For My Brides ◦ Marriage

I’ve been blessed to witness many, many weddings. More than the setting, the decor, the cake…hands down, the most beautiful thing at a wedding is when you know that the bride & groom care more about their marriage than their wedding.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty obvious that I’m a sucker for weddings. I adore weddings. I adore gorgeous details, happy moments and the celebrations we get to be a part of. But along with that, my prayer for our couples is always that, as they spend their engagement picking out flowers, writing vows and trying on beautiful dresses, that they are also planning and working towards their marriage. The lifetime that is after the wedding day.

Marriage is life’s greatest adventure and I get to walk, run and skip my way along that journey with my very best friend. But let’s be real, as much as you want to hug, laugh and spend time with your best friend…every once in a while you kind of want to kick them in the shins. Lightly.

As Matt & I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary this year, I was reflecting back on our engagement, our preparation for marriage and these last 5 years, as we’ve learned (and are learning!) how to be married.

A few marriage resources that Matt & I have enjoyed along our journey so far.

First and foremost, pre-marital counseling. While I look back and remember the things we discussed during our pre-marital counseling, I think some of the things we thought may be issues, never were and some things we never thought would be issues, were harder once we were married. Regardless, I think it was so beneficial because it opened us up to things we hadn’t considered and started out our marriage with open communication.

We read Love & Respect during our engagement and it was so helpful. Something I still refer to 5 years later.

We started listening to these marriage podcasts from Mars Hill just last week in our small group and I think they are some of the most honest, in depth & straightforward sermons on marriage we’ve ever heard. I listened to the Wives sermon with the ladies in our group while the men listened to the sermon for Husbands and Matt & I both came home practically talking over each other about how much we had both learned. I think the content applies equally to those who’ve been married a long time as well as those preparing for marriage. Definitely worth listening to!

When we started studying The Five Love Languages with our couples small group a couple months ago, we took little quizzes to find out what our love languages are. Which I think everyone should take! (click here). Upon completing mine I was a bit shocked because they were different than what I thought they were. I then smugly walked over and asked Matt to tell me what my top 2 love languages are. Readers, you are not supposed to ask your spouse questions where you are setting them up to fail at the answer so you can gloat. However, I didn’t follow my own advice and asked (all high & mighty) if he might possibly think he had a chance at knowing the answer. And this is where my excitement at future gloating turned to “oh” said very quietly while walking away with head down. It took him all of .005 seconds to answer. And no, he didn’t get just the first one right. He listed all 5 in the order I had just read on the results. Without looking.

So I now recommend this book because it’s how I found out that my husband knows how to love me better than I even knew how to ask for love. And because it shut me up when I was trying to gloat. At least that one time!

Do you have any great marriage resources? I’d love to hear about them!

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Kristyn Hogan photographs spirited, fresh, timeless weddings in Nashville and destinations worldwide.