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Chronicles from a Caribbean Cubicle

6/30/2005

Today is my wedding day

Today is My Wedding Day

I’m back in my room at the Runaway Bay Heart Hotel in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. My new wife is sleeping off four months of hard work that culminated today in a wedding that was simply one of the highlights of my life, and the best wedding I’ve ever been to!

I could go and on about the things that went well, and how easy it seemed to go. Sure, there were a lot of people who worked very hard to make the event a success, but that is true for every wedding that I’ve been to. We had nothing too spectacular in terms of entertainment, food, music, dress or any of the other things that go together to make up a good wedding.

I clearly had something to do with the people that were there.

In the past, I would say that the people that came just happened to “click.” We got lucky to have the right combination in the same place at the same time. But this time, I know that that’s not true.

In this case, my wife and I created something that was different for us – an explicitly, worded “Outcome.”

Now this is probably not news to anyone reading this – after all, aphorisms like Covey’s “Begin with the End in Mind” have been repeated forever, and he certainly was not the first to give voice to that piece of wisdom. I have given this advice to many, in fact, in coaching situations.

Yet, I learned a lot from doing it myself, with my then fiancée. This Outcome struck such a chord, and felt so important that it seemed as if it were worthy of …. not protection per se….. but something like caring nurturing.

Once the Outcome was designed and we started acting on it we found that it was much easier to take some of the following actions, which were essential to having the day turn out the way it did. (At the same time, we used a word that comes from some things I learned about right-brained thinking – “space.”)

To create the space we wanted we ended up:

Deciding on who to invite based solely on the Outcome (which lead to the wedding being very small in numbers)

  1. Finding vows that fit the Outcome
  2. Creating a practice of reading the Outcome together periodically
  3. Sharing the wording of the Outcome with a few trusted advisors and friends
  4. Choosing music, the musician, the hotel, the setting of the wedding, the dress, the minister…. All of it.

This helped us to keep things focused on what we wanted, when there were many competing points of view from friends, family, traditions, cultural norms, personal whims and fancies at the moment…. It required discipline to keep this particular infant (our Outcome) alive, when things were going crazy!

And, it all turned out beautifully – to be immodest! We heard the words of our Outcome used by our guests to describe what they felt about the day, without our giving it to them, which confirmed for us that we had done what we had set out to do.

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