5 WAYS I PREPARED FOR MARRIAGE (NOT JUST THE WEDDING)
Hi friends, so it’s been a little while since I’ve sat down and written a blog here at Bold and Beloved – or just written at all. Life has been a little bit crazy over the course of this past year to say the least. Since getting engaged last December, its been a whirlwind with planning a wedding, moving out, and in the midst of all of that also switching jobs. To be honest, it’s been tough to manage all of my responsibilities and still have time to do the things I love, and that’s meant taking a break from writing for a little bit.
But here I am back to writing again and I am SO excited about that. Right now I’m in a season of newness – I’m a new wife, have a new place, and just started a new job, which means I’m also attempting to settle into a new life routine, which includes getting back to writing and sharing here again.
This blog has always been a space where I’ve felt like I can really share what I’m feeling, learning, thinking, or God’s teaching me about life no matter what season I’m in or what’s new, and today is no different.
As I mentioned above, I just recently got to marry my wonderful, handsome husband after over seven and a half long years of waiting and so far, marriage has been a mix of exactly what I expected and things I completely didn’t expect all at the same time. My husband (that still feels so weird to say) Logan and I have been blessed enough to have spent the majority of our first month together traveling and relaxing but as we’ve now began to settle back into real life and normalcy, or at least our new normal, I’ve had some time to think and reflect on our first month of marriage together.
Leading up to our wedding and marriage together, Logan and I wanted to make it a priority to focus more on the marriage than the wedding, and being honest that was tough! I feel like no one tells you, or at least no one told me, how much work it is to plan a wedding! Like literally, It’s pretty much a second job to plan a wedding, the only difference is except rather than making money, you’re spending it (yikes! lol!)
So with living in different places and both having jobs, the amount of time Logan and I had to talk/see each other throughout the week was limited, and it was hard not to make it all about wedding stuff (I was the worst at this, we would see each other for the first time after a week and I would immediately jump into the wedding “to do” list I had for him – eek, sorry logan!)
So since getting married I’ve had several other friends get engaged which is SUPER exciting and a lot of them have been picking my brain asking about things I read, did, or would recommend pre-marriage! So today I figured I’d share some of those things here in a list of 5 ways I prepared for my MARRIAGE not just my Wedding!
Okay so this one sounds cliché, right? But being honest, sometimes my prayer life struggles and just doesn’t’ get prioritized and leading up to getting married I didn’t want to be in a spiritually ehhh place. So I really tried in the days leading up to the wedding to prioritize my prayer life and be specific in my prayers.
Each day I dedicated time to praying over Logan, myself, and our relationship/soon to be marriage. Because I’m such a list girl, obviously I made lists for each of these things as a go to, which I’m sharing below! I tried not to be too repetitive with praying the lists but to really think over the word I was praying and our lives specifically and asking God to work in it. I’m still even now praying these lists, there’s just also been several additions/subtractions now that we’re married.
Prayers for Him:
Prayers for Me:
Prayers for Us: not posting this one here just because we still use this list, just like we do the others too, but this one is a really personal list of things we're bringing to God as a couple and I don't want to overshare/invade our privacy as a couple by sharing! Basically just a list of EVERY and ANY concern, praise, request, confusion, dream, struggle, etc. that we have as a couple along with prayers over our marriage specifically for strength, growth, Godliness, friendship, fun, respect, understanding and anything else we can think of or that God puts on our heart!
If I’m being honest, it was really tough to find downtime to read leading up to our wedding. This was probably the busiest season of my life so far and certain “me time” things, like reading, just weren’t at the top of the priority list. That being said I did make time for a few books that were SO good and helped me so much leading up to our marriage. If you are going into a new marriage I would HIGHLY recommend these books for any reading time you can squeeze in:
A Love Letter Life: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Letter-Life-Creatively-Intentionally/dp/0310353629
The 5 Love Languages: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-that-Lasts/dp/080241270X
Capture His Heart 25 Day Devotional (used this in the month leading up to my wedding!): https://www.amazon.com/Capture-His-Heart-Becoming-Husband/dp/0802440401
3. Read the Bible
On the subject of reading, the most important book that I did try to make time to read everyday even in the midst of the craziness was my Bible. Leading up to getting married I wanted to really take what God said about love and marriage and apply it to my life. So, I opened my Bible every day and went to the back to find a topic like “love”, “marriage”, “relationships”, “sex”, “respect”, “friendships”, etc. and would go to the verses listed and read and journal them. I’ll post a picture below of an example of how I journaled them to get the most out of it – basically to stay engaged I just rephrased/summarized what the passage was saying and then asked myself questions or made notes of how I could apply it in real life! Then after doing this I would pray over these things I pulled from the Scripture and ask God to help me/us apply them in our lives!
Here's a messy little example of what this looked like for me.. and yes I started on the right page and moved to the left... i don't know why but I did haha!
4. Couples Devo
Prior to the wedding Logan and I did not do a couples devotion together, or really even pray together regularly. This was mainly due to us not living/being together often and when we were it wasn’t really the opportune time (like at family gatherings). So, prior to our wedding Logan and I discussed how important and excited we were to start doing nightly devotions and praying together. There’s something really intimate and close about sharing your hearts, thoughts, prayers, and faith together. So we looked for a while for a good devotion that we could do together and we ended up finding a couple that we bought! Right now we are doing the Love Languages devotion nightly together but we’ve got several others stored up! Funny enough, we had 3 picked out we really liked on amazon and only bought 2 because who needs 3 devotions all at once? And for our wedding Sadie ended up getting us the 3rd one we didn’t buy – guess God thinks we need 3 devotions all at once! :)
Here's the 3 we're using:
The One Year One Minute Love Language Devotional (we read this one before bed each night and it really does only take about 1 minute out of the day!):
Night Light Couples Devo (this is another 1 minute daily devotion for everyday of the week):
A Couples Devotional (this is a weekly devotion that we read once, answer discussion questions, and use to help us pray over our marriage!):
5. The Wedding Day
Leading up to the wedding it was really important to me that the day of the wedding was not superficially focused. We both were so excited for the wedding day and to have so many people that loved us celebrating with us, but I didn’t want to only focus on the party that day and leave God out of it. The morning of the wedding I woke up a little extra early to have some quiet time with God in prayer, devotion, and listening to Christian music. I felt like I wanted to start my day with God and let Him be woven throughout. Prior to the day I memorized several verses about marriage (that I found from my Bible journaling on marriage) and made a point to repeat them to myself that day while getting ready. The day of our wedding there was such a calmness and joy that filled the morning while getting ready and I really believe starting the day off and weaving God throughout made the entire day worry free.
Here's the little sticky note of verses I tried to memorize pre-wedding!
So there it is, a few of the ways I prepped for our marriage rather than just the wedding. I hope that this helped any of you looking for good pre wedding resources or trying to implement God into your marriage before you’re even married! Let me know if you did anything different leading up to your marriage to prepare :)
Sidenote: the photo used above for this blog cover was taken by Light and Motion Media who did all of our wedding video/photo and are the BEST! Just wanted to give a shout out where it was due! :)