If you can plan your wedding well as a couple, you can likely live happily ever after.
Planning a wedding is a huge, laborious job, and most experts say that how you plan your wedding can predict the fate of your marriage. So, here are five wedding planning pointers to ensure your marriage will last happily ever after:
1. Plan it together. This is probably one of the stickiest traps couples fall into when it comes to planning their weddings. For example, the bride spends more time planning the wedding with her mother and leaves her future husband on the sidelines.
Think of it this way: Are you marrying your mother or your husband? Setting the marital stage by bonding with your mother instead of your future spouse will immediately erode the foundation of the marriage.
This doesn't guarantee that you and your fiancé will always agree on everything when it comes to the wedding. Just make sure to always present a united front to your families in order to set healthy boundaries moving forward.
2. Don't make assumptions. Just because he doesn't take the initiative to inquire about how the wedding plans are going does not mean that he is not interested in participating with you. Instead of assuming, try asking if he wants to hear about the latest updates. Unless he flat out says "no," my guess is that he'll be very interested to hear about the wedding plans. After all, it's his wedding too!
If you need his help with any of the planning, don't assume he can read your mind or understand the intimate intricacies of planning a wedding the way you do. Be smart and delegate tasks to him when necessary. You might as well get into practice for running a household together. Not assuming false meaning to any of his actions will always be a great practice to how you communicate later as a married couple.
3. Compromise. If allowing your husband to have any say in the flavor of wedding cake is something that makes you break into a sweat, it's time to wake up and understand that there is absolutely nothing perfect about a wedding, your marriage or the world. If your control issues are something that is already causing friction in the wedding planning, then take comfort in knowing that at least someone from above is sending you a clue that it's time to work through the control issue for the sake of your future marriage.
4. Focus on the wedding, not the bachelorette party. Having your closest college friends as a part of your wedding party is one thing, but when the wedding planning becomes more about the bachelor/bachelorette parties, and "tearin' it up" college style at the reception, one may wonder if the wedding is really about the two of you.
If partying with your closest friends becomes the focal point of the wedding, what's to say that partying with your friends isn't going to become a priority over your relationship once you're married. Take time to evaluate how you will now prioritize your relationships in your life so that it doesn't become a detriment to the marriage.
5. Connect. What's the point of the wedding being yours and your husband's without taking the time to periodically talk about what's working in the planning and what isn't? On the day of the wedding, take periodic "get present" pausse. This is when you stop and really take in the moment together and individually.
Once you're married, periodic check-ins with each other about what's working and not working in the relationship, along with learning to be present with your husband, is a sure fire prediction that your marriage will continue to move on the right track.
"From my mom and dad, because they're happily married for a long time: Just listen. Listen to him. I'm so independent and driven and stubborn. Just let him talk. It's about not being so stubborn and having to win every argument. My parents set a great example. They love each other and take care of each other so much."
"It's kind of cheesy, but my mama, who you all have seen on the show, says to cook for your man. She's Southern, so when he comes home, be pullin' a pie out of the oven. That's always been her advice, and you know what? It works. Your man wants to see you in the kitchen, puttin' some love into some food; it works for Eric, that's for sure."
"The best advice I've ever been given is being handed a Bible. That's the blueprint for marriage that we go by, and that's what our marriage is grounded in. We also have other married couples who are examples in our lives. My parents have been married over 40 years, and both sets of grandparents for over 65 years. When you see couples in long-term relationships and you see them go through good times and bad times, you realize it's about being committed enough and loving your partner enough to hang in there regardless."
"My mom told me, "It shouldn't be that difficult." My parents had their moments for sure, but the majority of their relationship has been really great. It shouldn't be that much work to make love work."
"You've got to be good to each other … it really comes back to respect. I was raised in a very Catholic, Italian family and it was all about respect. Don't talk badly about [your partner] the second they walk out the door; really preserve your relationship and be good to each other. Treat it like gold."
"Don't lie to your partner. Ultimately the expression on your face gives you away, and they feel betrayed by the lie. If this is the person you're going to be with—forever and ever, for better or worse—they will love you for all of your good and all of your bad. They'll love you for you. So open communication is key. I have no secrets and no skeletons in my closet with my husband, and I love that. I feel comfortable and at ease with myself when I'm around him. I love the woman that I've become with him."
"I think the best love advice I've ever received is really about understanding that communication is key, of course, but also that there's not one perfect person for you. You kind of have to accept what are the things that are negotiable for you and what are not."
"My mom always told me, "Whatever happens, will happen" or 'Whatever is supposed to happen, will happen." I've learned you'll know when you find the right person. When I found the right person, I knew it immediately."
18. The Five Love Languages Author Dr. Gary Chapman
"Before I discovered the concept of the 5 love languages, a bit of advice I was given was to become a student of my wife and to take time to learn what makes her feel loved. I soon learned that what makes her feel loved may not always be the thing I want to do because it may not come natural to me. But learning to love her in the way that makes her feel loved is a greater demonstration of my love for her, because I've chosen to do it with a goal of pleasing her."
"Pay attention to the girl, instead of myself. A bunch of people [told me that]. It's terrible. I'm very into myself, so people are always like, "Pay attention to the other person. Don't ever separate yourself." It's a good lesson. I'm learning. I'm doing good."
"Don't get divorced after your first argument! I have a lot of friends that have one fight and that's it, they get divorced. I go, 'Wait a minute! Oh my gosh, you guys! Calm down! You'll forget in three days what you were fighting about. I promise. So just let it marinate a little bit—that's my best love advice."
21. The Real Housewives of Miami's Adriana de Moura
"When I was about 15, [my grandmother] said something I will always remember: 'Love comes before money.' I will never let anything like greed come between us when it comes to love. She was married to my grandfather for 70 years. It's very hard to have a long-term relationship and if you're not sure, it's not going to last. Make sure that you truly love."
"If you're looking for love, focus on something you love to do and work hard. Love will find you. Basically, love yourself before you love anyone else. A lot of girls have such insecurities nowadays that you have to be comfortable with who you are before you can really have a good relationship with someone else."
"Love advice is like life advice, so there are so many elements of that. I think humor, patience, admiration are really important love elements. Love and respect. You have to respect the person that you're going to love, and you have to be confident in yourself and love yourself."
'Think about how much you'd miss that if he were gone tomorrow.' This is my senior producer's advice in my ear during our news show if I'm grumbling about my hubby, whether about his habit of leaving dirty clothes around, or the way he goes into la la land while I'm talking with him, or that he wakes me up being loud overnight. How true! Heaven forbid, but if something ever happens to our loved ones, oh how we'd long for them to be back, and their little aggravating habits would be something cherished.
"On the other hand the best love advice I've ever given is: Gals, don't marry someone for their looks. Sooner or later we all age and start to droop. Don't marry someone for their position and don't marry someone for money. Money comes and goes, and since when is that love? Marry someone because they make you laugh. Humor is always sexy. Besides, it's awfully hard to get mad at someone while they're making you laugh."
30. The Real Housewives of New York's Heather Thomson
"Well, it's one of the oldest. It really is paradoxical, but it's true: You just can't go to bed mad. You have to make up, because there's only one alternative, and that alternative is not being together. So, my husband and I always decide we might as well make up, whether we agree to disagree or not. We understand we are individuals and that together we're unbelievably powerful and that we have a family that is the most important thing, and that I wouldn't trade him for the world. So, love is about give and take, and love is about understanding that you're individuals and together as a couple, you're the strongest there ever is ifyou're in the right couple."
"I was going to say, 'It's work, relationships take work,' but that makes it sound like relationships are hard, that they're work. Rebecca and I have always gotten along really well. We've always had a really strong connection. I'm the last guy that should be giving people advice on love, that's for sure. But I have a great marriage. I just got lucky, I guess."
"I lost my dad back in the fall, and my dad said something to me a long time ago. He said, 'Are you happy with who you are now?' because we just had a real serious talk. And I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Then you can't regret what got you to where you are. So whatever you do and whatever mistakes you make, learn from them and grow. And just always treat people with kindness,' which I've tried to do."
"My mom always used to say, "You can't say I love you before you can say I." And I think that sort of makes sense."
Carin Goldstein, MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles as well as the witty writer of Be the Smart Wife where she writes about the trials and tribulations of how to naviagate through your marriage. Sign up for Be the Smart Wife bi-weekly posts and connect with Carin on facebook and twitter. If you live in the Los Angeles area and are interested in learning more about Carin's psychotherapy services, visit her website at caringoldstein.com.
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Credentials: LMFT, MFT
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Empowering Women, Marriage
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