How many of you have seen this quote?
It’s advice often given to couples as they are planning their wedding. The importance of planning + preparing for your marriage + not just your wedding because, as they say, your wedding is only one day + your marriage is the rest of your life.
I definitely understand + agree with this idea. After all, my marriage is the second most important thing in my life (after my faith), + we have founded our entire business around the idea of marriage first, wedding photography second. However, I will make a little plug that I think planning for your wedding AND planning for your marriage can go hand-in-hand! No one should feel guilty about being excited to plan all the details of their wedding because, yes, it’s only one day, but also, it’s only one day in your entire life! So it goes both ways : )
The question today is HOW? We know we’re supposed to be planning for our marriages + we want marriages more beautiful than our wedding days, but HOW do we do this? How do we practically prepare for our marriage?
Today I’m sharing 5 Ideas on How To Prepare For Your Marriage during the season of engagement!
1. Write Monthly Love Notes
Write one note to your spouse each month leading up to your wedding for a year. Share with them how you are feeling that month as you approach becoming husband + wife, or remind them of a recent experience you shared together that was special + you don’t want to forget. Give them the notes on your wedding day + they can read one per month each month following your wedding. It will allow your spouse to see where your heart was at + what you were processing + thinking about leading up to your day! It could also be a way to record special memories you shared together during your season of engagement (since I’m guessing the notes will be kept forever)!
2. Read A Book Together
There are a ton of incredible books on marriage, so reading one together while engaged could be really helpful + open up conversation for you to talk about different topics or issues regarding marriage. Read a chapter separately + then come together to discuss it! A great way, too, to learn more about your future spouse in a deeper way!
One book we highly recommend is The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman!
3. Plan Your Honeymoon
Instead of thinking of planning your honeymoon as another item to check off your to-do list, think of it as planning your first adventure together as husband + wife! Your honeymoon is most likely the first big trip you will take together once you are officially Mr. + Mrs., such a special trip! It will be part of your marriage story.
Where will you go? What do you want to do together? What type of experiences do you want to share on this first adventure? Will you go somewhere neither of you have ever been so you can experience it for the first time, together? Take an afternoon or evening at a local coffee shop + dream + plan for this once-in-a-lifetime trip!
4. Meet With a Mentor
This was, for us, one of the best decisions we made as we were preparing for our marriage! We spent five or six evenings over the course of our engagement with a couple from our church who had been married for over 30 years! They got to know us, asked us thought-provoking questions about our future marriage, + inspired us with the example of their own relationship! I can almost guarantee that any couple in your life that you look up to would be honored to meet with you a few times during your season of engagement to shed wisdom + lend encouragement on being married!
5. No-Wedding Date Night
This one is huge. And last for a reason! If at all possible + in my opinion, you should make it a priority to go on a date once a month where you cannot talk about the wedding. No ifs, ands, or buts! You might be surprised to find out that when you are planning your wedding, talking about it can be the topic of conversation day in … and day out. A lot more than you think! Especially since many of us lead very busy lives these days … we feel like when we’re actually together + have time to sit down + talk while planning our wedding, it has to be about the wedding. It will happen over + over again, + trust me, you don’t want to be just talking about your wedding during your season of engagement! Nor should you be! Take intentional time together where you cannot talk about the wedding + instead, talk about how you’re doing … like how you’re really doing. Or what you’re excited about for your marriage (not your wedding!). Or … play a game, watch a movie … you get the idea! Just no wedding talk : )
Our wedding photos taken by the amazingly talented Molly Jo Collection