The question has been popped (and so has the sparkling juice!), the date has been set, the dress has been picked out, and the invitations have been mailed. Planning a wedding is no small feat and has the potential of being one of the busiest seasons of your life. It’s often easy for brides to focus so much on their big day and forget they have a lifetime of marriage to prepare for! But where to start? Here are a few ways you can prepare for your upcoming marriage and set a strong foundation for years to come.
This is such a sweet season of anticipating the future and cherishing the present, so don’t let the stress of wedding planning take that away! Be intentional about spending time together that doesn’t revolve around the wedding, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from others if you’re feeling overwhelmed. As you’re planning, keep this phrase at the forefront of your mind: “people over things.” The things you’re planning will be so enjoyable, but at the end of the day, people always matter more — mainly your fiancé! Find more tips for a stress-free engagement here.
Money, in-laws, children, location—these are just a few potentially conflict-causing topics married couples often find themselves arguing about. While you’re engaged, setting aside intentional time to discuss hard topics of marriage and find some common ground will be invaluable as you become one.
Keep in mind—this is not an excuse to complain about your future mother-in-law or criticize your fiancés financial decisions! And don’t have the expectation that you’ll solve all your problems over one dinner. Instead, use this time to listen to each other’s perspectives, hopes and fears, speak to each other with love and prioritize compromise.
What’s the best way to become an expert in something? Read up on it! There are countless resources available to help you learn about God’s design for marriage and equip you to be the best spouse you can be as you prepare for the journey of marriage. Here are 10 books to get you started. Don’t feel like you have time to pick up a book? Listen to an audiobook or use some of the intentional time you’ve put aside for you and your fiancé to read through a book together.
Preparing for marriage can be tough to manage on your own! I encourage every engaged couple to attend premarital classes or counseling. It’s challenging and refreshing to have an outside third party speak wisdom into your relationship and give you practical tools for marriage.
Shades Mountain Baptist in Vestavia holds premarital counseling courses each semester through a ministry, Together. You don’t have to be a member to participate, and it’s a four-week course conducted in a group setting where you get to connect with other couples! I’ve heard so many good things and would encourage you to look into it if you don’t yet have a plan for premarital counseling.
This is the best advice I can give to engaged couples. When I was engaged, I had the expectation that because we loved each other, everything would just fall into place and it wouldn’t take any work. I was definitely caught off guard! Don’t get me wrong—marriage is amazing! But it can also be humbling and challenging.
Anytime two imperfect and sinful people come together, there will be disagreements, hurt and hardship. But as long as you are committed to unconditionally loving your future spouse and committed to leaning on God when things get hard, you will grow closer together and stronger as a couple. That’s why marriage is such a beautiful picture of the Gospel!
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
The best thing you can do to prepare for your upcoming marriage is to get on your knees and pray. Pray for your future spouse. Pray for your upcoming marriage. Pray for your wedding day. Pray for each other’s families and your future family. Pray that your relationship would bring all the glory to God. Have confidence that He hears our prayers and He will respond.
So, enjoy this season! Enjoy time with your fiancé. Delight in being loved and loving in return. But be diligent about preparing for marriage. It is, after all, one of the most important relationships of your life!