By J.P. Reynolds
It was an outdoor wedding. Argentinaand Marco (30’s) had been together five years and were great partners. Towards the end of their ceremony I zapped them with a blessing and was on the verge of pronouncing them husband and wife when suddenly,Argentina’s mother stood up and walked towards me.
I was puzzled, but then I remembered she was a widow. Maybe she wanted to thank folks for coming; maybe she was supposed to read a poem and the couple forgot to tell me.
I walked over to her and in a voice only I could hear, she said these immortal words: “Do not pronounce them husband and wife, I have reservations.” I was beyond stunned. I thought, “Sweetheart, do you really think I’m going to hand over my mic so we can enjoy a Jerry Springer moment?”
I smiled and said to her: “The only reservation you better have is for dinner.” Hey, I grew up inNew York City! It was now the mother’s turn to be stunned; she didn’t move. I raced back to the couple and pronounced them husband and wife.
The photographer, musicians, and coordinator later swarmed me; no one could believe what had happened. But I was concerned aboutArgentina. As I gave her a big hug, she told me something that I think of every time I meet with a couple. She said: “I guess I forgot to tell you about my mother.”
Everyone knew that momma was “nuts.” Everyone knew that momma was not happy with the marriage. And everyone toldArgentinanot to invite momma.Argentinaknew her mother was trouble, but, out of guilt, she felt she “should” invite her. After all, she was her mother. And so she invited her, knowing that her mother may attempt to disrupt the joy of her day.
Throughout the morning,Argentinawas anxious. Throughout the ceremony many of her guests were apprehensive. All because of her mother, who held the day hostage.
Argentinaand Marco had gotten into many arguments over her mother. And, yes, I think I detected an “I told you so” smirk in Marco’s eyes!
While planning their wedding, couples can easily buy into the crazy-making belief that there are things they “should” do in their wedding because that’s how things “should” be.
Do not plan your wedding out of a sense of “should.” Plan it out of a sense of what you and your partner want to do. Be guided by what reflects you as a couple.
I know it’s easy for me to say. However, no one — no friend, no family member — has the right to take your day hostage by selfish whims and desires.