Let’s be honest. Planning a wedding is very time consuming. It’s also really important to do it well because it involves a lot of people, time, and money, and let’s face it: you don’t get a do over.
I’m all for planning the wedding day of your dreams. Actually, I’m here to help you make it happen! We love gorgeous, seamless, well-planned weddings. They’re simply the best! And while an awesome wedding day is our business, we actually care a lot about the beauty lasting far beyond one day. We want you to have an incredible marriage!
I have plenty of other things to say about marriage as I strive for a healthy marriage myself and work daily in the wedding industry. It’s a real statistic that half of all marriages end in divorce. Why is divorce a part of so many stories? There’s a variety of reasons, but often, people say they “fell out of love.”
Maybe you’ve been there. Maybe you’re reading this blog post as a Mother of the Bride or Maid of Honor and you’re walking through a messy divorce right now. Maybe you’re one of my current clients or you’re doing your homework on Hawks Nest before you tour with us and divorce has been a part of your story.
Let me address that by saying I’m sorry. I know what you’ve been through is painful, and don’t hear me say it’s not. This isn’t what you planned. I’ve never met an engaged couple who says “we’ll see how long this lasts!” Every couple marries dreaming about forever. That’s why preparing for your marriage is just as important as planning a beautiful wedding day.
This may sound awkward, but find a couple a little further along than you who has a great marriage. The couple that seems to get along really well, enjoy spending time together, and is still madly in love with one another after years of marriage.
Ask this couple to mentor you as you prepare for marriage. Maybe you only get together once, or maybe you go through a book or resource together. During this time, ask questions you have about marriage. Ask for all the tips to avoid arguing and how to stay on each other’s team. Ask about children and parenting.
Keep this couple close, especially during your first year or two of marriage. It’s really helpful to have people you can lean on and say “this was really hard for us — do you have any suggestions?” or “we’re fighting about this a lot. How do we get past this hurdle?”
If you don’t know who to ask, consider getting involved in a local church or asking your officiant to do premarital counseling with you. Premarital counseling was so helpful for my husband and I to come into marriage with proper expectations and know how to handle conflict as it came up.
There are some great resources on marriage out there. Consider reading one of these books together during your engagement, and maybe grab another to read on your honeymoon. Here’s a few of my favorites:
Love & Respect
The Meaning of Marriage
If reading isn’t really your thing, find a great podcast and begin listening to it. Whatever you do, make sure you’re staying open to learning how to be the best spouse you can be and what God calls you to as a husband or wife.
This may be the most obvious but overlooked way to prepare for your marriage. Wedding planning gets busy and you have to do cake testing, choose flowers, take engagement photos, pick out suits, walk through your venue (hi!), and a hundred more things. Schedule out time every couple of weeks for a nice date night and don’t talk about wedding details. Sure, you can talk about how excited you are to get married and to spend the rest of your lives together, but don’t talk about what kind of cake topper you should order on Etsy when you get home. Save those details for other times. Take time to just be together, and enjoy it!
God answers our prayers. He may not answer them in the exact way we pray them, but he always answers them with our best in mind.
With this in mind, pray for your fiance regularly. Pray for what’s happening in their life and that they would have wisdom to make good decisions and lead well.
Let this practice continue on in your marriage. Here’s a few things I pray about for my husband:
That he would grow closer to Jesus and become more like Him.
That he would have wisdom to lead well – in our home and in our ministry.
That he would have favor from the Lord.
That he would be a confident man of God.
That he would have great conversations with other people that open up opportunities to share the hope of the Gospel with them.
If you’re not sure how to pray, or what to pray for, or what prayer really even is, I would be honored to talk with you more about that. My relationship with God shapes everything in my life and marriage, and in the least pushy way possible, I would be honored to share that with you. Knowing Jesus changes everything.
Marriage is awesome, but it’s not always easy. Preparing for your marriage during your engagement is often overlooked, but it’s extremely helpful in building a relationship that lasts through any trial.
Married ladies — do you have any tips on how to prepare for marriage? Share them in the comments below!