Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Today we have another thoughtful wedding planning guest post from freelance writer Troy Lambert. Enjoy!

Because of publishing lead times, by the time you read this, our wedding will be over. In fact, I will probably share this article out to social media and my followers when I get back from our mini-honeymoon. (The real one will be this summer, after my fiance graduates and our son is out of school)

Read the full post after the cut!

If you have been following my posts on this blog, you know some things about our relationship already. We fired a wedding vendor before we even hired her when she called me Abigail’s dad at the initial consultation. (There is an age difference, but come on!) We trimmed the guest list, searched for, and found a photographer, and even endured a really hard health crisis that devastated our budget and our plan.

So we reset. Reevaluated expectations. Reached out, and crowdfunded part of our wedding. We were gifted parts of our wedding by generous friends and even people we barely knew.

There have been conflicts along the way. We are two very different people from very different backgrounds, and to compound my fiance’s pain, I am a writer, which means in some ways my brain is already messed up. On top of that, we have both been through different traumatic events, and sometimes arguments result from emotions triggered by past events.

So once the wedding planning is done, and you are ready to embark on your new lives together, as we are, here are some things we have learned.

Take Time for Yourself

You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself. Taking time out to pursue your passions or just have some alone time is not selfish, it is essential. You are blending two lives, two schedules, and two sets of friends and family. There can be a sense of obligation to spend time with everyone possible, but in the weeks leading up to your wedding, time becomes more and more precious. Set boundaries, make sure others know what they are, and do what you need to do for you.

For me, this has meant time at the gym and time to write. Your world probably looks different, but be sure to take care of the physical, mental, and spiritual parts of you every day.

Take Time for Each Other

Schedule date nights. Not double dates or parties, but date nights. Just because you are getting married does not mean you do not still need to date, and spend romantic evenings together with no distractions.

In the wild time of wedding planning, it is easy to lose track of each other, and then when you come together the stress of wedding planning, large to do lists, and financial stress can foster conflict rather than unity. Take quiet time together to remember why you are getting married, and what things really matter to the two of you.

Get Counseling

Those traumatic events can be overcome, and everyone has issues, both new and old. Whether you choose neuro counseling (forms of counseling that focus on the brain’s effect on behaviour), more traditional forms of counseling, or even medication to help alleviate depression or anxiety, some form of counseling is a part of self-care.

I wasn’t always a fan of counseling or counselors, but sometimes it helps just to have someone to talk to outside of the situation, and often we don’t know what we don’t know. Long buried issues can have long term effects on your life, and dealing with them not only helps you, but those around you as well.

Along with individual counseling, get marriage counseling as well. Learning each other’s communication style, triggers, wants, and needs can mitigate a lot of trouble down the road.

Plan for the Future

Wedding planning is an all consuming adventure, but the wedding will be over and life will go on after that. Really, that is what the whole day is about: launching your new lives together.

So when the honeymoon is finished, and bank accounts are empty, you will need a plan to move forward. So even when we were still in wedding planning bliss, we took some key steps:

  • Set up your living will and medical power of attorney. This was more important for us than some other people, in part because of my fiance’s health, but it is really important for any couple.
  • Get life insurance, or if you already have it, change your beneficiary.
  • Get some advice on investments, and make an investment plan if you have not already. this includes both short term investments and savings, and long term investments like retirement and helping your kids pay for college (if you already have them or plan to have them)

Don’t limit your planning to just financial goals. Set relationship goals, fitness goals. and goals for personal growth. Keep each other accountable, and surround yourself with other couples who will also keep you accountable.

Your wedding day is important. But even in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, take time for yourself, take time for each other, get counseling, and plan for the future. Because even more important is what that day is preparing you for: the rest of your lives together.

Such great advice; thank you Troy! You can find out more about Troy Lambert and his writing projects on his website.

Other posts by Troy:

Do you have any questions or comments for Troy? Add them to the comments below!