The Most Important Wedding Planning Detail

I'm sure there are many different opinions from wedding vendors across the globe. Flowers, venue, invitation design, reception entertainment, all are important. While I believe photography ranks at the top of the list, it's not the most important wedding planning detail.

So what is it?

Premarital counseling.

Almost every marrying pastor or officiant will offer, or at least refer, some type of facilitated premarital discussion. A lot of them will require it, especially when the couple wants to get married in their church.

Do you know how to have a discussion without it turning into a fight? Are you able to stay and finish the conversation, instead of storming out of the house, barefoot, and drive away? (Yeah, like no one's ever done that before.) Do you know how to prioritize your life so your marriage is given the attention it requires? How will you talk to your spouse when you have no money, when the kids are driving you nuts, or when work is dragging you down? How many kids will you have? Will you even have children? Are you willing to relocate?

I don't know all the answers, especially after just six years of marriage. One of the biggest regrets in my relationship with Cal is that we did not seek formal premarital counseling. I spent the first year trying to teach Cal how right I was about everything. I can't speak for him, but he was probably shocked to see how I really was when I first woke up. (Ahem, cranky before coffee.) We read Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts, by Les & Leslie Parrott. I read through some of Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian. Those books were wonderful, and they were helpful, but what we really needed was facilitated, constructive discussion.

Whether you're engaged now, about to become engaged, newly married, or you've been married for ages, make sure you're always preparing yourself. Learning how to act and react will save you from a lot of heartache and frustration. Don't take an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach...there is ALWAYS room for improvement.