Today is my birthday. For me, that usually means a walk down Memory Lane and all the people I've known along the way, how far I've traveled on my journey, and how precious time is.
This morning I'm especially focused on the folks who've touched my heart over the years, with whom I've lost touch for whatever reason. When looking back, I know I regret not having made extra effort to spend more time with those folks and perhaps lesser time with those who seemed to drain me or that I spent time with because someone said it was the "right thing to do."
I remember planning my wedding when I was just 19 years of age, and listening to all the people around me telling me who I needed to invite. It sounded something like this: "Of course you have to invite (name)! They've been a friend of the family's for years!" or "They're your (blood relation). You have to invite them!" I personally hadn't seen that person since I was a child and in some instances not at all, and therefore had no real heart connection with them. But at that age, it's easier to appease rather than be honest and forthright.
When you plan your most deeply felt moments in your life, who do you really want to share them with? If a room is filled with many people you really don't know, are you taking time away from spending it with the people you truly care about and want to see? If a wedding reception lasts for 4 hours, and you have 250 guests, that means you have 240 minutes total to eat, listen to speeches, dance and visit with all your guests. Aunt X and Uncle Y may have flown from the other side of the country for your special day, and you now have a little over 2 minutes to spend with them while eating, dancing, and handling all the other responsibilities the bride & groom have on their wedding day.
"Micro weddings" as they're called are making a splash in other parts of the world for this reason and more. Not only do you get to truly enjoy your day with the people you love and care about, but you have more resources with which to do it. The cost per guest is greatly reduced. Options for venues open up. Ways to add special touches to your day that were cost-prohibitive now are within reach.
As an officiant I see couples stressed out when their wedding day becomes larger than they envisioned - when things don't go as they had planned.
So, perhaps you should consider "Who Loves You, Baby?" when planning your special day, and in the years to come. I've never heard someone regret having spent time with those dearest to them, but I have about time wasted doing things that weren't. Live from your heart every day, and surround yourself with those who do as well.
Rev. Ronnie was ordained in 2010 as an interfaith minister through The New Seminary, located in New York City. She is available to perform ceremonies throughout the United States, aboard ship or in other countries.