I used to be rather arrogant before I started my research on the Singapore’s wedding industry since 1.5years ago. That is, I thought I knew a lot and there were certain ways of life which I cannot help but judge. This judge-y worldview has since changed a lot ever since I sat down and listened to the stories of brides, because their intimate sharing truly made me realise how much I don’t know I don’t know. On hindsight, I therefore think that this wedding research has made me a more humble and empathetic listener + person.
Since I have so much angst right now while reading about crooked wedding vendors, let me take some time to write about the 7 things my research on weddings taught me about life and humility.
#7. Like life, a wedding is technically “once in a lifetime”. This means that there are plenty of stuffs you don’t even know you don’t know. So, actively listen to people with experience, but decide which experience to adopt for yourself.
Well, you should actively ask people for advice, and there would be people who impose their advice on you. But it’s your life, your wedding, your money, so do strike a healthy balance between whose advice you take, and what your heart wants.
Be prepared to say no to zealous folks who think they know best, but at the same time recognise that some advice they offer might work. So don’t dismiss their advice altogether. A keen sense of balance and an open-mind are essential.
#6. If nobody asks for your opinion, please shut up.
Honestly no bride wants to be told that she “looks like she’s drowning in her wedding dress“. So, think whatever you like but don’t verbalise/blog it out.
Words are not just innocent combinations of alphabets. They can seriously cut open and hurt people. This is something I’m still learning on a daily basis–to learn to keep my mouth shut more often.
Unless of course you are using someone else’s misfortune to get higher blog ratings or international press coverage. But do beware of the possible backlash of ruining the relationship you have with the bride. (Even though I honestly think the said blogger doesn’t care).
But at any rate, it’s not nice ruining the memory of a person’s wedding, which the couple worked so hard to prepare for .
I think this is something I learnt to be more sensitive about in life as well, as a relatively direct person. You see, I used to think that if someone doesn’t like my views, he/she can just ignore them. Who am I anyway but a nobody? I used to even think that it is my obligation to speak my mind, because if something is really bad, shouldn’t the people involved know the unadulterated truth according to some?
But I realised, hey, people might choose to “not see the truth” because the truth hurts them. So–always be nice, sincere, and don’t hurt their ego, simply because there is zero benefit in doing so, either to you or to them.
I’m serious–speaking your version of the truth really doesn’t bring any benefit to yourself or them. If anything it just hurts the relationship and shows that you have zero sense of your environment. In addition, sometimes speaking the truth makes the person more deluded and results in them hating you even more. So, before you speak any form of objective truth, always test if the person is ready for it.
99.99% of the time however, they are not. Anyway what I’d learnt is that “the truth” is such an expensive commodity, you must never give it free to people you are not close to. Only share “the truth” with a total of…5 people? Haha, great rule of thumb yea? ^^
#5. Like life, a wedding is never just the matter of two person. It’s in fact a matter of family and society.
This to me, is the beauty of society, life, and the universe.
We are all somehow connected to each other. 🙂
#4. It’s better to be single/divorced than to get married to the wrong person. And that is a very, very humbling lesson.
When you get to hear about domestic abuse/ sexless-marriages and adultery, AND kids involved…then you’d realise–wow, it’s so much better to be single than to be faced with that sort of alternative.
So, always marry a “right” person, or at least a person you like enough. Don’t marry because “it’s the right time, woohoo!” or “I’m at the right age”.
It’s the same thing with life, isn’t it? Don’t settle. Think hard about what you want, experiment, fail fast–don’t compromise too soon.
#3. A marriage might well be a rather silly institution in modern terms.
Like, you have to be a heterosexual, married to a Singaporean/PR to be able to buy a subsidised HDB flat in Singapore…
#2. Why are you paying so much for the wedding fantasy? Is the wedding ceremony a respite…from the mundane and stressful daily life?
I think weddings taught me that life is meaningless in general, and therefore we go after ideals and want fantasies to be real. People want to believe in something beautiful, and people want to create meaningful memories.
So don’t take that away from them. Or perhaps, us.
“Imagination” to me is the beauty of bridal fashion, and by extension, life.
And…the most important of all:
#1. Like means like. Be empathetic, not judge-y.
If a couple rationally decides–after much consideration– that they want to take debt just to achieve their ideal wedding, who are we to say anything?
If a bride wants to wear T-shirt and jeans to her R.O.M ceremony, who are we to say that she is disrespectful?
As in life, it is more challenging to have empathy and respect the worldview of others. Any Tom, Dick and Harry can judge, but it takes a big-hearted person to empathise and see things from the perspective of another.
And it is empathy which wins hearts. 😉
Hehe I’m so random. OK gonna go back to work. ^^