When you get engaged, inevitably you quickly start to think about things like guest lists, dresses, flowers and cake. But while all of these things are important to creating a beautiful wedding, it’s also vital to think about the things that will help you create a beautiful marriage.
It’s very easy to get swept up in the fairytale of a wedding and a marriage, without really thinking it all through. I don’t want to put a dampener on your enthusiasm, but merely remind you that there is much more than just one day to think about – you’re planning for the rest of your life, too.
Premarital counselling may sound like a huge downer, but as someone who did it themselves when they were engaged (and did a top-up course at around the ten-year mark) I am a huge advocate for it. Here’s why I think every engaged couple should find time for premarital counselling or a pre-wedding marriage course.
You are not identical clones
Your personality and unique gifts should complement each other so that together you are a stronger team. You do not always have to agree, but you should have respect for each other’s opinions and be able to communicate (and fight – because fights are inevitable) without being destructive or hurtful. A marriage course or counselling will give you the space to talk through the things you may be afraid – or simply don’t have the forethought – to bring up.
It makes you focus on what you really want
Compatibly is about more than liking the same stuff or having a similar sense of humour. There are certain things that you need to be in total agreement with the person you marry, or at least be willing to openly and thoroughly discussing before you say ‘I do’. Where you want to live, if you want to have children and your attitude to money are, in my opinion, the three things you absolutely have to agree on in order to have a successful partnership.
Counselling will give you the time and space to discuss these things in a non-confrontational way. You may have talked about them before of course, but maybe you’ve never properly sat down and had an in-depth discussion (with a conclusion) about your expectations for the future? It is better to find out that you ultimately want different things before you commit.
It will help you handle change
Change, for better or for worse, is a fact of life and if you don’t have the communication skills and the commitment to work things out when things change (because they will!) it’s a recipe for disaster. Premarital counselling will give you the tools to be able to work through difficult times like this together. Sometimes, unfortunately, love is not enough. Its not enough to say “I will love you”, sometimes you have to WILL to love each other and work through hard times.
It helps you realise there is no such thing as a perfect marriage
No matter how much we love each other, we all get it drastically wrong sometimes. No marriage is perfect but just because something isn’t peachy all the time, doesn’t mean you should walk away. The honeymoon phase does not last forever and marital counselling is all about learning to love and accept each other as we really are, not based on fantasy.
When my husband and I did our marriage courses, they were in a group setting. All the work was done in pairs, but just being in a room with other people also committed to making their marriages a priory made us realise that other people struggle too. Not getting it ‘right’ all the time doesn’t mean your marriage is doomed as long as you are both willing to show up and do the work.
There is a big difference between being in love with someone and making the commitment to love someone for life. Marriage counselling is a really great tool to help you work through any problems that may arise and enable you to grow together and stick with each other for the long haul.
Electric Sugar Elopements, based in Las Vegas, offer all-inclusive elopements. With one phone call, you get an officiant, venue, photography and flowers! If you want a stress-free, ‘you-focused’ wedding then we can’t think of any better way to do it.
That’s not to say you’ll be tied into a restrictive package as they offer plenty of options for personalisation. They encourage their couples to suggest wherever they want, especially when it comes to location. While there are plenty of chapel options in Sin City, if you want a more alternative wedding venue they can suggest a plethora of awesome spots to suit your taste and wedding theme.
- Photography: Taylored Photo Memories