I’ve been giving you plenty of wedding planning tips, but one question I haven’t asked you is, “What makes a good marriage?” I have been finding myself slowing down and thinking about what’s really going to happen in a few months. I am going to be standing under that chandelier in a barn just north of our hometown in front of 200 of my closest friends and family. Every single person will be looking at Tony and me. I am going to be wearing “the” dress. My maid of honor will be standing right by my side, holding my white roses. My mom is going to be there, looking as beautiful as ever, and holding my step-dad’s arm as she watches me vow to Tony that I will be the best wife I can be. The year we spent planning our wedding will culminate as our minister finally declares us husband and wife.
Photo by Kate Bentley Photo
What are the questions to ask before getting engaged?A few weeks ago, Tony and I went for a walk around the nature preserve behind our apartment. I had the chance to spend real time with him, and we had a great talk. Honestly, we didn’t really talk about anything groundbreaking; we had gone over all of the questions to ask before getting engaged. (How are we going to manage our finances? How many kids will we have? Will Tony be OK staying home with them someday? Where do we spend the holidays?) I remember being so unbelievably comfortable with him, and I felt overwhelmingly content. I am thankful for that walk as it was a huge reminder of why I’m going through this wedding planning process in the first place – to marry Tony. I just have to put it out there. I used to think that this type of stuff was important:
- He must make $150k/year
- He must drive an expensive SUV
- He must be a college athlete
- He must have a degree from an Ivy League school
- He must be funny but not too sarcastic
- He must be at least 6 feet tall
- He must be physically fit
Forget wedding planning tips for a minute and consider this:The traits listed above may seem like necessities, but I can say with 100% certainty that they are “nice to haves,” not “must haves.” I’ve found that many things I love about Tony I learned from being around him every day, not from subjecting him to a checklist of attributes I think my future husband must possess to be deemed worthy of marrying me. I truly think that a successful marriage is one between two people who can consistently fulfill a much more meaningful and realistic checklist:
- Can you encourage and support each other?
- Can you be ok giving 80% during periods when your partner can only give 20%?
- Can you work together?
- Can you allow each other to dream?
- Can you allow each other to grow?
- Can you love each other through every up and down for the rest of your lives?