The following are quotes from various resources to help you as you are planning your wedding. We pray you will find them to be helpful to make your day a blessed event.

• Getting married is the boldest and most idealistic thing that most of us will ever do. (Maggie Gallagher, The Case for Marriage)

• Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisably or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God. When you consider marriage in these terms, you may wonder how two relatively immature individuals can make such an awesome commitment. Too often, we tend to focus everything on the wedding ceremony and little or nothing on marriage. We see the beauty of the ceremony but miss the beauty and wonder of the covenant. We sometimes also miss the fact that we are embarking on one of the most difficult journeys of our lives, one that does not begin on the wedding day. (Kay Coles James, What I Wish I’d Known Before I God Married)

• A wedding is not a marriage. A wedding is only the beginning of an undertaking that may or may not, someday, develop into a marriage. What the couple have on their wedding day is not the key to a beautiful garden, but just a vacant lot and a few gardening tools. (David and Vera Mace)

• A copy of the words of the wedding ceremony makes a wonderful keepsake. Ask your pastor or rabbi to provide a clean copy for you so that you and your fiancé might make reference to your vows and promises each year on the date of your anniversary. (Todd Outcalt, from book, Before You Say “I Do”)

• Advice for the mother of the bride: It’s her wedding, not the one you wish you had. (Renae Willis, from the book, “101 Most Important Things You Need to Know Before You Get Married”)

• One of the first things you and your fiancé need to develop is a meaningful prayer life even before the wedding. …My wife, Shirley, and I did that, and the time we have spent on our knees has been the stabilizing factor throughout nearly forty years of marriage. (James Dobson, Complete Marriage and Family Home Reference Guide)

The event of getting married is a lot of fun. It’s a party —you plan it, everybody comes, they celebrate, and you’ve got caterers and flowers. That’s the wedding. But it’s the merging of two lives after the wedding that will be the greatest undertaking you’ll ever face in your life. It involves sacrifice, it involves work, and if you have children, it involves huge, huge amounts of responsibility. Being in love does not mean that you shouldn’t have to work to create a life. You’re going to have to learn to share time, and space, and money, and effort and energy. You need to have a division of labor. Set goals for your children. There’s a lot of work in a marriage and when you’re thinking about it, make sure that you have goals so you’re moving in one direction. Don’t just flounder around. (Dr Phil McGraw)

• Ask your pastor for a copy of the words of your wedding ceremony. (Tell him in advance that you’ll want this so he’s prepared.) Then frame and hang them in a place (like in your bedroom) where they’ll be a continual reminder of what you promised one another, and what you vowed before God on your wedding day. Too often married couples forget the promises they made. The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind”, is not a good thing to have happen when it comes to remembering and following through on sacred wedding vows —which are supposed to be kept “until death do we part”… “from this day forward.” (Cindy Wright)

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. As a dream comes when there are many cares, so the speech of a fool when there are many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God. (Ecclesiastes 5:2-7)

• Often the female is infatuated with a “wedding” more than a marriage. The wedding is the ultimate showcase and the relationship then quickly subsides afterwards. Beware young men on this one! (Delores Stone)

Unless you plan to elope secretly in the dark of night, or have planned a small intimate wedding, you may soon find your wedding plans escalating out of control. This one-sentence wedding mantra may be helpful. Recite it to yourselves in those moments when everyone about you seems to be going crazy with the planning details: The point of the wedding is to celebrate our love and make a public commitment to each other for life. Everything else is extra. (Lilo and Gerard Leeds, “Wonderful Marriage”)

Snared by the $40 billion wedding industry machinery, brides and their relatives are mauled and squeezed until they come up with a sum large enough to buy a small car or two. “The belief attached is that if I spend hand over fist —if everything is perfect —we’ll have a great day and a great marriage,” said Sheryl Paul Nissinen, a bridal counselor in Los Angeles and author of “The Conscious Bride: Women Unveil Their True Feelings about Getting Hitched” (New Harbinger Publications). But future brides certainly know that dress designers, florists, caterers and others in the matrimonial bazaar are playing upon their deepest, most childish fairy-tale dreams. That’s not the problem.

The trouble is that they like the fairy tale. In fact, they adore everything about it, especially the glass slipper that fits their foot and theirs alone. Is it so terrible to want to suspend reality in favor of magic for one day, as long as you promise to don your sensible shoes the next day? I don’t think so. But it’s terribly tricky because a wedding is a fantasy magnet. The fantasy may start with a single desire—to look beautiful or to marry in a spectacular church. Then, before you know it, you’re expecting every element and every person involved to conform to an astonishingly detailed blueprint called “My Wedding Day.” The diagram seems to have been drawn secretly by your brain. (From: Smartmarriages Sent: June 02, 2003 Subject: Putting Your Wedding on a Pedestal)

• For couples under the age of thirty, debt from their wedding is the most common and intense source of conflict, according to a Creighton University study. Among couples of all ages surveyed, wedding debt was the third most troubling issue in their marriage, behind time management and sexual issues.

To avoid these common wedding mistakes, keep the wedding meaningful and manageable. Set aside some of the money you save for a great honeymoon or maybe a house or a baby. And don’t forget —enjoy the day. (Lilo and Gerard Leeds, “Wonderful Marriage”)

But what is the true cost of marriage? In our opinion the true cost of marriage is much more than the cost of a ceremony or a wedding certificate. It outweighs the cost of the reception or the dress. The real cost of a marriage is dying to self. Without being willing to pay that price the marriage will not last long. So much more time and expense is put into formulating pre-nuptial agreements, planning for the end of the marriage, than is put into the ingredients that make a marriage healthy and last forever.

If you both choose to become selfless, laying down your own wishes, expectations and desires the benefit is that you both demonstrate real love. Your investment reaps the return of love, thoughtfulness and happiness. It also reaps a marriage that can last a lifetime. (From the web site

• So many celebrate the wedding by putting forth months and months of work ahead of time into planning for and preparing for this sacred event. And it’s good that couples hold the wedding ceremony as something of honorable esteem to be celebrated. It’s a sacred God-honoring event. And then after the wedding ceremony there’s an immediate wedding reception held in celebration. Also, so much work is put forth ahead of time so the reception is a true celebration, which is also good —it’s a joyous time to enjoy with all those that witnessed the marriage of two individuals who have pledged to now promised to “love, honor, and cherish each other, until death parts them.

But what about the marriage? What work and effort is put forth ahead of time to prepare for the marriage that’s about to begin after the wedding celebration? We contend that the most important aspect of all that the wedding represents is too often neglected ahead of time. The wedding ceremony commemorates the first day of a life-long journey that needs to be diligently prepared for in advance. This is to insure that the love and honor the marrying couple is pledging in covenant with one another and with God, starts off with their best foot forward. From that day forward for the rest of their lives, a new life together as husband and wife begins —set forth as a team, with God and for God. For the act of marriage is ALL ABOUT GOD. It’s not about us —we get that so twisted around. It’s all about God. We miss the “mission of marriage.” (Cindy Wright)

• A wedding is just a wedding —a party. It doesn’t prepare you for the marriage that follows. (A guest on the Oprah Show)

• Make your wedding a celebration that brings you and your partner —and the family and friends who celebrate with you —closer together. Resist outside pressure. Understand what you really want in the way of a wedding —talk calmly about the dreams you both have. Do you want a big wedding or is it your parents who want it? Could you be just as happy with a more intimate gathering? If you want something modest and your parents want something grander, see if you can work out a compromise that makes everyone happy.

Your parents may want to invite some of their friends and family, and you will want to make them happy. But when it comes to your own guest list, ask yourselves if they are people you will want to see at your twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, too. If they’re not really that close to you, why do you feel you must invite them now? You might consider saving some of the money you or your parents were thinking about spending on the wedding and devoting it to a great honeymoon or your first anniversary party or a down payment on a home, instead. (Lilo and Gerard Leeds, “Wonderful Marriage”)

Have you done your emotional work before the wedding so you’re prepared for the marriage? (A guest on the Oprah Show)

Alan and Lauri were leaving the church following the reception when Alan’s mother came rushing out with a formal looking piece of paper and a pen in her hand. “I know you’re eager to leave, and I want you to,” she said, “But this is so important. It will take just a minute. Alan, I need your signature on this form. I’ve already signed it.” Alan looked puzzled but took the paper, quickly read it and then with a big smile signed it with a flourish and handed it back to his mother.

His mother then gave the form to Lauri, and with moist eyes and a friendly smile said, “Lauri, this paper belongs to you—and so does Alan. I used to be the Number One woman in Alan’s life. I’ll always be his mother, but this is my declaration that I’m transferring the position of being Number One woman to you. “This is a signed certificate giving this position to you, as well as my announcement to Alan, to be sure that he understands this change. Have a wonderful honeymoon. I love you both.” With that, Alan’s mother turned and walked away with both Lauri and Alan smiling; but now the tears were in their eyes. This was a wedding gift. What do you think the first 5 years were like for this couple? (From the book, “The Other Woman in Your Marriage” by Norman Wright)

Most couples finish Pre-Marriage Mentoring sessions with more confidence in their relationship. Most go on to marry. But sometimes the opposite happens. One guy, Mike remembers, “canceled his wedding two weeks before the wedding. Her parents were flying up from South America. He had already bought the tickets. “But the mentoring, Mike says, did exactly what was intended: It helped identify and stop a bad marriage. That is painful but so much less painful than marrying and later divorcing.” (From the article: Can This Marriage Be Braved, featured in the Washington Post Sunday Magazine)

If you are planning a wedding shower for a friend or family member: A Basket Shower provides useful gifts and gives your guests a chance to be creative in their gift selections. Inform them on the invitations, that this shower requires that they bring a gift in a basket or a gift that is a basket. Gifts might include a set of decorative nesting baskets, a casserole dish with a basket server, a wastebasket or painted basket filled with guest towels and decorative soaps.

Give the bride a wicker laundry basket, a hamper, or any large, decorative basket in which to place gifts both during and after the party. … Food: Serve as many of your menu items in baskets as you can: rolls in a bread basket, a casserole in a basket server, a dessert on a wicker tray. Consider serving a pie with a basket-weave top crust for dessert. Decorations: Use baskets in your decorating. In addition to your large basket for gift holding, put flowers in a basket on your table and nuts or candies in small baskets around the room for nibbling. (From the book, “The Best Wedding Shower Book” by Courtney Cooke)

A Christian wedding ceremony is most natural for believers because it publicly displays the deepest of commitments. It gives the couple an opportunity to declare before family and friends their life-long devotion, and thus invite the support and prayers of their Christian brothers and sisters. It also gives the Christian community the opportunity to publicly approve and support the marriage.

The image of the bride, radiant in her white dress, and the groom, lovingly at her side, provide a marvelous symbol of Christ and the church. One day Christ will “present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle(Ephesians 5:27, NASB). This unique symbolism in itself is reason enough to have a Christian ceremony. (Ruth Muzzy and R. Kent Hughes, from the book, “The Christian Wedding Planner”)

One couple I know lights the unity candle on their six-month and yearly anniversaries. They read the Scripture passages they chose for their wedding ceremony and reflect on God’s goodness. They talk about how their marriage has grown or been challenged in the past six months or year. Often these discussions lead them to ask for and receive forgiveness from each other. Sometimes the couple sets goals for the coming six months or year to set a direction for their relationship and hold each other accountable for the things they decide are important. Then they pray together and commit themselves once more to their vows and to being a couple. (Gary Smalley, from the book “One Flame …How to Weather the Five Winds in Your Marriage”)

• When my husband and I got married 47 years ago, we felt that the tossing of the bouquet and the garter were mindless rituals that people did only because of tradition. Somewhere in an etiquette book I read that it was perfectly proper to select someone to receive the bouquet as a gift (and today I wouldn’t worry about whether the etiquette book said so or not). I then thought of my groom’s elderly, sweet grandmother who was too frail to travel 500 miles to our wedding. At the reception, I gave my bouquet to my new mother-in-law, to take home to her mother. Later I learned that Grandma B, as we called her, had dried that bouquet and treasured it till her death several years later. More recently, my daughters did something similar. It makes much more sense. (Madeline Johnston -as posted on

At my niece’s wedding, instead of throwing the bouquet to the single women at the reception the DJ asked all the married couples to get on the dance floor. He played the Anniversary waltz and he started by asking for anyone married for one day to leave the dance floor —which was the bride and groom. And then couples married one year, two years, five years, eight years, and so on were asked to leave. The last couple standing were married 56 years and the wife was given the bridal bouquet by the bride. (Bill Doherty, from the web site for Smart Marriages in a feature titled “Wedding Rituals”)

• The DJ at my son’s wedding did something similar. As the longest married couple was left standing (my aunt and uncle who have been married 62 years) —he asked them what advice they might give as to the secret of what makes a good, lasting marriage. My uncle did a wonderful job and included the ability to admit when one is wrong and say “I’m sorry” even when you think you were only 10% wrong; learning to laugh at ourselves and not take life too seriously. It was a wonderful tribute to them and an affirmation of marriage for us all. And, at the rehearsal dinner we took few moments of silence and then as a part of a prayer of blessing we called out the names of those that could not be in attendance (either deceased or for some other reason not able to attend). It reminded us of the importance those persons and the influence they have had and will continue to have on us and on the newlyweds as they begin their lives together.(Bea Haledjian, from the web site for Smart Marriages in a feature titled “Wedding Rituals”)

When my daughter was married a couple of years ago, at the end of the evening the MC asked everyone to form a circle around the bride and groom. He then gave a speech about how “marriage will have its ups and downs and all the people surrounding you right now are here to support you through whatever happens.” Then he asked everyone to hold hands and walk slowly around them in a circle as the band played, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” (There wasn’t a dry eye.) (Pat Ennis, Syracuse New York, from the web site for Smart Marriages in a feature titled “Wedding Rituals”)

• When you get married, create your Marriage Flag. Fly it at your wedding. Think of it as akin to establishing a country with its own mission statement and constitution. Talk about what it stands for and what it represents. You can add amendments from time to time, but establish the entity, and then protect it with intentionality. Do this for your marriage and for your kids. Where would they be without a country? (Anonymous, as posted under Marriage Quotes on

• J.R. Miller, from his message, “The Marriage Altar —and After”:

“The preparations are all at last made. The bridal dress is completed. The day has been fixed. The invitations have been sent out. The hour comes. Two young hearts are throbbing with love and joy. A brilliant company, music, flowers, a solemn hush —as the happy pair approach the altar, the repetition of the sacred words of the marriage ceremony, the clasping of hands, the mutual covenants and promises, the giving and receiving of the ring, the final ‘Whom God has joined together —let not man put asunder,’ the prayer and blessing —and the twain are one flesh.

“There are tears and congratulations, hurried good-byes, and a new pair puts out upon the sea, freighted with high hopes. God grant it may never be dashed upon any hidden rock and wrecked!”

And that is the prayer of our hearts for you, here at Marriage Missions, as you prepare for one of the most life-changing journeys of your life. May God grant that your love and the vows of commitment you are making on your wedding day, never be dashed, and always grow through and despite the various changes and challenges you will face.

May the Lord direct your heart into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
(2 Thessalonians 3:5)