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The Blog and the Bride

It’s important to prepare for your marriage, not just plan your wedding.

I used to plan events for a living. My first post-college job was a position that included event planning for and with college students. Call me crazy, but figuring out the nitty gritty details and pulling big events together was my idea of a dream job!

The months Kaleb and I spent planning for our wedding were some of the best months in our relationship, but not because of the way I enjoyed planning the details for our wedding. That time was so meaningful to us because of this advice shared with us shortly after our engagement:  

It’s SO important to prepare for your marriage, not just plan your wedding.  

I think back to our wedding day, and I can definitely identify things that didn’t go quite like I wanted them to. But on that day, in the best looking dress I’ve ever worn, with my closest friends and family breathing the same air, looking forward to a lifetime with the person I love most, none of those things bothered me. I loved celebrating that day, but I also loved that when I took off my shoes at the end of the night, and hung my dress back on the hanger that said “Mrs. Dean,” I got to go home with the love of my life.

Because that piece of advice was so transformational for us, we wanted to share some ways you can do the same.  

Preparing for Marriage

Here are our top 3 tips on how to prepare for marriage, not just plan your wedding:  


1 Date Days

Establish a routine of spending time together on a weekly basis with the only intention of BEING TOGETHER.  It’s not enough to finally go out together when you’re at the end of your rope and haven’t been on a date in weeks or months. Make dates a routine and a priority, and continue that routine after your wedding.

2 “No Wedding-Talk” Zones  

Set boundaries for when and where you talk about wedding plans. We set the following rules:  (1) no wedding-talk during meals and (2) Friday nights from 7pm-10pm were wedding planning hours. When seeing your fiancé turns into a million wedding questions and details, wedding planning can get less fun REALLY fast.

3 Ask a couple to mentor you and/or participate in premarital counseling

We’re finding that growing as a couple happens most naturally through experiencing life together and learning from our mistakes. What better way to grow than to learn from a couple who has done just that?! ALSO, premarital counseling helped us wade through difficult topics we had never talked about AND topics we needed to talk more about. It raised our awareness of how we function individually and as a couple. We highly recommend it!

If you’re finding yourself caught up in the whirlwind of wedding things, take a step back to refocus on what really matters. Happy preparation!

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Becky Dean

I'm a co-founder and lead photographer at Pen and Lens.

Wedding photography is my heartbeat. I love capturing the interactions between the bride and her tribe as they get ready together, the look on a groom’s face when he FINALLY sees his bride for the first time, and the way a dad wraps his arms around his baby girl on her wedding day. Bride and groom portraits make my heart jump and I cry on almost every wedding day.

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