Minimalism Life

My daughter was a Corona bride. In late spring she and her fiancé cancelled their September wedding. Uncertainty about the Coronavirus made it a relatively easy and wise decision. I wasn’t too disappointed, as the initial plan was to postpone the ceremony until next year.

A few weeks later, my daughter excitedly told me they were getting married at city hall. In accordance with CDC guidelines, there would be a small outdoor gathering afterwards with a few people who could easily and safely travel to the event.

The picture I’d held in my mind of watching my daughter walk down the aisle on her wedding day surrounded by family and friends faded from view. A civil ceremony followed by toasts from a few masked guests wasn't the vision I had for my little girl’s wedding.

This practical, minimalist mother-of-the-bride secretly began lamenting a fairy tale wedding complete with an orchestra playing Pachelbel's Canon in D and white doves released the moment my daughter said, “I do.”

I don't know what got into me. For about a month I was a ridiculous pain in the butt—a real MOB. I credit the bride’s younger brother for snapping me out of it by offering sage millennial advice like, “It’s not your wedding, Mom.”

My beautiful daughter got married to the love of her life, a wonderful man whom I adore. Their wedding day is over, and it was simply perfect. Let me wipe away my tears of joy and share five lessons in simplicity I learned from the experience.

1. Accept What Is

As much as I wished the pandemic didn’t upend my daughter's wedding plans, it did. The Stoics embrace the idea of Amor Fati, or love of fate. Epictetus said, “Do not seek to have events happen as you wish, but wish them to happen as they do happen, and all will be well with you.”

2. Relinquish Control

I admit I’m a control freak. In my mind, I’m just trying to help. The problem is it undermines others’ abilities and shows a lack of trust. In the end, my daughter’s wedding day was absolutely lovely without me pulling all the strings. A pandemic reminds us how foolish it is to believe we are ever really in control.

3. Manage Emotions

There's a reason people cry at weddings—it's freaking emotional. Milestones in our lives, and that of our children, bring out all the feels. When emotions are surging, remember to take a deep breath and make sure you're not over-reacting to a fleeting feeling.

4. Banish Comparisons

Thanks to social media, Pinterest, reality wedding shows, bridal magazines and a slew of Hallmark movies, there's no shortage of ideas about the perfect wedding. Actually, doesn't that apply to just about everything in life these days? As Theodore Roosevelt wisely warned, “Comparison is the thief of joy.”

5. Remember What Is Important

There are few people the pandemic hasn't affected—some much more than others. Yet in many ways, it has reminded us what’s really important. Health, not wealth. People, not things. The marriage not the wedding. Sometimes we need to step back, see the big picture, and ask ourselves what truly matters.

From this day forward I vow to remember the lessons I learned from my daughter's wedding. Do I promise? I do.