When we were in wedding planning season, the biggest piece of advice we would get from people was, “Make sure you enjoy every moment! The day will go by so fast!” While this is so true, there is something that (now in all my bridal wisdom) I would recommend first. Don’t get me wrong. The day does go by so incredibly fast. Even faster than you imagine. I’m so thankful that I truly did enjoy every moment planning, prepping, and organizing, and I felt like I was fully present and the purest form of happy on our day. But I believe the key for us to be able to have the perfect day we did was because we were not preoccupied planning our wedding that we forgot to plan our marriage. Your wedding will last one day. Your marriage will last 50+ years. I remember in my vows I told Elem how truly happy I was and how I felt like the luckiest girl on the planet (which I do still feel 110%), but how much more happy I was to wake up next to him every day and chase our dreams together.
When we first got engaged, I wanted to start wedding planning ASAP, but it just wasn’t the right time. I tried to be stubborn in the beginning, but it was like swimming against the current. I told Elem I was feeling disappointed and a little jealous of the girls that got engaged around the same time I did that were already full-fledged wedding planning. In that conversation, we talked about planning a wedding vs planning your marriage, and the crazy statistics stacked against marriage. One in two marriages ends in divorce, and in the church, it’s no different. As much as we loved each other and the idea of divorce seemed like it could never apply to us, we had to face the fact that most couples would say the same thing- yet the statistics are still one in two. We decided that day that we would give our 100% in building our marriage and strengthening our relationship and that when the time came to plan and celebrate our wedding, we would be ready.
I hope my heart comes across correctly in this. I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer or rain on any parades. Everyone’s story is so different and I’m in no way telling you what yours should look like. I just know a lot of girls (and guys) that are in the planning stage or want to be, and this is just my advice to focus on what really matters. My wedding day was THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE. I was and still am so incredibly grateful and happy I got to experience my dream wedding and be a princess for a day. But that would mean nothing and be of zero fulfillment if I wasn’t excited or had no hope in my marriage. Take your time. Don’t rush things. A ring doesn’t make you a husband or a wife, like cooking dinner doesn’t make you a chef. Education, work, and commitment does. Enjoy your partner. Grow together. Dream together. Work on becoming great individually and as a team. Then watch your wedding, and your marriage, be better than you could have ever imagined.