Shrink Wrap in Psychology Today
Drew Barrymore: When Do You Change The Rules To Make Your Wedding Your Own?
By Dr. Jane Greer
Actress Drew Barrymore married art dealer Will Kopelman over the weekend in a private ceremony in front of about 200 guests. Drew, who is expecting the couple’s first child, turned tradition upside down by taking the road toward motherhood before walking down the aisle to exchange her vows. She is just one of several current celebrities who have mixed up that old love, marriage, baby carriage arrangement. Pop star Jessica Simpson and her partner, NFL Star Eric Johnson, recently welcomed a new baby, Maxwell Drew, but aren’t scheduled to get married until at least the end of this year. These couples are each making their commitments in their own ways. When you move toward taking that important step, are you considering what your needs are as a unit?
Taking these celebrities as an example, the usual route – dating, getting engaged, getting married, starting a family – isn’t necessarily the way to go. Did they plan to put the pregnancy before the wedding? We don’t know, but they are clearly making the timing work for them. And it doesn’t have to be only around a baby that the order of doing things can get mixed up. There are times when rules might need to be redefined. Do you want to live together before you get married? Do you want a small ceremony but your families want you to have a big one? Does a wedding on the beach sound better and like less pressure to you than a wedding in a church or a synagogue? Might you want to take the whole religious aspect out of it altogether? Do you feel better in a sundress than you do in a formal gown? These are the concerns that people feel strongly about because they are notions and opinions that usually flow out of strong traditions. Going in another direction can oftentimes generate disapproval and conflict from family, friends, and even the public at large. How do you decide whether to follow these norms or bend them?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that this is your life and your wedding. The focus doesn’t have to be on the guest list or including your mother’s favorite prayer, it should be about the two of you and your union. If, in fact, this is a second marriage for either one of you, you may have different priorities that might motivate you to get innovative and do things in a new and original way. Whatever the case, despite the tried-and-true customs, you might want to be creative and decide that you want to do it in a different manner. As you move forward, tailor your choices to your needs as a couple. Ultimately, whatever you choose will be an expression of your happiness and commitment to each other. The challenge is to not let what other people want determine what you do. When you lead from love, the steps might sometimes be out of sequence, but they will fall into place, just as they are doing for Drew and Jessica.
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See Dr. Greer’s article on Psychology Today.
Posted June 8, 2012 in Psychology Today