This is the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’re engaged!
You’ve found “the one” and you have a ring on your finger, or maybe you were the one who put a ring on that symbolic finger. You’re in love. It’s the real thing, but it feels surreal, doesn’t it? There are so many things to think about, so many people to share this news with, and so much to get done.
But before you take off… try and slow down for a moment.
There’s more to think about than just your wedding day. Take a look at these easy tips to prepare for marriage.
Savor the Moment
First things first. Savor this time together before the world knows the news. I know it feels like you’re ready to dive into the actual wedding planning, but take it from us… it goes by fast, and it gets so busy! It’ll be a whirlwind of events and then BAM! Your wedding is over and you are a married couple.
Try to be more mindful and present during this stage.
Do something fun, just the two of you. Go out to celebrate, or open your favorite beverage to toast your future together. However you do it, just be sure to enjoy the time together. Dream, share with one another, and seek God in anticipation of what’s coming next.
Share with Family and Friends
I bet you’re just chomping at the bit to tell everyone! We don’t blame you. Getting engaged is a huge milestone in your life, and life is beautiful when shared with those you love.
Keep just a few things in mind:
1. Share your news face to face instead of over text or social media.
Tell your parents, family, and close friends in person! It can be tempting to shoot a quick text or blast it on social media. But the closest people in your lives will truly appreciate the news being delivered up close and personal so they can hug you and cherish that moment with you. If you can’t see them in person, Facetime works beautifully!
2. Consider a surprise engagement party to tell everyone at once.
This is a great way to announce the news to all the people you love at the same time. To keep the engagement party a surprise, you’ll just have to come up with a good cover story like a Super Bowl party or a simple dinner party.
Once you share the news, you’ll want to start the wedding planning, am I right?
It seems like the natural next step. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in preparing for your big day, that you can quickly forget about the importance of planning for your actual marriage.
Prepare for Marriage
Engaged couples can spend months, even years, planning that dream wedding. Depending on the length of the engagement, data shows that many couples spend between 120 and as many as 900 hours.
All the preparation can be time-consuming, but here’s the question I have for you:
How much time does an engaged couple spend planning for their actual marriage?
A strong marriage takes work. Like any great thing in life, if it’s not built on a solid foundation, it’ll eventually crumble. By preparing now, you’re investing in your future. It’s worth it, so let’s start there!
Lay a Solid Foundation
Think about this for a moment: What would happen if couples spent the same amount of time preparing for marriage as they do for their weddings? What kinds of issues could be resolved faster with fewer hurt feelings or confusion?
Start your marriage off right by laying a rock-solid foundation.
Here are a few healthy marriage tips:
1. Take a Premarital Class
You’re busy. We get it. Setting aside a few hours together, just the two of you, with no distractions – hands down the best thing you can do for your future marriage. That’s why taking a premarital class is number one on the list! It’s an essential tool to build an unbreakable marriage right from the start.
What kind of topics are discussed in a premarital class?
Each class can be slightly different, but I’ll share with you what our class, Preparing for Marriage, discusses here at MREC.
Some of the topics covered are:
Conflict resolution skills
Developing marital intimacy
Differences in personalities
Blending families & the vision for your future
Taking a premarital class can equip you and your soon-to-be spouse with the tools you need to build a thriving and long-lasting marriage.
2. Read Books About Preparing for Marriage Together
There are so many wonderful books out there you can start reading together as a couple. Take time to read through and discuss each chapter with one another. Now is the time to start learning from other successful marriages.
Here are a few of our favorite books:
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (which we cover in MREC’s class – Preparing for Marriage)
Captivating & Wild at Heart (companion books) by John Eldredge
His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage by William F. Harley, Jr.
Things I’d Wish I’d Known Before I Got Married by Gary Chapman
3. Make and Set Goals Together
You’ve made the decision to get married, to join your lives together. That also means changing from “ME” to “WE” – which can be challenging at first. With a little practice and communication, it becomes second nature. Living life together like this is a journey that gets richer as time goes on.
Remember, your future is not just about you anymore. Sit down and really discuss the dreams you both have for your future and your family. Being on the same page and working together for the same results is vital for a healthy relationship.
4. Find a Mentor Couple
Navigating early married life is much easier when you have help and guidance from another couple further along the trail.
Think about the couples in your life. Who has been married for a long time, has overcome a lot, and is still in love? Who is happy and practices healthy marriage habits that you look up to? These are your people!
It doesn’t have to be a formal mentorship either. Simply spend time together, grow in your friendship, and open up about anything you feel they could guide you through. Make sure to reciprocate so everyone feels valued in the friendship.
If you need help finding a mentor couple, reach out and contact us here.
There’s a growing tribe of marriage mentors rising up in our community who want to see your marriage go the distance. They can provide the modeling and encouragement needed to prepare you for the journey ahead.
5. Vow to Work Together
You are working towards being one united team. This means – you need to work together.
We live in a time and age where divorce happens too often, and too quickly. Even statistics show that 30-40% of marriages result in divorce.
Commitment is crucial, and doing simple things like consistent date nights and devotionals together are examples of things that will help you develop “us” in marriage.
There will be hard times in your marriage, no matter how much preparation you do. Determine now that you’ll always work together to resolve issues and honor your marriage.
Determine now that you’ll always work together to resolve issues and honor your marriage.
Here are a few benefits of working together:
It brings you closer.
You’ll receive twice the blessings.
It lightens your load.
It increases your love.
Things to remember for when you finally say I do:
Preparing for your marriage while you are engaged will help you smoothly transition into your new life together. Next thing you know, you’re happily married! Here are a few bonus tips for that next stage.
Communicate with love – put aside pride, and use love instead.
Speak each other’s love language – it’s crucial for your spouse to feel loved.
Be intentional with time together – regular date nights and alone time need to be prioritized.
Ask for help when you need it – seek couples coaching or counseling sooner rather than later.
Practice forgiveness – it softens your heart no matter the circumstance.
Wedding planning and marriage planning can be super stressful, so try to communicate lovingly and slow down to enjoy the small moments.
Laugh, go out on dates, and remember why you’re getting hitched in the first place!
We hope these tips help you prepare for the rest of your life together. By putting in some effort before you say ”I do,” you’re giving yourselves the jumpstart you need for long-lasting companionship. It’s a type of companionship that’s rewarding and beautiful in so many ways!