Expectations are high when planning a wedding. There is this need to find the perfect dress, delicious food, a picturesque location, and a photographer who can capture those special moments. Luckily, premarital counseling is becoming part of the wedding planning experience, but that begs the question – Do couples have high expectations for their marriage prep?
Is anyone actually searching for the perfect program that combines guidance, assessment, and skill-building exercises?
The answer is no – couples are settling.
They’re taking whatever marriage prep is handed to them so it can get checked off the endless list of things to do before they get married. I get it – a wedding is a big thing, but it lasts a day. Your marriage is a much larger than that, it lasts a lifetime. Expect more out of your premarital counseling.
Here are 3 ways to get the best marriage prep:
- Start Early
Aim to begin premarital counseling right after you send out your “save the dates,” at least 6 months before your wedding. If you wait and squish it in 6 weeks before the wedding when your invitations are going out, you’ll become stressed about wedding day priorities and the quality of your marriage prep will be compensated.
- Work with a Professional
A professional doesn’t necessarily mean someone who is licensed; it is someone who has credible experience or education in the marriage/relationship field. Check with your church or local counseling center to find a trustworthy person to guide you through the process. And know it’s okay to ask questions before committing to a facilitator.
- Advocate for an Assessment
Make sure that professional encourages you and your partner to take a reliable and valid assessment as part of your marriage prep. Assessments increase the impact of a marriage education program by 30% and often the act of taking an assessment can improve your relationship. Gaining knowledge and awareness around your relationship before marriage is so beneficial!
Don’t settle for a mediocre marriage prep experience. Research and educate yourself on options and be your own advocate in finding a good match for you and your partner.