Weddings. Flowers. Photography. Catering. There are so many details to consider when planning for a wedding. But there is one vitally important thing that can be overlooked. And that is planning the marriage.
Let me explain.
As a married student, I understand the hectic reality of planning a wedding. There are to-do lists that need to be checked off, and many plans to be made. There is so much to consider, in fact, that I was guilty of occasionally forgetting to actually plan for my marriage. To plan for what would come after the wedding.
Don’t get me wrong, my fiance and I had determined many things about our life together. We had our apartment picked out, and friends were buying us household goods from our wedding registry. We had an ideal image of how we would treat each other, how many kids we wanted, and many other similar ideas.
But as the wedding approached and the excitement rose, I must admit that we were probably more focused on the wedding than the marriage. We were excited to see family that was flying in, take photos, and do all of the other wedding hoop-la. Of course, we were also excited to finally be married for eternity.
But still, the aspects of the reception and everything that it all involved took away my focus from our marriage. Rather than mentally preparing (which sounds weird, but really is necessary) to be married, we were busy chatting over our plans and our elation to seal the deal.
The excitement that was present from the engagement to the wedding day took precedent over everything else.
So after the reception and the wedding, there we were. A newlywed couple. Young and bright-eyed with no idea of how fantastic, yet hard, marriage can be.
I had never taken the time to sit down with my mom and have a long talk about her married life, or to ask close friends. I got the snippets here and there of what couples should do to make their marriage last, but nothing that left a big impression.
I just remembered that he and I should go on frequent dates, and treat each other well. That’s all I had. And as newlyweds, we had both of those down pretty well.
I didn’t know that marriage required as much sacrifice as it does, or all of the other hard truths of marriage.
Luckily, though, things turned out quite well anyways. Although I was distracted from our marriage (by our wedding), I had still married a great guy, we were still in love, and we learned together just what we had gotten ourselves into.
It has been more than a year now since we got married and I would like to say that we now love each other even more.
But seriously, as fun as wedding planning is, do not forget to plan your marriage!
Take time to yourself to think about your future, which is now going to be with this one person.
Try to fit it into your schedule to talk to close friends and family and get their advice first hand. Maybe write it down.
And lastly, amidst wedding planning, don’t forget to think about the fact that you and this one person will be together forever. That’s forever. So give yourself time to think it all through.
If you at least take these steps, you can be on your way to a great and happy marriage. And if you don’t do all of these things, hopefully things will end up great anyways, as it did for me. We thought things through, but we let the wedding take precedence over everything else, when really the most important thing is the marriage for time and all eternity.
Lauren is studying Journalism at Brigham Young University and considers the East Coast home. She has a passion for writing, photography, skiing, hiking, and traveling. She enjoys studying German and is married to her best friend.