Apr 25, 2012

Bride Diaries: Entry 1

Let me preface this by telling you all that I had a hard time deciding if I'd share something so personal or not, but I'm just going to do it.  I might be a wedding photographer, but for once I get to speak as bride.

 For the past 8 weeks {8 Wednesdays, and 2 Saturdays} my fiance and I have been taking a preparing for marriage class at a church near me. It's been a week since our final class and we really do miss it. Preparing for marriage has been the most wonderful and most important investment Tim and I have ever made for our relationship, and for our future together. 
I'm sure some of you might be thinking ... really a class? Or what could you possibly talk about for 8 weeks? Isn't that why they have pre-marriage counseling? Well ... hear me out first before you write me off.

For so longed I dreamt about being a bride, it wasn't until Tim came along, we grew in love and my desire to be a bride turned into my desire to be Tim's wife. Now here we are 5 years later, engaged and one year away from our very own wedding.

In five years of dating you get to know alot about a person. When you get engaged, you start preparing for marriage {duh?}. You talk about the future, you plan together, you pray and you get ready to spend and share your whole life with another person. Most couples take pre-marriage counseling during their engagement {which I highly suggest and we will also do so before our wedding day}, but what about learning ... really learning about marriage?

We spend years, and years, and thousands of dollars to educate ourselves on the careers we hope to build one day right? And most of the time we don't know what our careers will be like till we actually get there. Well if we are willing to invest in our careers in such a way ... how bout educating ourselves on marriage, a commitment you make that lasts a lifetime and changes your whole world around. Tim and I may have been dating for 5 years {6 by the time we are married} but I know I will not know him fully, nor completely till we are married and living life together daily. I'd much rather go into marriage having all my questions answered, and having learned all that I possibly could to have a successful marriage, not one that is easily shaken.

Many mentor couples who help facilitate the marriage class only did pre-marriage counseling themselves. And every couple has said the same thing, They've all said that they wish they had a classs like ours to take before they got marriage because the first few years of marriage would have be much easier if they knew what they know now.

Though I won't fully know what marriage is like till I get there, this preparing for marriage class has shed so much light on not just marriage but on life, on men and women and how we are so different, and on God. This class has challenged me to be "a student of myself", so that I can help Tim better understand me. And though we all know men and women are different, studying and learning those  specific differences makes a huge impact on how we understand, support and love our significant other.  There were days that class felt like a science class, or a business management class or even couple's therapy and each and every time we left we felt more confident in our relationship and our future marriage. And each time we felt more challenged to change, and live out all that we've learned.

In 8 weeks I've learned more about my fiance than I have in all 5 years of getting to know him.
And now I'm even more in love with the person God has made him to be.

Why am I sharing all this? Well my heart is full to the brim so I simply must, but I also feel the need to share what I can with my brides, future brides, or even my friends out there who will one day become brides. Invest in your future marriages, and if you are already married ... continue to invest in your marriages. I'm not saying invest in expensive wedding pretties ... really invest in the relationship. We will never be perfect people, therefore no one will ever have a perfect marriage ... so there's always room to grow and always something to learn no matter your age or the length of your relationships.

***If you are live in the DC area and are engaged I really do recommend signing up for the Preparing for marriage class at Mclean Bible Church before you get married {reguardless of where your home church is}. I've barely scratched the surface in sharing all the blessings from taking the class. If you are interested but are not fully convinced it's worth it, email me or call me and I'd be more than happy to share information about it. But believe you me, my fiance traveled 1 hour to class in rush hour every Wednesday after teaching 5th graders and he can't say it enough how much this class was worth every penny and every second.

Now ... If you don't live in the DC area and are engaged find something similar that you and your fiance can sign up for. Growing and learning along side your fiance is one of the greatest things you can do during your engagement.

Lastly if you are engaged or married maybe a "marriage retreat" is right up your alley. Weekend to Remember is a nation wide marriage retreat held at different places through out the year. If you are engaged you can still go but I'd suggest finding other engaged couples to go with you, the more the merrier {no pun intended}.

So much of my blog is about weddings, finally becoming a bride I'm ready to talk marriage.
Weddings last only a day, marriage a lifetime. To all my past bride and grooms I'm praying for you all and that your marriages are blessed to the fullest and that each new day brings new joy. To all my current/future brides ... I'm praying for your wedding days, and for all the planning and preparing. I'm right there with you us brides gotta stick together. And most of all I'm praying for your future for the beautiful marriages ahead of you and the amazing road you're on.


Lastly if you've stuck with me and read through all of this, here are a few marriage / engagement resources. Email me if you want more, I've got plent more where that came from.

The 5 Love Languages  {Or at least take the love language test online}
Marriage Retreat:  Weekend to Remember
Pre-Marriage Class:  Preparing for marriage 

Happy Wednesday, and to you engaged folk Happy Wedding/Marriage preparing!

1 comment:

  1. I work at MBC! Will you be back anytime soon? :) I want to see you!