Before getting married, I was pretty naive
1. “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”
Before getting married, I felt like my fiance and I
They say the first year of marriage is the hardest and I would agree, but the years of raising kids together, is pretty difficult as well.
Before getting married, I wish I would have realized how much work, on myself, I needed to do to be a better wife for my husband. In the early years, I wish I had known how to self-reflect more when we had disagreements. But instead, it is easier to point the finger away from ourselves and blame our spouse for differences.
Now, my husband and I have both changed for the better in almost 6 years of marriage. I know I still have work to do on myself and always will.
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2. Before Getting Married Set Aside Money For…
Wedding plans… I had so many wedding plans and decor ideas – they were coming out my ears. I had an entire room in my husband’s basement set aside for decor. However, I never set aside money for my dress cleaning after our wedding.
It is so easy to spend that money on other wedding plans, because if you’re like me, spending money on the guests and decor seems way more important than setting aside money to clean your dress.
However, I sit here typing to you now after almost 6 years of marriage with a wedding dress in the basement that still hasn’t been repaired or cleaned! Oops!
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3. Money for Memories
We wanted a huge wedding!
Now, if we could do it all over again, we would spend more money on the memories. We had a GREAT photographer but we wish we had spent money on a videographer as well. Our talented photographer at The Photography Shoppe took the photos in this post.
We had friends bring their video camera to tape the ceremony and they got it all set up and realized they didn’t charge the battery in their camera. So, we weren’t able to get our ceremony on tape and it still makes me sad. It’s hard to know that our kids won’t hear our personalized vows or see any of the ceremony.
What I learned: We invited between 300-325 people… When you’re getting married, it feels like you’re going to be friends with these people all your life, but that really isn’t the case. Consider who is really in your life for the long haul and then revise your guest list to the essentials, so you can afford to spend more on making memories with the people who are there!
Photo by The Photography Shoppe
4. Find a Home Church Before Getting Married
My husband and I did not have a home church yet when we got married. I was Baptist and he was Catholic. I really liked my church growing up and he could take it or leave it. So, we decided to try out the Baptist church where we lived.
It was nothing like the one I had grown up in. Nothing turns me off more than a church that spends time, during the sermons, to talk about their finances.
However, we had already paid a deposit to reserve this church for our wedding…
After a few months of church shopping, we found the perfect church! Now, I wish we had spent more time church shopping as a dating couple, so we could have gotten married in the church we are raising our babies in.
Before getting engaged, find the right church. That way, going to church can be a priority. And you can establish relationships with other couples in your home church!
5. Don’t Plan for More Than a Year
I wanted as much time to plan our wedding, this “event of a lifetime”, as possible. Little did I know that planning for more than nine months to a year just ends up costing way more.
Our engagement was a year and 3 months. Now, I would say a 9 month engagement woul have been plenty.
Why? When you have more than a year to plan, you develop more plans, find more ideas on Pinterest, invite more people. So, it all ends up costing more.
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6. The More Sentimental the Better
All the feels on this one… Don’t skip any of the sappy moments.
Take those First Look pictures, get your parents sappy gifts, write your bridesmaids tearful letters that tell them how much their friendship has meant to you and why they are standing next to you on your special day – you won’t regret it.
As I mentioned earlier, spending more energy on making the most of your big day will be memories that you have forever. People forget the food they eat and what decorations you had, but they don’t forget how much fun they had.
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7. Before Getting Married: Pray
This one is not something that many people worry about. When you’re dating, it is so important to learn to pray together.
Praying together might feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, but we learned that praying together is something that will get you through financial troubles, marital troubles, and parenting.
Photo by The Photography Shoppe
I wish we had
The phrase, “The family who prays together, stays together” is so accurate. God is so powerful and having a prayer partner is a secret tool to have in your marriage toolbelt.
I absolutely loved planning our wedding. I hope you have fun with it too! It can be stressful, but just remember to make it meaningful for you, your fiance, and your families. So you can look back the memories, not the bills – LOL
So, tell me, how long is your engagement? What have you learned from planning so far?
Happy Wedding Planning,