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About a month ago, I was at my friend’s wedding – let’s call her Danielle. Danielle looked stunningly radiant, her new husband was appropriately chuffed, the food was delicious, and the speeches were excellent (not to mention that my fiancé made a very handsome groomsman). But they aren’t the things that stood out to me the most. What stood out to me was a story of another guest who had celebrated her birthday the day before, who arrived at the church just as the bride did, and was greeted with birthday wishes from Danielle just before she walked down the aisle.

Yes, that’s the end of the story. Doesn’t seem like a big deal? Then take another look. I am amazed, like actually amazed, at how selfless this small act is on the bride’s part. With my wedding less than two months away, I can only imagine that in the moments before the grand entrance I could, without even realising it, be very self-involved. My train of thought could easily tend towards the thought that this is the culmination of all the months of my planning with my fiancé, all about to officially kick off with my grand entrance, with everyone looking my way, on a day that I’ve looked forward to for all of my life. A bride could almost be excused for not paying much attention to the people around her, let alone recalling anything about their lives or talking about anything other than the wedding itself!

It made me think about how our society looks at weddings, and whether this is really the best way. So many people have advised me to forget everyone else’s input (even the groom’s!) and just do everything my way, or to cut corners on the wedding spending to ensure a more extravagant honeymoon instead – all things that I felt encouraged me to focus on myself rather than my family or friends. My fiancé and I, on the other hand, really wanted to create a day that our guests found truly enjoyable: because after all, isn’t that the point? That the guests actually enjoy themselves while joining us in celebrating our joy?

You could tell that Danielle and her now-husband had that kind of approach to their wedding day, and it seemed to work – they were beyond happy all day long. On the other hand, I have definitely seen brides who were far from thrilled because their focus was very much inward and all about what they wanted, rather than if everyone else was having a good time. I can clearly see that a self-focus would give me too much time to think about all the things that go not exactly to plan (and there’s bound to be something: that’s part of the fun!), which would only leave me unhappy – something I do not have time for on my wedding day.

So my goal is to be a “selfless bride,” despite what society tells me I should be. Not because it sounds fancy, but because I’m pretty sure it’ll ensure a much happier day. I’d like to enjoy the company of my new husband and friends, share the day with family who are looking forward to it as much as I am, and really feel the joy of joining my life with that of an amazing man who I’m very lucky to have in my life. Because, quite frankly, it sounds way more fun than complaining that the wind is blowing my hair out of place or that the cake is shorter than I expected or how that speech was too long.

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.