Tarot Spreads: Planning the Perfect Wedding
Ah, weddings. Days of both joy and trauma, fear and certainty, family and friends getting together to celebrate this most seminal of days. They say planning a wedding is like planning the takeover of a small country…and I’d believe it. (That’s why weddings are often the subject of a Tarot reading.)
I’ve had a couple of weddings myself. The first one, when I was in my 20s, was my mother’s chance to show off; she’d been a World War Two bride and had only three days in 1946 to put something together before my father was shipped out to Fort Sam Houston for training and deployment with the Occupation Army. Her wedding picture has my young father in his handsome uniform – and my mother in a brown dress. She hated brown. The wedding was hole-in-corner. And she longed for the no-holds-barred, pull-out-every-stop wedding that she had dreamed of.
So when I married my first husband in 1979, she saw it as HER chance to have the wedding SHE dreamed of. I got to choose the groom, and a couple of the bridesmaids. Everything else was what SHE would have wanted – the tony synagogue, the people on the guest list, the bridesmaids’ dresses in pale pink and lime green (don’t wince; this WAS the Seventies), the solid gold tableware, the best kosher caterer in the Philadelphia area. SO not who I was – but she was vindicated; she knew how to Make A Wedding, and it really was hers, rather than mine.
Ironically enough, that marriage didn’t even last a year.
Fast forward to 2002 and my marriage to Carle. Both my parents had passed, and my stepmother, a wonderful and caring woman who loved me as if I were her own, insisted that we have our wedding at the family house in Cherry Hill. She knew Carle and I wanted simple but happy, and she was all for that. So it was in the backyard, with a select list of people we loved, both family and friends. There was champagne and plenty of hors d’oeuvres and a delicious wedding confection of raspberry pound cake and fondant icing, with two ceramic cats on top who looked delightfully, unnervingly like my husband and me.
Carle and I are going on a dozen years, and more in love than ever. And it doesn’t take fancy divination techniques to prove to the world I got Mr. Right this time!
Maybe the love, rather than the competition, that infused the wedding made a difference?
Weddings are important, not only because of their legal magic (you + me = Us), but because of all the thoughts, visualizations, hopes and declarations that are part of the day. And I have created two spreads for such occasions – one for logistics, and one for all the “background and Upstairs” information you need to make a marriage last.
Let’s look at the logistics one first, which I call Planning the Perfect Wedding. When brides-to-be sit down with me, they always want to know what the wedding day will be like. While I remind them that it’s their attitude that can make or break the day, I understand wanting to know what’s ahead from a planning standpoint. We’ll go with an eleven-card layout, as follows:
- The Venue where the wedding is to be held
- The Guests
- The Groom’s Family
- The Bride’s family
- The Wedding Ceremony itself
- The Reception afterwards
- The “Peripherals” (photographs, caterers, music and the like)
- Challenges to be dealt with
- Wonderfulness, or happy things involved
- What to take from the wedding day proper
- Final outcome — how the wedded couple will be affected by the Big Day
Let’s see how this will work for our hypothetical couple, Amy and Rory. Here are the cards we pulled:
THE VENUE: Queen of Rods
THE GUESTS: Queen of Cups
THE FAMILY (GROOM): 5 Pentacles
THE FAMILY (BRIDE): Ace Swords
THE CEREMONY: 4 Rods
THE RECEPTION: Moon
THE PERIPHERALS: Devil
CHALLENGES: 2 Swords
WHAT TO TAKE FROM THE DAY: 7 Cups
FINAL OUTCOME: Sun
The Venue card tells me that this is not going to be a simple backyard wedding. Planning the perfect wedding means this one has to be someplace with flair, pizzazz, and which really shows Amy off at her absolute best.
The Guest card says ONLY invite people out of love, not obligation! This can be very difficult, but I would stress to the couple that the closer they can hold to this idea, the better the day will be.
The Groom’s family card? They’re a little nervous about this match! They are also not sure that the kids can take care of themselves financially, so they would prefer that less money be spent on the wedding and more tucked in wedding envelopes for the couple.
The Bride’s family card is approaching this like a military maneuver – strategies, having both Plan A and Plan B. They want it to go without a hitch – but I think it may not leave the Groom’s family much room to add their thoughts and touches to the day.
The Ceremony itself should go very well – the 4 Rods card is literally about celebrating the completion of something, parties, homecoming. The Ceremony will definitely mark a new beginning for Amy and Rory that everyone will understand and acknowledge.
The Reception? Ah, now that may be a problem. The Moon card talks about gossip, scandal, and false friends. Go back and look at the card about the guests – this reinforces the idea that only those who really love Amy and Rory should be in attendance, or there could be some unpleasant situations to defuse.
The Peripherals card talks about the catering, the photographer, the music – and all of that may have detail problems, and the Devil is, as they say, in the details. Amy and her family should have EVERYTHING in writing, so there is no mistake about pricing, timing, or other requirements. However, this is where Amy’s family’s Ace of Swords will come in handy – a few Plan Bs may be needed to keep everything running smoothly.
The Challenge card, 2 Swords, says that Amy and Rory will be challenged to stay neutral in the difficulties and ups and downs of planning the perfect wedding. There may be some real problems making decisions, with one party or the other going back and forth until almost too late. They should make sure there is always a compromise position to fall back on.
The Wonderfulness card says that there will actually be a great sense of relief when the day is over! And here the Death card signals absolute transformation – the death of an old way of life, what they have outgrown. Amy and Rory will notice a clear and sharp difference between “being engaged” and “Being Married” that will be a permanent thing. They will look back on life Before Marriage as if it were another existence.
What to take from the day? The 7 of Cups says they will understand that there are all kinds of fantasies about what a relationship should be like, but now it’s time to leave them behind. As of their wedding day, they get to embark on the real thing – real love, real partnership, real life.
And the final outcome could not be better: The Sun card is about a joyous, radiant sense of well-being. It’s a big YES card. It is the Sun rising on a whole new life, without shadows, and full of optimism. It is the ultimate Happy Marriage card. Well done, you two!