It’s been a while since Scott and I started discussions about marriage but we pegged it for 2016. So I expected the turn of the year to kickstart the wedding planning stage. But here we are a few months later, and still not doing any kind of planning. I’ve previously written about deciding on a wedding date, or more accurately, NOT deciding on one. Up until now, the where, when, and how are not sorted out yet. I just find comfort in having long sorted out the more important points – the who and why 😉
So I have all this time freed up from thinking about clothes and flower arrangements. And I thought to myself, “Don’t I have a marriage to prepare for?” Committing yourself to something (or should I say someone) for your entire lifetime requires some degree of mental and emotional preparation, right?
In the Philippines, you are required by law to go through a pre-wedding counseling and family planning seminar before they grant you the license to marry. This is done by a government-appointed counselor, but a more in depth counseling spanning multiple sessions are offered by religious institutions as well.
Even with this, I find that much of the conversations surrounding a couple coming together still center on that one day when they make that public commitment, and not on the 40 or so years that come after. This is something that I discussed with my married and pregnant friend this afternoon. I asked, why is there so much focus on planning the wedding and hardly any on preparing for the marriage? And she said it’s the same for pregnancy. Moms prepare for childbirth and not for childrearing.
I understand the significance of a wedding ceremony. I love the symbolisms in the rituals, and the spirit and meaning behind each one. It is special day and you only do it once, so I get just how easily people can get carried away with making all aspects of it perfect. But the aesthetics and party side of it, I don’t care so much for, or at all.
This is one of the most important transitions in my life, and it involves both of our families, and also our future family. I have been living my entire adult life pretty much on my own terms, and I am now willingly deciding to tie my life to someone else’s, to have my future connected to his, and to start including him in all the decisions that I make from here onwards. This is a big deal, y’all. There’s major excitement, yes, but also slight freak out in trying to wrap my head around this whole thing. I crave for conversations on how to handle finances (separate or combined?), or deal with in-laws, or whose career comes first, or are we going to have kids, etc. Instead I find a fountain of resource on how to DIY flower crowns, and what music to play, or when to cut the cake. Useful stuff for throwing a party, but not for the lifetime that comes after it.
Coincidentally, Sharon from The Bare Bride wrote something along these lines recently. I featured her website on a previous post, and I have since reached out to her and to my married friends for help and for tips for the life ahead. Scott and I are not the first ones to get married among our individual and shared friend groups, and so we thought it best to actively seek out the counsel of people who have come before us in this journey so that we don’t come well-prepared for the wedding but ill-prepared for the marriage.
Are you married or are getting married? How was your experience with wedding planning? How did you prepare for the marriage?