DIY Premarital Counseling

Did you ask a family member or friend to officiate your wedding? This is a great way to make your ceremony feel intimate and personalized. We asked my fiance’s sister to officiate our wedding. I love that our family member who knows us very well will be the one marrying us. 

The traditional route is not the only route that you can take while planning your wedding. However, it may be nice to incorporate some of aspects of a transitional wedding ceremony into your own ceremony. For example, my fiancé and I plan on reading the traditional vows in addition to our own vows. We also want to do some premarital counseling. I feel like the tradition of premarital counseling is important because it prepares us for the entire reason that the wedding is happening in the first place…our marriage. 

You don’t have to miss out on premarital counseling just because you are not getting married by a religious institution. Try this DIY Premarital Counseling with your fiancé: 

  •   Set aside a couple of blocks of time to sit down with your partner and crack into the book, “1001 Questions to Ask Before Getting Married”. Make it a fun date by bringing some wine and cheese! While you may know your partner’s answers to a lot of the questions already, the questions will spark conversations that go far beyond what is written on on the pages. One of my favorite questions was, “What are some things that you want and do not want to take from your parents relationship?” I discovered that I didn’t even know my own answer to a couple of the questions. The book served another unintended purpose of inspiring self reflection.
  •   Download the book, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. You and your groom can read this simultaneously. You could also download the audiobook and listen to it on your commute to work. Write down some of the passages from the book that really stood out to you and share them with your fiancé. They might also serve as useful material when you help create your wedding ceremony. 
  •   On a lazy Sunday, skim and read passages aloud from the book, “Why Marriages Succeed or Fail” with your fiancé. This author’s research suggests that it is not disagreements that tear apart marriages. Instead, he says that couples tend to get divorced when they have different argument styles. Spark a discussion with your partner about what you think each other’s argument styles are. 
  •   Write down two goals for yourself as a wife during your first year of marriage and have your groom do the same. Then, agree on five goals as a team that you want to achieve during your honeymoon stage of marriage. Select a date each year that you review your goals from the previous year. Have a discussion on that day about what you think that you are doing really well in your marriage and what you think you could be doing better. 
  • Complete a value’s assessment online. Have your fiancé complete the same assessment and then compare and contrast your results. Discuss the implications of these results in your relationship.