I had the pleasure of making a crown for Ashlee Bonner a few months ago. Her thoughtful friends gifted her a crown and Ash so gratefully accepted under one condition; that she had nothing to do with the design of it and it would be a surprise!
Ashlee is a holistic, wellness and business coach who is respected and loved by many people in our community. I discussed with her amazing friends Alex and Kim about their thoughts on the design and they also suggested we use some rose quartz, being that it’s Ash’s favourite. From here it already felt like one of the most special pieces I have designed to date, so much thought and love had gone into this crown and combining the power of the rose quartz really made it have such a powerful aura.
I wanted to share with you all Ash’s story and see if any brides out there could take a leaf out of her approach to weddings – have a read about her wonderful experience and I hope you gain something from it as I did!
FOR THE BRIDE AND GROOM – Helping you tune into what truly matters. – By Ashlee Bonner
PART ONE – COMMUNICATION
We were going to elope.
For us, the idea of planning a wedding = STRESS. We thought of money. We thought of pleasing everyone else. We thought of letting others down.
We bought into the concept and collective, (limiting), belief that weddings are expensive, you have to please everyone else – and they will be difficult – and that it’s one of the MOST stressful times in a couple’s lives.
Holy high expectations and pressure Batman! I mean, who would want that?
To be really honest, planning a wedding and the stress we felt it could bring into our lives, is one of the reasons why it’s taken us 13 years to become husband and wife. I, at times, find this a little sad, however it’s also helped us to build a stronger partnership and understand what WE value and want our reality to be – which is what I want to chat about in PART ONE.
We got clear on what WE wanted. We focused on WHY it was important is US, and how we both wanted to FEEL on the day, (and those who attend).
One we decided against elopement, and to plan a wedding instead, we were adamant that it had to be on our OWN terms.
We knew that we wanted to celebrate with a smaller group of people in our lives, the love we share for one another. This was our focus, and, we wanted to feel loved and relaxed on the day, and for those that attend to feel just as relaxed and have FUN!
Every decision we’ve made, has been based on this. And, the only time stress has come into play, has been when we, (well, mostly I), have strayed from this – when I’ve chosen to listen and TAKE ON other people’s beliefs as our own.
The cool thing is, is that, we haven’t allowed it to last long. We come back to our WHY and how we want to FEEL, (and for others to feel), on the day. We come back home to ourselves as a couple and reconnect to what truly matters to US.
The biggest secret? We COMMUNICATE my dear friends. We check in and be honest about how we’re feeling. Then, we refocus back on what matters to us – to feel loved and relaxed.
To the bride and groom’s to be reading this:
Do you know your WHY?
Do you know how you want to feel on the day?
If the answer is ‘no’, and you haven’t communicated this to each other yet, I encourage you to explore this.
It will be your ANCHOR and will help you to continue to refocus in on what truly matters to you as a couple.
PART TWO – LOOKING THE PART
The pressure of the expectation of looking your “best” on your wedding day.
There seems to be this fear that enters the brides (and groom’s) mind that when the realisation hits that she/he is going to be the centre of attention, with all eyes on her/him – whether she/he likes it or not – that the “not feeling enough’s” begin.
They begin to stress and worry over their body image – “I need to be more toned”, “I need to lose weight”, “I want to look like X…
Missing how already amazingly beautiful and imperfectly perfect they already are, in that very moment. Forgetting that her soon to be husband already loves her, just the way she is. Forgetting that his soon to be wife thinks he’s the most incredible man to walk this earth.
They begin to lose sight of what truly matters, and it begins to be more about their appearance – body image – taking them further away from the essence of who they are as a couple, and what the day represents to them.
This is why in my last post I spoke about understanding your WHY and how you both want to FEEL – so it can be your anchor, when you have moments of lowered self-esteem, such as this.
As our own wedding day draws near, I have come to not care so much about what others are going to think of me. I really don’t care if they don’t like my dress, or think I look “too big” or “too small” or “too anything” for that matter. I don’t care if people see a photo of me and judge the way I look. Because, as much as my mind will try and convince me otherwise, their judgement has everything to do with them, and NOT me. It’s also none of my business.
I love with every cell of my being the stunning dress I allowed myself to buy. One that helps me to feel so incredibly beautiful and feel like a real Queen. All that truly matters is that it makes me feel this way. My body shape and size mean NOTHING. It doesn’t change the way I love Dante and he loves me.
My body image is NOT what truly matters on this one day.
Here’s what I personally believe to be a more EMPOWERING approach to how you – bride or groom – choose to show up for yourself in regard to your own body image on the day:
- Tell each other your most favourite physical attribute of the other. Whenever you have a moment of feeling crap about your physical appearance, remind yourself this and OWN IT!
- If you find yourself worrying over what other people will think, remind yourself that it’s none of your business what they think of you AND if they do judge you in any way, it has everything to do with them, and nothing to do with you.
- Buy a dress/suit that reflects you and how you want to feel on the day – beautiful, comfortable, classy – whatever it is that resonates with you.
- Come back to your WHY and how you both want to FEEL on the day. Let it be your anchor.
YOU BOTH ARE ALREADY PERFECT JUST THE WAY YOU ARE.
Please don’t try to change yourself, for this one day.
PART THREE – EXPECTATIONS
Forgetting the true meaning of your OWN wedding day.
When the day starts to become more about the venue, flowers, food, alcohol, bridesmaids, groomsmen, and all the other things we *think* we need in order to get married, I personally feel that the true meaning of the day has been lost.
We tend to want to impress others and can’t help but compare yours to all the other weddings you’ve attended, or are seeing flooding your news feed, in the lead up to your own day.
The high expectation and pressure of this one day needing to be “the best day of your life”, clouds your judgement, and assists you in becoming disconnected to what you TRULY desire, and the meaning of your OWN wedding day.
When we lose sight of what truly matters, what tends to happen is that we begin to allow others needs and opinions come before our own and end up organising a wedding that isn’t really in alignment with who we are.
It’s stressful AF.
Your wedding day doesn’t need to look any certain way. There. I said it.
I personally believe it’s important for the day to reflect both the bride and groom and the life they’ve created together. With this comes hard decisions at times, and yes – letting others own. However, if these people truly love you, they’ll let their disappointment, (due to an expectation they placed), go. They’ll rise above it and allow you to be who it is you truly are, especially during a moment that is yours that you’ve invited them to share. It’s sacred and personal and should never be taken for granted.
And if they don’t, remember my tip from the last post about judgement? This works the same – their disappointed, because of their OWN expectations. It has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. Simply reminding yourself of this, will help to calm you, and give you the opportunity to check back in with what YOU desire.
I know in each post I have referred to knowing your WHY and how you both want to FEEL on the day – can you see why I started there? It’s SUPER important.
Knowing your WHY and how you both want to FEEL, will highlight your own values for the day. And, this is what matters most NOT those of people outside of you and your awesome soon to be husband/wife.
YOUR MANTRA TO REPEAT OVER AND OVER IS:
“Our own values are what truly matters most”.
PART FOUR – UNEXPECTED EVENTS
How to deal with unexpected things before and on the day.
I’ll be blunt here.
You need to practice being uncomfortable with your fear of lack of control.
There’s most certainly been a few unexpected things happen in the lead up to our wedding day, that I’ve had absolutely no control over. I won’t to go into the details, as that’s not the point to this share, all you need to know is how I dealt with these situations.
I had to remind myself that everything in life happens for a reason, and even if I don’t understand why at the time, everything will be exactly how it needs to be on the day.
My beautiful fellow bride and groom’s to be, that’s the truth.
You can NOT control every aspect of the day. You need to come to peace with this.
I know how hard that can feel, however if you choose right from the beginning that you’ll show up and practice being uncomfortable when things don’t quite go to plan, then you WILL remain more grounded.
I shared a grounding meditation last week, that I think will be perfect for you both! I would suggest listening to this as much as you can leading up to your day AND whenever something unexpected happens, you can practice this short 6minute meditation – maybe even together.
My BIGGEST recommendation is to do it the morning of the wedding, and the more you do it before the day, the more you’ll naturally begin to connect to your physical body and the PRESENT MOMENT to help you remain grounded, no matter what the day presents.
See it as my wedding gift for you both.
PART FIVE – The Day
On the day, all that matters are you and your partner.
Allow yourself to get ‘groundedly’ lost in the beauty of the present moment and love that you would be feeling on the day.
Look into your partner’s eyes and allow them to bring you back home to you both as a partnership.
Be with them. Hold their hand.
Create a word you might need to say, if you begin to feel anxious – this is for you both. Remember you partner would be feeling all the feels too, so you may be his/her anchor and vice versa.
This one day is about you both.
Keep coming back to your love and allow this love to ground you into the present moment.
“Everything is as it needs to be” and breathe.
Drop the expectation of your wedding day being the best day of your life!
This is such a high expectation, that often leads to disappointed and STRESS.
Remember, it will only be stressful if you don’t stay true to YOU, your WHY and how you both want the FEEL on the day.
It will only become stressful if you plan the day for everyone else, rather than you.
Create your OWN reality.
Trust that it will be a beautiful day, because you and your loved one will be together.
Instead of believing it will be the best day of your life, why not simply show up in the beauty of the present moment of whatever the day has in store?
-Ash Marian (Ashlee Bonner)
I’ll share some more details about Ash’s crown in another post – thank you so much Ash for allowing me to share this on my website and Kristy Janeway Photography for the beautiful images.
If you want to check out Ash’s business or follow her journey – see HERE