Our business is all about the wedding, but we really do care more about marriages, people to people.
I know that it’s easy to obsess over planning a wedding and it’s easy to skip right over the fact that you’re committing to 40+ years with this person. How can you best prepare for the next step? We want you to live in harmony with your person and for your lives together to only get better.
Marriage has been the absolute greatest, but if there was a list of things I wish somebody would have told me, these would be them:
- Have a hobby ready to go. Maybe it’s because we normally work on weekends, but we often stare at each other on Saturday mornings and beg the other to plan something. Biking, walking, trying new recipes, theme parks, what do you enjoy that will bring you two closer? Having things you love in common and can look forward to doing together will be great later. If you can’t think of one, get into the hobby of cleanliness. Train yourself to keep a clean house – I promise it’ll lead to a clean mind!
- Get good at budgeting and sticking to your goals now. Find a spreadsheet (happy to share ours) and fill it out every month. Set goals for areas you tend to overspend and learn how to say no or not yet! Talk about money and how you like to spend it, especially if you’re engaged. What goals do you want to hit before the wedding? Alex and I both had a number in mind for our savings pre-wedding so we didn’t have to worry so much later.
- Date Day: Have at least one day of the week set aside for your person so it’s easy to not forget about dates later. Try to do one date a month that’s different and fun! A new museum, restaurant, picnic, bike trail? Traditions like Pizza King Friday will create long memories!
- Start serving now. Help them fold their laundry or mow the lawn even if it doesn’t benefit you. That’s a lot of marriage – sacrificing for the happiness of the other person (this doesn’t have to be awful and scary, it’s just a different way of saying “I love you”)! If you’re long distance, can you help them find recipes to meal prep? Can you help them finish up an assignment so you can chat longer on FaceTime? Can you lead them in a bible study or prayer session once a week? Or, is there someone else you can practice serving in the meantime – a roommate or parent?
- Practice good communication now. Get in the habit of responding in kindness and thinking of things from others’ perspectives. Everyone else is not always to blame. Master arguments now and you’ll be very grateful later.
- Find a chore you actually enjoy and get good at it. I hate laundry but don’t mind dishes, and Alex is the opposite so it works!
- Save up as much as you can while you’re single. You don’t want to have to work overtime on the weekends once you can be with your person 24/7, I promise. It’s much more fun to dedicate your time together to eating out and exploring, and it’ll show them that you’re dedicated to setting up your lives together.
- Figure out 3 solid meals you can ace in the kitchen every time (bonus points if they include items you always have on hand for those far apart grocery days).
- Find a couple who is in the same life stage and will do life with you. This was really hard for us because we moved to a new city right after the honeymoon but it just would’ve made us feel a little less crazy if there was someone else who could hold us accountable sometimes!
- Get to know and enjoy their family now. Picking just one cousin or sister or uncle who you really get along with means a lot to the other person and will go far when you’re stuck switching off every other Christmas at their house.
One of my favorite things that I did was buy the 31 Prayers For My Future Husband book. It helped me to start thinking through the pain I might be bringing into my marriage, make sure I was the healthiest mentally and emotionally that I could be, and then start to envision and pray through how our marriage would look.
I think I thought that marriage was going to be this intense uphill climb where we had all these fights to endure and lessons to learn, but as I was walking back up the aisle after being pronounced “Mrs. Stiner”, I realized that it wasn’t so different than 2 minutes ago. Look at your spouse as a teammate and not the enemy, as someone who’s there for you in trouble and not the trouble, and you’ll be truly happy you jumped in.
Enjoy the ride. Passengers for life <3
Dedicated to my good friend Jaime.
A note on the cover photo, a wedding video we filmed in Tampa, Florida : VENUE White Rock Canyon / PHOTO Vivian Hoang Photo PLANNING Talk of the Town Group / CAKE Sweets by Holly / PARTY Sparks Events