The Wedding Series: Before "I Do"




Well, it's installment two of The Wedding Series and today's topic is all about before I said, "I do." Now, many of my previous blog posts have been dedicated to the spiritual aspect of preparing for marriage, so I won't revisit that. (You can check one out here.) Instead, I want to talk about the practical things that I/we did prepare for my marriage. 

First things first, we did both private premarital counseling sessions as well as a group course. Though the private sessions were required for our officiant to conduct our ceremony, it was definitely something that we would've chosen to do regardless. While the private sessions gave us the intimate one on one counseling and guidance that we needed as a couple, the group class allowed us to meet other couples and learn more practical items, such as budgeting and creating a family vision statement. Both methods have their own value. If you have the opportunity to do both, I would recommend it. As long as they are teaching the same thing-- Jesus is Lord, God is the center of your marriage, and divorce is not God's will-- then there should be no issue. Check with your local church to inquire about pre-marital classes and/or counseling sessions.

If you've followed me for some time, then you know that I love to read. Though I don't set aside as much time as I'd like, I'm always in the middle of a book. In fact, I'm currently reading Love Life for Every Married Couple. It was only fitting that reading and purchasing books was apart of my pre-marital preparation. On the recommendation of a vlogger (@MrsKevonStage), I picked up a few books that reinforced the lessons that I was learning in the sessions and course. 

Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs
by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

For Women Only
by Shaunti Feldhahn


The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex
by Sheila Wray Gregoire

In addition to the above featured books that I have reviewed, I also read His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair Proof Marriage by Willard F. Harley, Jr. Combined, these books provided a valuable perspective of marriage, how to avoid pitfalls, and what/how to prepare for it. I would recommend picking them all up. My personal favorite was The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex. Though the title seems a bit sketchy, its a biblical based book, particularly written for those who are virgins on their wedding night. Since my husband and I both waited until marriage, this book was very resourceful and insightful for me and it enlightened me on what to expect and how to prepare mentally. 

Now, one would imagine that while planning and saving for a wedding, spending additional money outside of wedding items would be off limits. Au contraire! Indeed, I did the most counter intuitive thing and shopped, shopped, shopped! Before you judge me, know that this wasn't just mindless purchasing of clothes. It was budgeted, strategic purchases of an array of much needed items in my wardrobe-- out with the old and in with the new!

As I prepared for marriage, the idea of being attractive to my spouse while still being modest was still something that I was working to grasp. I had spent the prior 27 years of my life covering up and making sure nothing was falling out or too tight. Now, I had to reconcile how to do this while still looking attractive and irresistible to my husband. I explored this conundrum in a previous blog, For Women Only. Eventually, I just decided to stop thinking about it and just shop! I shopped for things that I liked, felt comfortable in, and that looked good on me. It was as simple as that...and boy, did I shop.

It all began by clearing my closet and drawers of items that couldn't go with me into marriage. That meant my favorite pair of bright green, polka dot socks and Sponge Bob pajamas had to go. I got rid of my t-shirts that have followed me since high school, and the cleaning pants with the bleach stains. These were all comfortable, so I had to find things that were just as comfortable and functional, yet exponentially more attractive. In comes spandex... I racked up on camis, leggings, and bodycon dresses to wear around the house or out with a sweater. I got rid of all of my undergarments and gave Victoria's Secret all of my business-- with coupons, of course. I even bought some new smell goods. The best part of it all was that I did it from the comforts of my home and got money back for my purchases using Ebates! All in all, very little old items came along for the move. What better excuse to get a new wardrobe than getting married?!?

Preparing for marriage is definitely a journey that requires thought, development, and change in all aspects of life. The aforementioned are just a few things that you should consider while engaged. Be proactive! Take an opportunity to review some of the things that I've mentioned and let me know what you think!

CONVERSATION

2 comments:

  1. Before "I Do" Great read! I've been married for 24 years April 18, 2016, we did premarital counseling and I also did a lot of things to prepare myself before marriage, but the one thing I did not know I should do was shopping, shopping and getting a new wardrobe! You think I can go back and make up for that one!!!.... Interesting, I like that one. But seriously, great advice and makes great sense. I pray that many young women will see your blog/website and take advantage of the wisdom and guidance that you are imparting. Sort of to say "All the things your momma did'nt tell you. Be blessed and continue to share.

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    1. You may be able to get some shopping in now :) Thanks for reading and your encouragement.

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