Planning a wedding tends to make brides-to-be and their mothers very irritable and annoyed—and usually with each other. What should be one of the happiest collaborations ever may turn into a nasty test of wills.

I’d like to think I ease some of that tension. One of my first comments during an initial meeting at Ken Miesner’s is, We can’t lose sight that a wedding is a uniting of two families by love; and when love is involved, there can’t possibly be anything wrong. Unfortunately, in the planning of the budget, the guest list, the dresses and the menu, that lovely message can get lost.

When a bride says something like, Well, if I stand there, I don’t think the audience will be able to see me, I know we’re in trouble. I try to explain that their wedding is not a theatrical production and ‘they’ are not the audience, but your loving family and friends who’ve been invited to share your joy on this most special day. I do hope they take that to heart.

What do people remember most about the wedding? Certainly the music, food and drink also play a huge part, and the décor is right up there. When a person is in a beautiful room with all the details like flowers, linen and candles, they most certainly have a much better time. The cake usually is very important, as are all the special touches you’ve arranged to personalize your wedding.

But the bride and groom—and by extension, their families—are the heart of any wedding and the celebration that follows. When the new couple truly realizes the significance of this rite of passage, the guests can feel it. It turns what could be a lovely but cool atmosphere into a warm and loving environment.

I understand the importance placed on the dress, the guest list, the ice carvings, the invitations and the gift bags for out-of-towners, plus a million other things. But you must try to never forget what this day is all about.

Believe me, the wedding ceremony is a brief, fleeting hour at the most, and the rest of the evening flies by, as well. But what every person who shares the experience with you will remember is the love that has set this whole series of events in motion.

When love is involved, everyone can feel it. When love is involved, nothing can go wrong. Enjoy your wedding day, but love your marriage.

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