Getting married has been one of the best decisions l have made in my life. And l love the memories from our wedding day.
This year, over 2 million couples will get married. Friends, family, and loved ones of the bride and groom will be in attendance. The weddings will be well planned and unique to each couple. For the guests, it will be a great time to support the bride and groom as their journey together begins. If you are getting married this year, congratulations!
As someone who likes to observe and learn from events, I have been thinking about the marriage lessons we can all learn from weddings. Here is what I learned.
1. Plan, prepare, and work hard for your marriage
Every wedding I have attended involved a lot of planning, preparation and hard work. These three things play a huge role in how successful the wedding will be.
If you plan, prepare and work hard for your marriage, the chance of your marriage ending in divorce is considerably reduced.
Usually, a lot of couples forget the hard work (like becoming selfless, empathetic listening and putting your spouse's needs before your wants), required to make a marriage work.
2. Find the best resources you need to have a great marriage
Throughout every wedding l have attended, I observed the best products and items used for the ceremony. Such as the wedding dress, bridesmaid gowns, photographers and the cake.
For example, the design, taste and look of the wedding cake are made with expertize and some of the best products on the market. Who wants a disappointing cake for their wedding day? No one.
Don't be afraid to invest in your marriage. How successful will your marriage be if you spend the same or even a fraction of the amount of money you spent on your wedding for your marriage?
3. Hire experts to help your marriage when the need arises
Whenever an engaged couple plans their wedding, they hire experts to help with the wedding. An example would be hiring a wedding photographer. Even if you are on a tight budget, you want to make sure the memories are captured by someone who knows what they are doing.
Experts can also assist you during latter parts of your marriage. When tough times arise between you and your spouse and you are not making any progress, consider hiring a marriage counselor or coach to help you resolve your problems.
4. You can't do it alone
It takes more than one person to get married, and this is a great reminder that the success of your marriage does not depend on you only, but also your spouse. Work together with your spouse on the issues, problems and struggles that may arise in your marriage.
5. Don't be afraid to rent
A lot of weddings take place in a rented venue, or with a rented wedding dress, tuxedo, furniture, etc. So don't be in a rush to buy your first home. Rent if that's the best choice for your financial situation.
My wife and l have been renting our home for years. It's been a great choice as we have moved for a number of reasons.
6. Smile, dance and laugh with your spouse
Weddings are filled with a lot of excitement and laughter. Guests eat together, share jokes, have different conversations, and display their dancing skills.
Enjoy your marriage by remembering to laugh and smile together every day. Eat together, share a joke or two, and dance together like you did on your wedding day.
7. Plan your finances
Before a wedding takes place, the soon-to-be-married couple decides how much will be spent on the wedding.
This budgeting tool will become very handy in your married life. Financial issues are the root cause of arguments between spouses and many divorces. With that being said, the quick you both learn to handle your money as a team, the better.
8. Expect the unexpected
Things don't always go as planned on the wedding day. However, you will find different ways to make your wedding day a success. The same goes with marriage.
Your spouse will change over time. What he/she used to love doing before you got married could change. Adjust and support your spouse as they grow, mature and become a better person.
We all want to believe that nothing bad will ever happen and we will get to live happily ever after. The truth is life is full of surprises. Unexpected pregnancies, the loss of a family member or sicknesses can occur. Being able to lean on each other and having some sort of plan for the unexpected will help your marriage stay afloat through rough seas.
9. Communicate often
Communication is vital to the success of planning a wedding. From the beginning to the end. Don't stop speaking to one another. And continue to do so even after your wedding day.
Communication issues can make or break a marriage. Learn how to listen to your spouse and understand where they are coming from as much as they do for you.
10. Have little to no criticism
I have yet to observe a wedding that involved criticism, especially the negative kind. When you criticize your spouse, let it be constructive. Negative criticism will increase resentment in your marriage. Show your spouse you appreciate him/her, just like you did on your wedding day.
If you are struggling or want to improve your marriage, start by applying these lessons in your relationship today.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared on Huffington Post. It has been republished here with permission.