What really counts when it comes to planning a wedding? Sarah, recently married to the love of her life, shares some important advice with those who are in the midst of the planning process.
- Love is a CHOICE -- After reading The Five Love Languages, by Dr. Gary Chapman, and experiencing this idea first hand, many people fall "in love" with someone, marry them, and a few months/years later, wonder WHY they got married. They don't feel love anymore towards their spouse. They wonder where they went wrong and why love isn't fun anymore. The "in love" feeling with almost any couple diminishes after about 2 years. After that, it's up to each individual to make a daily choice to love their spouse. Brian and I had been dating for just about 2 years when many issues surfaced, and we were forced to face the "lack of love" feeling. I just wasn't "having fun" anymore with him, and just "didn't love him anymore". We learned that we have to make a daily choice to love, adore, respect, and honor each other, even when we don't "feel" like it.
- Material things don't matter --when we got engaged, and during the process of trying to figure out my custom ring, I swore up and down that if my ring wasn't done by the wedding, I wouldn't marry Brian... wow what a mistake. Over the year of re-planning the wedding and developing our relationship, I realized that I didn't need a ring at all to make me happy. I spent many many weeks without a ring, as my custom ring was getting made. We picked up my completed ring THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING, at 9:30 pm. Phew, good timing. However, had I not had that ring, there is not doubt in my mind that I would have still married Brian on May 14. He means so much more to me than a hunk of stones and metal....
- Engagement time is important -- when we got engaged, we were "soooo ready" to be married! We were only planning a 6 month engagement. GET HERE ALREADY!!! We were so over the "dating" scene, having to live apart, sleep apart, having seperate bank accounts. However, after things fell apart, we were councelled that being engaged at least a year was a beneficial thing. Even though I did NOT agree back then, I fully agree today, that having a longer engagement time is important. Being engaged is another step in life. It's different than just dating. You learn new and important things about your partner, you communicate more about life goals, ideas, visions. It's a transition phase, before taking the HUGE step of marriage.
Believe for blessing -- in planning our wedding, we quickly realized that financially, we we not suited to pay for a $25k+ wedding. We were blessed with money from our parents, and were able to pay for the rest of the wedding on our own, pay for our entire honeymoon, and the ring without going into any more debt. Coming up to the wedding, money was TIGHT and made for very stressful nights. However, we kept believing that SOMEHOW, everything would work out and that we'd get through it. Well, we did. In fact, with flying colors. We also believed and stood in agreement for our wedding date, our relationship, all the components to the wedding (vendors, etc). For safe travels, everything. And in the end, we can look back and thank God for the MANY MANY blessings he bestowed on us during the year and half of our engagement. We also believed for blessings in our new marriage, as during our dating time and engagement, we made the choice to live seperately and to keep our marriage night sacred. We believe that because we stuck to our guns, which was NOT ALWAYS EASY, we will be blessed and have been blessed emensely.
- The wedding is JUST A DAY -- it's just the starting gun to the rest of your life. Don't get so consumed with the wedding, that you lose sight of your partner and your relationships. Another mistake that I made. I was sooooo focused on every single little detail of our wedding, that I failed to keep up maintaining "us". Big mistake. When we re-booked our wedding date and started full-swing into planning again, we MADE SURE TO HAVE DATE DAYS, whether that was a fancy dinner for 2, or just a trip to Cold Stone for ice cream, we took time out to just be us.