It all depends upon the way you look at it, and approach it. Wedding planning can be fun. But it can also be challenging. And sometimes, it can be anything but fun when you allow your planning times to get out of hand.
We warn couples all the time not to let their plans overwhelm their common sense. Don’t let it overwhelm their budget. And don’t let it overwhelm their ability to put together a wedding that they can both enjoy. It’s great that the wedding is fun and beautiful for everyone who attends it. But if the couple who are marrying don’t enjoy the process of planning it, what good did it really accomplish? If that couple is arguing and is contentious with each other as they approach the altar, would that really be what God would want? Wouldn’t it be better to let go of any plans that cause division?
Yes, it’s good to learn how to work through our differences in healthy ways. No couple is going to think alike in every way. But you can lean in on thinking “together” so you are able to walk together in united partnership. Work out your difference… yes! It’s important. But also, don’t take on more, as it pertains to wedding planning, than it’s really necessary. Consider simplifying your plans when they cause so much tension that the fun and the forging of loving partnership goes out of your wedding planning times.
So what if the wedding dress isn’t perfect or what the groom or anyone involved wears? So what if your wedding reception is on the simple side, rather than being something that a magazine would feature? Will it really matter 50 years from now? I’ve found that it really doesn’t. (And so do millions of other couples who have been married a number of years.) I (we) look back now and think, so what? What truly matters is whether or not our marriage is loving, and healthy. Is it something that could be featured in a magazine as an example of a good, really good marriage that reflects the heart of Christ? If those questions are answered yes, then I believe something that is important is accomplished. Wedding planning times come and go. But building a great marriage partnership—that’s what is truly important.
What I’m trying to say here is to put your wedding planning into proper perspective. Enjoy it! Make it a good time where it’s a fun step into building a great marriage.
With that said, here are a few wedding planning tips that others gave that are simple, yet touching:
Wedding Planning Tips:
“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. I asked her to take it 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 Smartmarriages.com)
“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. He then 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. The wife was given the bridal bouquet by the bride.” (Bill Doherty, from the Smart Marriages web site article titled “Wedding Rituals”)
More Wedding Planning Advice:
As you’re planning your wedding, here’s some great advice from Carol Heffernan (from the Focus on the Family article, “Tips for Planning the Wedding Day“):
“Relax and enjoy this special time together. A significant question (“Will you marry me?”), a simple answer (“I do!”), and a couple of vows later — bang — life is forever changed. Enjoy the journey.”
Furthermore, here are two wedding planning tips given by Catherine Parks 10 (in her article, “10 Ways to Plan a Christ-Centered Wedding”):
“Continue to nurture love for your future spouse. Planning a wedding can take a toll on all relationships, especially with your future spouse. Schedule date nights when you can go through a Christ-centered marriage book, or even fun nights when wedding talk is off-limits. Protect your relationship and don’t let the wedding take over.”
“Distinguish between the essentials and the non-essentials. When you make the presentation of the gospel the over-riding essential, it’s easier to determine what things are not essential. There is a freedom in letting the other stuff go, rather than stressing over every tiny detail. When you want people to be impressed with Christ, not with you, it frees you up to focus on the most important things, like having a wedding of worship.”
Below are two links to some great blogs written by Drs Les and Leslie Parrott. We love the wedding planning tips that they include in these articles. We encourage you to read:
• PLANNING YOUR WEDDING – Part 1. Working Together to Plan Your Big Day
• PLANNING YOUR WEDDING – Part 2. Establishing Healthy Boundaries with Family
• PLANNING YOUR WEDDING – Part 3. Constructively Resolving Conflict
And then here’s an additional tip with an ongoing suggestion:
Many couples light a unity candle at their wedding ceremony. This candle represents the unity they are vowing to enter into as they snuff out their individual candles. It’s a great tradition! But here’s another tradition that is also a great one to adopt AFTER marrying:
“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”)
Did you get the point of that wedding planning, marriage tip? They invited God into the marriage. God is, no doubt, well pleased to be invited to your wedding. But just make sure that you don’t leave the “fellowship” of Jesus at the altar. It’s like the billboard where God is quoted as saying, “Loved the wedding, invite Me to the marriage.”
Wedding: A Prelude to the Marriage
We see so many couples put together wonderful, and reverent marriage ceremonies. They make sure that their love for Jesus and each other is the focus of the entire wedding. So God is definitely invited to the wedding. As a result, the ceremony couldn’t be more beautiful. It touches every heart that is there. However, we also see many of those same couples then walk into their marriages forgetting what they promised each other. And more importantly, they forget what they promised God.
They start out busying themselves, putting their home and schedules together, which is what they are supposed to do. But they neglect to invite Jesus into each aspect of their married lives. And when something goes out of alignment, they forget to ask God to help them approach those matters as marriage partners. It’s natural for every marriage to encounter “bumps” and even huge potholes as they travel along their marital road together. But it’s the wise couple that continually grabs onto Jesus all the tighter, asking for wisdom, and then follows through on God’s leading. We hope you will proceed wisely.
Here’s one more wedding planning tip:
We encourage couples who are marrying to make a copy of their wedding vows. And then, after the wedding, frame and hang them in a prominent place (like in your bedroom). That way they’ll be a continual reminder of what you promised one another. They’re there right there before you, not hidden away to be forgotten. Each wedding anniversary is a great time to purposefully read them again as a couple. This helps to cement them in your mind again, and again. You’ll need those reminders from time to time throughout your marriage, believe me.
It’s important to note that you made these vows to each other. But you also made them before God and to God on your wedding day. If you invited Him to the wedding, He embraces your every promise. Too often married couples forget the vows and promises they made. The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” is not a good situation to get into as it pertains to your wedding vows. It’s important to remember and follow through on these sacred wedding vows. It’s something that each spouse naturally expects from each other. And it’s something God expects from both of you. Your vows are to be followed through on “from this day forward” … “until death do we part.”
In closing, above all, as you are doing your wedding planning, keep in mind something that author Candice Watters wrote. It puts into proper order all that the wedding and the eventual marriage should involve:
“Certainly the bride and groom are essential to a wedding. But they shouldn’t be the focus. God designed weddings to make marriages. When a man and woman come together in marriage before God, it’s God who’s making the marriage (Matthew 19:4–6). He is worthy to receive the glory.”
Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this article.
To help you build and grow a great marriage, we encourage you to read:
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Planning Your Wedding