Why you should plan for your marriage, not your wedding

I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that as soon as you announce your engagement, EVERYONE wants to know about your wedding. I guess it’s only natural. It’s the next step after getting engaged, after all.

However, all this wedding talk comes with a lot of pressure for you and your wedding to be ’the best day of your life’. While I’m a hopeless romantic and a sucker for seeing people exchange their vows with all their heart, I can honestly tell you I didn’t have my wedding plan sorted by the time I was 10 years old. I was too busy trying to working out which of those jobs ‘not for girls’ I wanted to do. It turns out I wanted to do a lot of them!

All that was to say, you can be in love with someone and want to spend the rest of your lives together, celebrate with your favourite people and it NOT be the best day of your life.

Couple hugging in garden

It’s way too easy to get consumed planning the party to end all parties that you lose sight of the lifetime you’ll be spending together. So how do you plan for your wedding and marriage?

Here are five things to remember to help you focus on what comes after you say ‘I do’.

1. A marriage certificate doesn’t determine commitment

Weddings happen every day. Divorces also happen every day. Spoiler alert: Throwing the best wedding ever where nothing goes wrong and everyone raves about, doesn’t mean you’ll stay married.

I have a friend who married their husband after 6 months together and are still going strong and I have another friend who was in one of those relationships you think will last forever, that ended after less than a year of marriage. Or, you could pass go, collect your £200, and miss out the wedding altogether and still be fully capable of committing yourself with all your being to the person you love.

Commitment is a choice. Signing a piece of paper won’t force you to commit. It’s something you’ve got to be willing to work on every day.

A stunning dress, a dapper suit and the best cake in the world are just small parts of getting married. There are also practical elements of marriage such as shared health and employment benefits, making medical decisions for each other, tax breaks etc. You won’t hear anyone mention these as you cut your cake but they are a very real part of marriage and your everyday life post your wedding.

Couple smiling on bridge

2. Planning your wedding is the best practice for planning future big decisions together

Weddings can be huge productions with friends trying to outdo each other with personalised favours, ornate centrepieces, best entertainment and much more, but try not to get carried away.

You want your wedding to memorable in a way that feels the most genuine to you both, and if that means obsessing over a certain element of your day, go for it. But do it for you. Not to impress anyone.

Focus on what matters to you both. If you haven’t bought a home together or any other major purchase, planning your wedding is likely the biggest and most complex thing you’ve done together. Planning together is a great way to build your relationship skills. Learning to compromise, budget as well as how to communicate better, listen to each other, etc.

Use your wedding as a chance to learn how to work together as a team in your marriage. Also, don’t spend all your time planning. Plan weekly date nights where wedding talk isn’t allowed. Your sanity will thank you for it.

Couple hugging in hall under light

3. Your vows are for your future, not just your present

During your wedding ceremony, you’re making a commitment for your future when you vow to be there for each other for better or for worse and through sickness and in health.

Your wedding day may be the best with lots of memories that demonstrate your love for each other, but with marriage, you’re building a future together which could mean supporting each other through lost jobs, illness, loss, bringing up children and/or pets, moving houses etc.

Your vows aren’t just pretty words. They are your guiding light that will shape your relationship in the years to come.

Couple walking while holding hands

4. They aren’t just your guests, they are your community

One thing I love about weddings is that they are one of the few happy occasion where all the people you know and love get to be together.

Even if you’re not having a large affair but a smaller more intimate wedding, those you choose to witness your marriage are special. These are the people you will likely turn to down the road for support if you’re having a crisis or to celebrate with when the planets are aligned and everything is going your way.

The people you surround yourself with on your wedding day aren’t just there for the cake. They are there to celebrate with you and pledge to be with you through the good and the bad. For the sake of full disclosure, I will be there for the cake!

Couple celebrate exchanging rings

5. You will have other amazing milestones

Wouldn’t life be a bit dull with only a couple of those so called best days ever? I’d be asking for a refund if that was the case. Saying your wedding day is the best day of your life is like saying university will be the best 4 years of your life. You’ll have a great time, I know I did, but they won’t be the only times you experience happiness.

Your wedding day is the beginning of the next chapter of your story that will be filled with lots of great days and moments. So, why not make your marriage as beautiful as your wedding and spend just as much time and intention celebrating each day after it as you did planning it?

Don’t limit yourself to building up this one moment in your relationship as you’ll miss out on all the other incredible adventures you’ll have together in the future.

Couple holding hands

Your wedding day will no doubt be a fabulous moment in your relationship, it doesn’t need to be a stressful affair. Your journey to marriage is so much more important so enjoy your wedding but focus on your marriage.

If you want to chat to a wedding photographer who will deliver your memories in the way you want to remember them, get in touch for a chat.