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 | Mary Gates

Planning your marriage, and the wedding

Wedding planning can seem daunting – keeping things in perspective will help you enjoy the process, the big day and the years that follow.

Recognize the sacrament. The sacraments are distinct and real ways that Jesus enters our lives. The Church seeks to share with you the truth and beauty of what God intends in marriage – enter into your parish’s engagement programs with an open mind and heart. Consider your engagement a time to be students of marriage.

Think big picture – plan the marriage, which starts with a wedding. Take a step back from the Pinterest dream wedding suggestions to consider what will matter long-term. What choices reflect your values? What will you tell your future children about the day? A wedding is most beautiful when the bride and groom make clear they are not simply throwing a party, but rather entering into a new life as one.

Involve your families. Much of the wedding planning stress can come as a result of hard feelings in and between families. Your parents are looking forward to the big day as much as you are, and they have the benefit of hindsight and experience to keep things in perspective. Have you asked for their input and shown that you appreciate their involvement?

Spend wisely. Keeping a budget may seem stressful, but starting your married life in debt will be a burden. Stay within your means!

Pray. Pray with and for your fiancé/fiancée. Marriage is a gift from God – thank him for calling you to this vocation, and ask him for the grace to live it well.