October 27, 2010

{Champion One Another}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
I'm always looking for interesting relationship quotes and bits of advice to share in my writing. Here's something I thought you'd appreciate and could use...we all need reminders every now and then about opening our hearts just a wee bit more!

In his book, Nine Critical Mistakes Most Couples Make, Dr. David Hawkins, known as “The Relationship Doctor,” offers these ways that couples often misstep:
~ They talk sharply to one another.
~ They take one another for granted.
~ They make demands instead of requests.
~ They put each other down rather than offering praise.
~ They fail to get excited about each other's ideas.
~ They forget to champion one another.

So go be your partner's champion today! Be supportive, loving, forgiving, patient, attentive. And in the process, you will both win.... 

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Marla Aufmuth]

October 20, 2010

{Feeling Beautiful Down to Your Toes}

Dear Bride-To-Be:
As you may know, it’s a rather recent custom—in the world of costume history—for brides to have new dress for their wedding. I have a collection of old wedding photographs from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries of brides wearing their “best dress,” usually a dark color (it was practical, appropriate for mourning, and perhaps the only fabric available!)

So to make their dark outfit more festive and “bridal,” some brides attached creame ribbon and lace and wax orange blossom rosettes to their skirt and wore fresh flowers or a crown of wax orange blossoms in their hair with some sort of veil attached. The veil seemed to declare, “I’m a bride!”

What are you wearing as part of your “bridal costume” that declares something really special for you—that just makes you tingle? Maybe it’s the gown itself—it makes you feel like a fairy princess; or perhaps family heirloom earrings that you admired as a little girl; or your great-grandmother’s handmade lace veil purchased on her “grand tour” of Europe; or possibly it’s just the giddiest pink pumps ever!
Whatever it is—wear it with joie de vie delight—feel beautiful down to your toes—and let it declare to the world not only “I’m a bride”—but especially “I’m a goddess!”

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Top Photograph: Collection of the Author;
Bottom Photograph: Jason Hudson]

October 13, 2010

{The Lingering Pleasure of a Pause}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
The words you speak during your wedding ceremony have a depth and power to them . . . choose them well, then speak them from your heart.

Here’s a tip. Borrow a technique from seasoned public speakers: the intentional pause. And here’s a way to practice: Take some deep, easy breaths then slowly (and out loud), read a favorite love poem or some other passage you really like—either to yourself or to a friend—with a deliberate pause between each phrase. (Read like you’re sharing the words with your beloved.)

What did you notice? Was it easy or hard to slow down? Did you want to rush and fill the silence? Did you remember to breathe as you spoke?

Practice some more (and remember to take deep, slow breaths.) Find yourself—your heart—in the spaces as you read. Give the words space to breathe . . . and continue to find the grace in the pause. Did you feel more ease in your body? Life becomes sweeter when it’s a practice of what gently serves love instead of a rush to the finish line!

This will be great practice for your wedding day: to slow down and find the luscious spaces not only in your words, but also in your steps, your touch, and in your hugs and embraces. Enjoy the lingering pleasure of each moment, of each pause. (It’s okay to slow down. You will get to the wedding altar—or wherever your journey takes you—at the perfect moment.)

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: Meg Smith]

October 6, 2010

{Complicated Roots}

Dear Bride-to-Be:
What rituals are you using for your wedding? Are they from family or religious traditions...or perhaps something you’ve read about or seen at another wedding? What do you know about the origin of these rituals and traditions?

My customers and audiences are always curious about the origin of wedding rituals—customs so familiar that we seldom give them a second thought during wedding festivities: tossing the garter, carrying a bouquet, exchanging rings, cutting the cake. We have accepted these traditions from the past into our modern celebrations, yet a bit of mystery remains. Most wedding rituals used today are a custom “rooted in the potent mix of tradition and superstition,” states Barbara Tober, former editor-in-chief of Bride’s magazine, in her classic book The Bride: A Celebration.

Given the hazy origin of most wedding customs, tracing them becomes a bit of a puzzle. Cultures around the world participated in wedding ceremonies in ways unique to their tribe or region or religion. These rituals and customs then took a meandering path through the centuries, being adapted and altered by new generations. To borrow a phrase from Carol McD. Wallace in her book All Dressed in White, wedding traditions have “complicated roots.”

I find that couples who learn about the rituals they plan to use for their wedding become more deeply related to their ceremony ahead...as well as learn more about each other! Let me know what you’ve learned or if you have any questions...I’d love to hear from you! 

Love. Listen. Let go.
...with love from Cornelia

[Photograph: April Grooms]