wedding planning began I suddenly felt that I’d stepped onto a malfunctioning factory conveyer belt that seemed to get faster as it progressed, with people along the assembly line ready to package me up: the dress, the venue, the cake, and the opinions. Oh, the opinions. My head spun. I attended a bridal show, and wondered where the striped tent was above it all because it felt like a circus. And the surprises kept coming.

Suddenly, certain people who I considered friends were competing and comparing. My ring became an object of scrutiny and silent judgment. Expectations crept in, along with “to-do” lists. If I was the one getting married, why did it feel like I was throwing a wedding for everyone else? I couldn’t believe how overwhelmed I felt!

I was grateful for our wedding, and there was much beauty amongst the chaos. But planning a wedding today is a pressure-filled, emotional time, and navigating through while keeping your sanity, finances, and relationships intact is like trying to complete a triathlon with no training. You may cross the finish line, but not before collapsing a few times while gasping for air (and maybe losing your wallet along the way.)

We attend weddings, but don’t see “behind-the-scenes” until it’s our turn. When that curtain opens and we excitedly peek behind it, we are hit with a giant sandbag swung from the rafters full of financial stress, pressure, and relationship challenges. It became so clear why people elope! The race to measure up can chip away at what our souls really need and cause us to veer off-course.

I thought I might have been better prepared – maybe even done things differently – if someone gave me the “real deal” on what to expect, and it prompted me to write about my experience. What started as a small article that ran in a local magazine evolved into a book filled with stories from former brides and grooms, interviews with therapists, hilarious anecdotes and nuggets of marital wisdom reminding today’s bride to slow down, breathe, remain true to herself, and remember what it’s really all about: celebrating the decision to spend the rest of your life, with the love of your life.

If you’re planning a wedding you’ll likely encounter some of the stressors. But at least now you can enter the race with some training under your belt. I’ll be on the sidelines, cheering you on.

Did you experience stress while planning a wedding? When else has life surprised you?

Photo credit: Cory Ann

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