Weddings are romantic, beautiful, and meaningful. People come from miles around to witness the union of two people who are dedicating themselves to each other. With all the attention on the beauty of the day, it is easy to forget the actual marriage that follows the ceremony.
Having a long and lasting marriage is a rare and wonderful thing. It is also hard work. While preparing for a wedding is difficult, you will face many things in your lives together that is much more difficult. You will face challenges that will test the strength of your commitment to each other.
Preparing for your special day
We are by no means telling you not to have the wedding of your dreams. However, we do suggest you do as much of the preparation as a team as possible. This is a great exercise in giving and taking.
Start by deciding what you want as wedding gifts. Start a Target registry. Target (like many other stores) has a wide variety of things. They have household items, sporting goods, clothing, and jewelry. Nothing will register the temperature of your relationship like beginning a registry.
Are one of you demanding all the power in the choices? Are one of you passive and too giving? Can you come to an agreement that satisfies each of you? Are you willing to try?
Why is this important?
There is an old wives tale about the week before your wedding. People used to say what you do in that week is what you will do for the rest of your life. There is truth to that, and it is a truth that will change how you feel about each other.
When you are looking at the furniture and your husband-to-be says, “Whatever you think”, it seems caring and sweet. Ten years down the road when you are deciding on refinancing the house to pay medical bills or trading of your automobile to get a lower interest payment and he says, “Whatever you think” it puts a lot of pressure on you. You begin to resent making the decisions alone and feel guilty when one doesn’t work out like you thought it would.
The same is true when one spouse demands the choices. When he wants a recliner in the living room and you reject the idea without consideration and put in a sectional, he may shrug it off. But as life goes on, he will resent that he puts in half of the resources and has no say what his home looks and feels like.
Yours, mine, and ours
Of course, there is a middle of the road. You should have some decisions that are yours alone to make, and he should as well. Then there are decisions that should be made as a couple.
Order a custom fit bridal dress. This is a decision that is yours alone. His personal decision is in his choice of menswear and who his best man should be. This is his wedding too, However, where you will get married or where you will honeymoon should be decided by both of you together.
Blueprint for life
Your wedding is a great time to begin designing the blueprint for how you will function as a married couple. This is where you begin to face challenges together as a team and to choose your battles.
True love is not always butterflies and roses. Ask any couple who have stayed married for decades and they will tell you. The secret to having a happy marriage is not in the way you hold each other when things are good. It is holding each other and pushing through even when you want to walk away. It is in standing shoulder to shoulder when the world hits you head on.
Love is a verb
Love is not something that you fall into or fall out of. It is not measured in the size of a diamond or in the heat of a romance. It is a verb. Love is something that you do. It is showing honor, respect, kindness, and support even when you do not feel any of those things.
All the times you are practicing love without feeling it, the silent feelings are growing stronger. They are dormant, but not gone. Then one day you realize that your love has turned into something that you never imagined it could be. You cannot imagine your life without each other. You do not know where you end and he begins.
That is the way a marriage is built and that is why it is worth every ounce of effort you invest in it.