Tuesday, December 13

things to know BEFORE the wedding

i thought i'd make this list because, number one, IF i have a daughter someday (hopefully only one, if i do...), there are certain things i loved about my wedding and was really grateful to know and a few things i wish had been thought of. and number two, i think there are mothers or soon-to-be brides out there who also should be aware of these things.

so here we go. 

1. be sure to enjoy the day, (as cliché as that sounds) reminding yourself that despite the hassle it might be to interact with the endless numbers of guests (including several you may not know well or even at all), this is maybe the only day in your whole life that so many people will be celebrating only you and your companion. i found that after the festivities--which i had not necessarily been looking forward to--i wished the reception had been longer. looking back, it truly was the only time i have been given so much attention from members of my church, family, and friends. and although i tend to dislike attention, particularly in large groups, it felt nice to have the spotlight on Dalin and me for a few hours. so soak it up for the day.

2. talk to your future husband about the honeymoon before the honeymoon. yes, this sounds kind of awkward or even obvious, but it really needs to be done. i don't really want to go into this, but you and your future companion need to talk about this. sometimes it's hard, but it truly helps ease nerves, and gives you an idea of what to expect, and anything you can work out beforehand, so that your first weeks together can be stress-free and enjoyable. don't be afraid to ask each other questions or for advice. truly, try not to be embarrassed...after one day of being married, you already will begin to overcome any shyness or apprehensions you may have had before. President Spencer W. Kimball said, 
“The Bible makes plain that evil, when related to sex, means not the use of something inherently corrupt but the misuse of something pure and good. It teaches clearly that sex can be a wonderful servant but a terrible master: that it can be a creative force more powerful than any other in the fostering of love, companionship, and happiness, or can be the most destructive of all life’s forces.”

3. do NOT listen to all that you are told about the honeymoon. this includes information from friends, family, roommates, and especially the internet. especially if they have not been married themselves because you'll find that your situation is probably (most likely) completely different from theirs. i promise you that most of the things that you hear will be incorrect for you. i was fairly naive and had a lot of questions for all of the types of persons and other sources mentioned above. most of what i was told made me incredibly nervous and afraid. i felt intimidated and more anxiety than ever. because of this, i cannot stress the importance of developing a positive and accurate attitude regarding marital intimacy. go to a pre-marital course, like the one offered at BYU-Idaho or by a trained doctor. once you have correct facts and views, you will feel much more ready to face what is coming and learn that uncorrected fear [of pain] can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

4. if, like Dalin and myself, you were engaged after a rather short period of time, you may feel you need to justify yourself, or even deflect rumors that you're only doing it because you're "probably pregnant" or something as thick as that. don't feel as though you need to justify your pending marriage. for most people, when you know, you know. the Spirit will tell you, and probably not everyone else. stop caring about what other people think unless they have a truly valid reason to make you question yourself. if people think you're demented, they are most likely jealous, or they have no understanding of you, your circumstances, or your relationship. many of those potentially criticizing you, might find themselves in similar situations and won't they feel silly when they are receiving the same treatment from others.

5. here is some of Dalin's advice: keep notes about what they tell you in the temple. if you think you will be too busy to do it yourself at some point during the day, give a notebook and pen to a close friend or relative who will be present, but preferably not your parents--they'll want to enjoy the moment for themselves. if you are unable to do this, take a minute to make some notes in a journal before going out to take pictures. after pictures, you'll be too flustered to remember the key parts of your ceremony. 

6. speaking of pictures, try to enjoy the picture-taking. it sounds impossible because you have to tolerate a lot of group photos with various families, but make sure you take a break to take some fun ones with your spouse. as you've heard endlessly, the best way to remember your wedding day is through the pictures, and it does go by fast enough. i actually wish i had taken the time to plan out some pictures of the two of us together. i also wish i had some nice bridal photos, featuring in more detail my ring, bouquet, and especially my dress. so: plan ahead, and have patience with the photographers. 

7. plan through each day of your honeymoon. this does not mean that you have to stick to your plan! but it is my advice to have one. know what places or activities you would like to go to and participate in each day and have an idea of some places to eat. you don't need to go to gourmet restaurants each day, and it would be a waste to do so. think of ways to save money and still have a nice time. Dalin and i stayed close to home (well close to home for me) but we enjoyed our unique honeymoon and i was able to share many memories from my past with Dalin and we made plenty of our own as we tried new things together. 

8. register for gifts at a few places. this basically sums itself up. if you get duplicates, most places are pretty good about returns. even if you don't know where something came from, wal-mart, target, and bed bath and beyond are safe bets. sometimes they'll just take it if they aren't sure. registering is time-consuming and probably should be done before announcements even, so that you can make mention of your registries in the announcement....a word to the wise....

9. this goes along with the last two notes: request a few restaurant giftcards. whether they come from friends, your parents--whomever--we felt so grateful to have a number of $25 giftcards to some common local restaurants (such as Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Applebee's, and others). they held us over for at least one nice meal a day and we didn't feel the strain of paying each time. i would highly suggest doing this. 

well, that's all i will advise for now. you might check back in for any additions, as i'm sure other things will occur to me. best wishes!