Recently, I had the pleasure of watching the 2007 documentary titled The Human Experience. Somehow I missed out on this incredibly moving and touching movie before. But after watching it, this film sincerely captured my heart and soul. It is about the journey of a group of young men who come from troubled backgrounds, yet find themselves asking the same questions. Who am I? Who is Man? Why do we search for meaning? The journey is humbling, profound, yet very simple. Humans share one common need…the need to feel connected. We all have this innate characteristic that drives us to all sorts of places, people, and things. We want to belong to a group of others who respect us, care for us, and love us unconditionally.
But what does this have to do with planning your wedding? The answer? Everything.
Humans bond through shared experiences. We share meals, life stories, our faith, our heritage, our pride, and we always celebrate with others. We find acceptance in knowing that someone loves us unconditionally. We find comfort in trusting those same people to be a part of our most intimate experiences. A wedding is just that.
You were born to a family, whether they were related by blood or not. Throughout those years, you shared experiences. These experiences have shaped your life in so many ways, the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly. (You know those middle school years are rough on everyone.) What qualities you find attractive and necessary in a partner are directly and indirectly influenced by your family and friends, because they have shaped who you are. So when you do find that one person who fits those qualities, you inevitably will come back to your family to ask them to share with you in this one more experience. Your wedding. It may be the one and only time you will see all of these people in one setting at the same time.
These people care. These people matter. And they are looking to share in your human experience.
Once again, what does this have to do with planning your wedding? Everything. Because they care, and because you matter to them, they will travel miles and miles to be with you and celebrate you. Your considerate planning will help them to feel connected.
A friend of mine shared with me that it cost her well over $1000 to attend a wedding for her longtime friend in New York. Your family, this includes your friends, will do the same for you. They want to share this experience. They want to be touched and moved along the way. How will they be moved? How will they be touched by your wedding ceremony and the celebration that follows? Will they experience your sincere and genuine love for your spouse? Will they experience your sincere and genuine love for them? If they don’t, you will lose out on an opportunity of a lifetime.
A wedding is an intimate human experience. You and your love are baring your hearts and souls to each other in a public forum in order to show your commitment to each other. Your guests have been invited to be not just a witness, but a participant. Simply by giving them an invitation, you are telling them that you care about them, and you want them to share in this experience.
It all comes down to this one statement…your guests matter. We all have the need to feel connected and when we do, as Flavia Weedn stated, “Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same.” How will they be touched by emotion? Will they be moved to tears and laughter? Will you show them that you care by getting them involved in your most intimately shared human experience?