I don’t know how many of you, like me, are fans of the show Frasier. While I never did really get interested in Cheers, from whence it spun off, I loved the adventures of the Crane family. And, like many, I had a great fondness for the courtship of Daphne and Niles.
Funnily enough, I think what struck me most and made me happiest about their entire love story was that when the Big Moments happened, Niles was usually trying to make them Momentous… and then they just happened quietly, naturally, and in ways that could never have been matched – let alone outdone – by the huge, elaborate plans he originally made.
When Niles was ready to propose marriage, he took everything to huge, dramatic excess. He had little people in angel costumes, a chorus, a guy in a medieval costume with a great long poot horn with a banner hanging from it, a five page proposal involving ridiculous metaphors and iambic pentameter, and Wolfgang Puck cooking dinner.
When Daphne got there, she was sick as a dog and just wanted a quiet evening in front of the fire with the man she loved. Of course much comedic gold was mined from Niles and Frasier’s efforts to get all the extraneous people (not to mention Frasier’s addition of live doves!) out of the apartment behind Daphne’s back so that Niles could bring it all together again at a later date.
In the end, he just realizes how full his heart is in that moment, pulls the ring from his pocket, and asks her to marry him. It doesn’t even matter that his proposal is interrupted by a long, juicy session of nose-blowing. The moment is perfect because it’s two people in love making the decision to be together for the rest of their lives.
A lot of people start out viewing proposals and weddings the way Niles does. Bigger is necessarily better, more elaborate means more proof of love… but I’ve never agreed with that philosophy. I think it’s the little things that make the process special, whether you choose to do things elaborately or without frills.
I have no beef, certainly, with those who choose to go all out with the details. Details are fun. Sometimes over the top is just who you are as a couple, and that’s great.
Just never let the hooplah overwhelm the most important things. Don’t imagine that it’s impossible to express your love on a smaller scale. Remember to take time to notice the little things that make things truly special.
Big or small, expensive or bargain basement, steeped in tradition or wackily personal, do it your way. Have the wedding you want.
But don’t let the style overshadow the moment. Keep your eyes and hearts open to the quiet things that hold the most meaning.