Before I start on this article, I would like to say I have no psychology training and in no way hold myself out to be an expert or even be correct, in my musings – past or future. I speak from my heart on things that matter to me, and things that I have learned (and continue to learn) from the mistakes I have made. I give them to you, to make use of, or not. As I am normally a very private person, I am calling my courage to me……………

Most of us would like to think we have the courage to be ourselves – even in the face of pressure to conform. There will be more pressure to conform at certain points of your life – to have a ‘cookie cutter’ wedding, to have the ‘right’ pram or designer labels when you have a baby, to send your children to the ‘right’ school for example.

How do you acquire the courage to be yourself – perhaps even to say ‘no ‘? I still struggle with this in my fifties – yet I know somewhere in my core, that to get on that relentless treadmill of having, doing, wishing for the same things as everyone else, is to set myself up for dissatisfaction with my lot in life and an all pervading sense of failure. For there will always be someone who has done it ‘better’ (read – differently) than you.

If your heart is set on a large wedding with all the bells and whistles, be deeply honest with yourselves about your reasons for doing it this way. Your honesty may start a life-long discussion about what is really important to you as a couple. And if neither of you have any reservations, jump in and click your heels three times and follow the yellow brick road to the wedding of your dreams.

If you can’t afford, or don’t want an elaborate celebration, remember there is beauty in heartfelt simplicity. Look at, and use the things around you in a new way, ask family and friends for help. Add touches that mean something to you – something that incorporates a memento from your heritage, a special interest, or a nod to a special person in your life. Love what you find and what you do.

Don’t be influenced into inviting people, buying things, being extravagant, by anybody. What do you want as a couple?

So this is just small plea to you – think soulful, think real and think outside the square. It is YOUR day – make it a day that you will remember with a song in your heart.