The past few years have served up some really shocking, world-scale events that have rocked us to the core.
Covid has wreaked global disruption, whether it’s been directly by illness and death of loved ones or by the utter exhaustion of all the restrictions that came along with it and their consequences in everyday life.
Climate change has continued to devastate our planet whilst politicians shy away from vote-losing solutions and now, Russia has invaded Ukraine and the heart-rending images of the conflict populate our newsfeeds and our nightmares.
Against the backdrop of such enormous horrors, it’s easy to feel helpless.
It is enough to make you want to hide under your duvet and not come out again for a very, very long time.
Understandably, I’ve had a few people say to me recently that planning a wedding just doesn’t feel like the joyful thing that it is supposed to be, and several have said that they just feel guilty even thinking about their big day when there are such awful things happening in the world.
I get it, I really do.
What if getting married was an act of defiance against the darkness?
What if celebrating love is a radical action in the face of conflict, anger and war?
What if, in the midst of so much inhumanity, coming together with loved ones in joy ignites a flame of hope?
It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness
(…so goes the saying that’s been attributed to so many people I don’t want to guess at its origins here)
I don’t want to advocate for toxic positivity. It really is ok to feel upset, deflated, anxious or depressed about what is going on. But it’s important to acknowledge those feelings and process them however you can, rather than get stuck in them. You might decide to write it all down in a journal, get outside and take a walk in nature, watch enough news to keep you informed but stay away from doom scrolling, or donate your time or money to a charity that’s doing something to help.
This won’t make the bad stuff go away of course, but you’ve already established you can’t do much about the big problem.
What you can do, however, is to control the controllables.
You can make sure that you are doing what you can with what you have got in order to be a light in a dark time. Give yourself the food, sleep and exercise you need to be there for yourself and for other people. Be kind to yourself and those around you, who are also living through all this. Work on the things you’re great at. Help out where you can. Plan the most joyous of weddings.
Staying small and checking out isn’t helping anyone. Let yourself shine and reflect the lights of other people who are trying their best to shine too.
And the shiniest, most heart-full event of them all? It has to be a wedding, surely.
Make your wedding an act of beautiful resistance.
Sending you all my love x