I remember when I was engaged that the stress of planning our wedding made me (multiple times) want to call the whole thing off and just go to the courthouse and do the dang thing! There are just so many pressures that come with wedding planning, and after a while you can easily forget which voice to listen to and get lost in the sea of stressful choices.
As a wedding industry professional I get to meet and know so many brides and grooms who are traversing the wild waters of wedding planning. My goal, with every couple I serve, is to help them keep marriage in mind as they plan the wedding. Because after all, the wedding is really just the beginning. It’s a beautiful, special way to send a couple into marriage, but it’s not the end all be all, the marriage is. And I think that there are a few little things that can be done (while engaged and planning the wedding) that can help maintain the marital perspective (plus have a lot more fun while wedding planning!).
- Remember that marriage is the goal. Not how much fun your guests have, not how unique your decorations are, not whether or not your wedding gets published. It’s funny, wedding planning almost feels like a sport now. There’s this crazy backwards mentality that makes everything about weddings seem like a competition. Like if you don’t make yours better than the last one you and your friends attended then you lose. That really makes me sad. It makes me sad for couples. What a messy mentality to battle against while you’re actually preparing for the biggest life change yet: marriage. Please don’t get me wrong. I love weddings! I think they’re important and valuable and special. They’re a once in a lifetime beautiful gift. But their purpose is to send couples into marriage with love, support, and affirmation. So engaged or soon to be engaged couples, feel some freedom!!! Your wedding day can look however you need it to – however it will best send you into your greatest adventure: marriage.
- Pick vendors you connect with and trust. If you think about it, the people you work with most to create your wedding day are the people you plan with and the people you hire. If the vendors you end up with care more about the show than your sincere desire to step into a lifelong commitment, then they might not serve you the way you wish to be served. There are tons of wedding professionals out there, but I think the best way to know if you will work well together is if you click with them. Meeting vendors over coffee or over a FaceTime is a great way to see if t’all are a match. And when looking for likeminded individuals who can help you craft a wedding day that will reflect your excitement for marriage, asking your friends and family + looking at vendor’s reviews will be a great way to help you connect with your dream team.
- Go through pre-marital counseling. Okay, maybe for some of you the word “counseling” is a trigger and you’ve already scrolled your mouse to click out of this blog post. But going to counseling doesn’t mean you’re messed up! It’s not a negative thing. It’s actually really good, healthy, and helpful. Kenton and I went through pre-marital counseling, we’ve done couple’s counseling since then and we’ve each been counseled individually as well. And each time it’s been so good and beneficial to our marriage. I honestly don’t think I’d be as healthy and happy as I am today had I not been through counseling in the past, and I plan to continue to go in the future! There’s no shame in it. It’s actually very wise to attend pre-marital counseling because, if you’re engaged, you’re about to experience a huge life-change! Counseling will not only give you a step up on all those changes and grow your relationship with your fiance even deeper than you could imagine, but it will help you keep marriage in mind as you plan your wedding, too!