Plan a Marriage (Not Just the Wedding)

Written by Annie Kitchen & Kayln Bohl

It's no secret that wedding planning can be stressful. There's a budget to maintain, finding the right venue, the right decor, the right food (not to mention finding vegan options so all your friends can still eat). You have to decide whether or not you'll let your mom sing at the reception, which in-laws you have to keep separated, and which brother you need to keep occupied so he doesn't drink all the beer. It's a lot to think about. We know this. Deciding on decor and invitations, the music, and the type of food can actually be fun and it should be fun! But somewhere along the line, it's easy to get off track and get so wrapped up with this wedding planning that you forget that you also need to plan a marriage or "The After Party".

But through all of the planning and stress, you still have to maintain your relationship with this person you're planning on marrying. Wait, WHAT? Yep. Turns out that just because you're planning a wedding this doesn't mean you're actually preparing for marriage. Sure there are aspects in planning that will shed a light into what married life could be like- you're making big financial decisions together, dreaming of the future and getting to test out your boundaries with your future in-laws. Those are all great first steps- so dive deeper!

Don't forget each other in this process.

Checking in with your significant other might start to take a backseat to figuring out what candle holders you can agree on, or which venue you like best but unlike the things that will be in your life for one important day, your soon-to-be-spouse will be there for the rest of your life. So, while it's essential that wedding planning be a two-person endeavor, try to always take time to check in with your SO.

  • Ask them things like, "how are you feeling about all this?" and "what is making you feel overwhelmed?"

  • Take pit stops along the way. Gauge your stress levels. Talk it out. If the stress is coming from wedding planning, split the chores.

  • If you find yourself only talking about the wedding (or not talking about it at all), carve out a block of time a few days during the week where you can focus on wedding stuff together.

  • It's also a great idea to see a therapist before marriage. Either solo or with your SO. Learn about yourself and each other. Talk about the hard things and don't shy away from being vulnerable.

  • Keep an ongoing note in your phone and write down funny or sweet things your fiancé does that makes you feel special. Write them love notes in there and keep them for when it's time to sit down and write your vows.

Once the day is done, the gifts are opened, the food's eaten, the music faded, your next great adventure will be with your spouse. No need to keep dreaming of the future because here you are! You made it.

Now go enjoy it!