Could you plan a wedding in five days?
My guess is that most people would answer that question with a laugh. But my friend and former colleague did exactly that with both class and gusto.
When I first saw The New York Times article, “I Planned My Wedding in Five Days. You Could, Too” float through my newsfeed, I thought to myself, “Hey, that sounds like what Emily did.”
Emily is a snazzy P.R. lady that I worked with at The Becket Fund. If you met her, you would not think that she is the pull-off-a-wedding-in-less-than-a-week kind of gal. She’s the type who always looks like a million bucks, whose office was always clean and swanky, whose outfit was always super polished . . . you know the type.
Anyway, I glanced at the photo in the article and thought, “Wow, that even looks like Emily!”
You get where I am going with this. It was Emily.
But not only do I enjoy watching her story blow up because I feel cool by association, but also because her story bears an important message: Make it matter. Your wedding, that is. The moral of Emily’s story is that you should make your wedding matter, because the way you approach your wedding foreshadows how you will approach your marriage.
Her story comes on the heels of data finding that more and more couples are taking longer to marry because they are living together before tying the knot, a factor that makes that couple thirty percent more likely to divorce; couples are also spending more and more on their weddings, which also correlates with higher odds of winding up in Splitsville. One 2014 study found that couples who spent less on weddings and engagement rings were less likely to divorce. As CNN put it in a memorable headline, “Want a Happy Marriage? Have a Big Cheap Wedding.”
In Emily’s case, she and her fiancé were certain about each other and didn’t feel like slow-walking it. It wasn’t haste; they just didn’t want to waste. And “cheap” is the wrong word to describe their wedding; it was more . . . streamlined. As one of the hosts on GMA pointed out, Emily “screened everything with the , “Does this make the people at my wedding feel loved, or strengthen my marriage and the promises we made to each other?” If the answer was no, it got axed. Her wedding litmus test is one that is actually timeless, one that can be exercised daily in a marriage. So why not start with it on day one?
Emily’s example is admittedly quite far out of the norm, which is why it’s gone viral. But in an era where couples feel they have to live together for years before a yearlong engagement marked by a five-figure stone and a lavish wedding in which so much attention gets focused on the superficial trappings rather than the substance of marriage, hers shines for a reason.
You don’t have to plan your wedding in five days or for less than five grand to perform the same exercise in your own marriage, but everyone can draw a lesson from Emily’s story. As The Beatles once crooned, “Can’t buy me love!” And that most certainly includes weddings.