So, you’re getting married soon? Congratulations! Planning a wedding, honeymoon, and preparing for marriage is a fun time of life, but it’s also no small task. There are likely to be unexpected things that come up and surprise you along the way.
To help you in this exciting wedding planning season, I’d like to share five tips to help you make your wedding and honeymoon epic. These tips come from my own experience, as well as from talking with lots of married family members and friends. If you’re married, I’d love to hear your wedding and marriage tips in the comments below!
1. Focus on having a great marriage, not just a great wedding
Have you ever seen a trailer for a movie that looked awesome, but then you went and actually saw the movie, and it was a total flop? Do you remember how you felt?
You were totally disappointed and bummed. The movie didn’t live up to your expectations. What’s the point of a great movie trailer, if the actual movie is awful? Likewise, what’s the point of a great wedding if the marriage is a total disaster?
Marriage is similar to a movie: It’s a story that unfolds, with your wedding and honeymoon as the beginning (the ‘trailer’) of your marriage story.
Too many people focus more on their wedding day and honeymoon, and not enough on their actual marriage. They obsess about wedding day details, but neglect to focus on the things that will help make the marriage go the distance, such as premarital counseling to resolve any issues, intentionally working on communication issues, growing spiritually together, and making sure they are on the same page in regards to religion, money, and other important matters that can help divorce-proof their marriage.
First and foremost, focus on having a great marriage , and make your wedding and honeymoon just the beginning of your epic marriage story. You want all three – the wedding, honeymoon, AND marriage – to be awesome, not just the first two. Remember: there’s no point to an awesome movie trailer, if the actual movie is a disaster.
2. Delegate wedding planning tasks to your family and friends
One thing that surprises newly engaged couples is how much stuff needs to get done prior to the wedding. Finding and booking a wedding venue, determining the guest list, sending out invitations, finding dresses and suits, and so much more. There’s a lot to get done before the big day, no doubt about it.
Determine what wedding and honeymoon details really matter to you, and delegate the rest to trustworthy family and friends to take care of the rest.
For example, if you don’t really care about who the DJ is (as long as he/she is good), delegate the task of finding and booking the DJ to someone you trust. Give them some pointers (so that they know what you’re looking for), but then delegate the task so it’s off your plate.
You’ll save yourself a lot of stress (and make a lot of progress on wedding planning) by asking other trustworthy family members and friends to help out. Your family and friends want to help you out during wedding planning, and they will be delighted if you ask them to do so.
3. Break the celebration into two days
One of the most frequent comments you’ll hear married couples say about their weddings, is that, “the wedding day goes by so fast.” It’s true, the wedding day is fun, fast-paced, and full of exhilarating emotions. But because of this, the wedding day can feel like a blur, and there can be lots of people you wish you had interacted with, but couldn’t because of time.
When my brother and sister-in-law got married, they did something unique. They got married on a Friday, but had a two day reception: one on Friday (after the wedding ceremony), and another full-day reception on Saturday.
I wish I had thought of the idea for my own wedding, because It. Was. Awesome! The bride and groom got extra time with everyone, guests got to have more fun, and the celebration didn’t feel rushed.
If you can do it, try to have a two-day reception and extend the celebration. You and your guests will double the amount of fun you have, and make twice as many memories together.
4. Go on a honeymoon, for at least two weeks (take more time, if you can)
Everyone I know who is married – and either didn’t take a honeymoon, or only took a one week honeymoon – all say they regret not taking more time for a honeymoon.
Wedding planning season is a fun time of life, but it’s also a tiring (and often, stressful) season. Going on a honeymoon with your spouse is a wonderful time to cultivate your marriage relationship, relax and rejuvenate, and start your marriage off on a positive note.
Did you know that ancient Hebrew men were required to spend a year at home (without service in the army), with the sole objective of making their wives happy?
“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.”
– Deuteronomy 24:5 ESV
In other words: stay home, bless your wife, have sex, make her happy, and then go back to work.
Pretty sweet advice. You may not be able to take a year off of work, but the wisdom in this verse is invaluable: take some time away to be happy with your wife.
5. Get a good photographer and a good videographer for your wedding
I remember telling my wife Abby before our wedding that I thought we should just have people take photos and videos of our wedding with their iPhones, so that we wouldn’t need to spend money on a wedding photography and videographer.
I am so glad that she talked me out of that bad idea, because Abby and I look at our wedding photos and video WAY more than I thought we would. The wedding photos and video capture the wedding day so vividly, and it’s wonderful to be able to view them whenever we want.
Get a good photographer and a good videographer for your wedding. If it’s outside your price range, find a family member or friend who is good, and would be willing to do it for less money. I promise, you won’t regret that decision.
Getting ready for marriage is a fun season of life. Enjoy this season, and make the most of it. Be smart and diligent in planning your wedding and honeymoon, and most importantly, aim to have a marriage that goes the distance.
Are you married? If so, what wedding, honeymoon, and/or marriage advice would you share with those who are beginning this journey? Let us know in the comments below!
Also, if you’d like these tips + five more in a printable, easy-to-ready PDF, you can click here to download The Epic Wedding, Honeymoon, and Marriage Planning Checklist for free.