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Wedding Tips

Preparing for marriage

It started with a book.

When I was about 17 or 18, my grandma gave me (and all of my cousins) a marriage book for Christmas. I set it aside on the bookshelf at my parents’ house and didn’t give it much thought, until Kaleb & I started talking about getting married.  

I remember the look on my grandma's face as she told the group of family gathered that Christmas how important it is to prepare for marriage. Given that she has been married for 65 plus years, I trusted her advice and read the book.

Our experience

A few months later after Kaleb and I were officially engaged, we knew we wanted to prioritize preparing for our marriage and not just our wedding.  Even though our relationship started as a best friendship and we felt like we knew so much about each other, we wanted to make sure we were investing in that part of our relationship.

We reached out to a local counseling organization and met with a certified clinical counselor that specialized in marriage & family counseling every week for 6 weeks. Each week we had to complete homework assignments and return ready to discuss them along with other topics our counselor brought up. We covered everything from our parents’ marriages, to expectations, family vacations, budgeting, household responsibilities, communication, and more. Even though we thought we knew so much about each other and had already had some similar conversations, we learned a lot and felt affirmed by our counselor’s role in our conversations & marriage preparation.

 

Why it’s important

We thought through and talked about topics we otherwise would’ve had to discuss as they came up in our lives. We were able to dodge some conflict early on in our marriage because we were already on the same page when it came to a lot of topics. We knew what to expect and we had practice communicating well. We also started our marriage knowing the areas where we disagreed or had different experiences, so we were conscious of the way we navigated those areas and issues. PLUS, we had a date night once a week for 6 weeks, where we talked about important things AND ate good food.

It was an experience I wouldn’t trade and would recommend to everyone. It can be easy to get caught up in wedding planning and the busyness of engaged life, but it’s so valuable to invest in your relationship and your future marriage.  

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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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