1. The art of the compromise
Nothing will ever go the way you would like it to – call it sod’s law. When you’re planning your wedding, you’ve got to always think of ways to come together and make everyone – including yourself – happy. You and your partner may have differences in opinion when it comes to venue, band or, even, wedding list and this, more often than not, reflects the divergent opinions you may have about bigger, and more important, aspects of your lives together. Learning how to come together on something you disagree on is an invaluable life lesson which will see you through thick and thin.
Don’t we all wish to have as much money as we would like to do everything we always planned to do? Sadly, life does not turn out that way – not unless you come from a privileged background (and, even then, there are things which are out of reach). Learning how to stretch your euros, how to make do and how to get what you need, without waste, will stand you in good stead throughout the years, allowing you, not only to economise, but to make the best of what you have.
3. Consider family and friends
The word ‘wedding’ usually screams family discord. And, there’s lots to get stressed about, many toes to step on and expectations to smash to smithereens. Dealing with family in the run up to your big day is a minefield – but its good training to negotiating the tricky ground between two sets of relatives for the rest of your lives. Scheduling family lunches, making time to visit your parents and coordinating with – sometimes – uncooperative blood-relations can all be walked through without a hitch thanks to the training you’ve had sealing the deal with your loved ones’ expectations for your trip down the aisle.
4. Give each other some space
Remember when you were a teenager and you thought that marriage would be the be-all and end-all of your happiness? Then you grew up (hopefully) and realised that no one person can make you completely happy. Satisfaction comes from within, and from making some time for yourself. During your wedding planning it is essential to take a step back and get a couple of hours to do the stuff YOU love, whether that’s going for a walk, watching your favourite TV programme or just settling down with a good book. Marriage also requires you to take some time away from each other, only to rediscover joy in the relationship when you do get that time together.
5. Learn how to relax
Fittings, food tasting (yum), financial planning – there’s so much to do as you’re prepping for the big day and so little time. The days just fly by and, before you know it, you’re right there – about to get hitched. So, take a deep breath, pour yourself a glass of wine, soak in the bath or, simply, veg. Develop the skills to get your blood pressure down and slow your racing heart. This is also invaluable in the humdrum reality of married life – with its work-life schedules, bills to pay, people to meet – so understanding how to lower your stress levels will keep you going in the long run.
6. Remember your priorities
The love you have for your spouse will ultimately trump any physical or mental pressures you experience in the preparations for the ‘I do’ as it will anything else that comes your way, whether this is having kids, booking their schools, a family member’s illness or, simply, middle-age. Keeping that within your sight – and knowledge of that within your heart – will ensure that your marriage will last the ages.