Although a lot of us who serve as marriage therapists, counselors and coaches are probably seen as "relationship firefighters" more than anything else (you know, because we're called upon to "fix a fire" more than prevent one), if you're currently engaged, I hope that you will get into some extensive premarital counseling. Many studies support the fact that couples who participate in it have a 30 percent greater success rate in their nuptials than those who don't. If you happen to go to a professional who is truly invested in your relationship, hopefully, they'll provide you with tips like the one that I am about to share with you—free of charge.
While more and more couples are ditching the (on average) $35,329 wedding day price tag and going with small or even tiny weddings (that are sooo much cheaper), one thing that continues to be a part of the wedding planning process is putting together a wedding registry. According to Martha Stewart, this is a practice that should never go out of style, for a few reasons. For one thing, a wedding registry makes it easier for your guests to know what you need and want. A wedding registry also prevents you from getting duplicates of things. Another benefit is it helps your guests to be able to contribute within their budget.
Not to say that everyone opts for a toaster or blender these days. Two things that have been pretty popular for a while now are honeymoon registries and newlywed subscription boxes. But the one thing that is slowly making its way to becoming really popular that I'm personally a huge fan of is a marriage registry. What in the world is that?
What Exactly Is a Marriage Registry?
You can read articles on the site like "6 Challenges All Newlyweds Should Expect In Their First Year Of Marriage", "What 5 Men Had To Say About Married Sex" and "What Should You Do If You Feel Like You Married The Wrong Person?" (for starters) to know that, over here, we love marriage; we celebrate it too (see "10 Wonderful Reasons Why Consistent Sex In Marriage Is So Important" and "10 Married Couples Share The Keys To Their Totally Off-The-Chain Sex Life" and "These 7 Married Men Have Some Marriage Myths They Want To Debunk"). That doesn't mean that we also don't profess that marriage is serious, it requires a lot of mutual and consistent investing, and it's certainly not for punks. Not even a little bit.
And since a set of champagne flutes or some new linen is not what's gonna get you and yours through the tough times—ones that are sure to come—as you're in the process of putting your wedding registry together, I strongly recommend that you create a marriage registry too. If you've never heard of it before, a marriage registry is a list of non-tangible items.
Meaning, instead of it being something that you can put into a room of your house or spend on something that you'd like to do or have, a marriage registry is all about figuring out what type of emotional, spiritual and relational support that you will need once you and yours actually make it official.
When I went to a page that provides examples of items that you can put on your marriage registry, there was a slew of things to choose from. Some of the ones that stood out to me are these:
Relationship Sage: A long-married friend or family member who can offer first-hand advice about how to keep a marriage healthy.
Prayer Partner: A friend or family member who is willing to lend spiritual support and encouragement by praying with you and your spouse and praying for your marriage.
Double Daters: Married friends who are willing to get together for a double date or other group activities.
Personal Finance Tipster: A friend or family member to whom the couple can go for help navigating their personal finances, setting a budget, saving and investing, etc.
Counseling Confidante: A friend or family member who has been through relationship therapy, marriage counseling, etc. and who can offer practical advice and encouragement.
Head Cheerleader: A friend or family member who celebrates your successes and offers encouragement as you strive toward your goals.
Sparring Coach: A friend or family member who is willing to work with one or both partners to help them learn healthy ways to argue and how to resolve conflicts before they become fights.
Comic Relief: A friend or family member who's quick with a joke and can inject some levity into serious proceedings.
How cool is this? I mean, really. It actually co-signs on something that I sometimes hear pastors say during wedding ceremonies; something that rings so very true. If you're invited to a wedding and you decide to go, it shouldn't be because you don't have anything better to do on a Saturday or Sunday, or because you wanna see what folks are going to wear or who else is going to be in attendance. Weddings are sacred because marriages are.
So, by attending, not only are you stating that you are in full agreement with two people joining their lives together (if you're not, why are you going?), you're also professing to lend your encouragement and support so that their union remains intact.
A marriage registry is one way to commit to being a part of a couple's support system.
The whole concept of a marriage registry actually puts me in mind of something that I typically present to couples who plan on jumping the broom—"276 Questions to Ask Before You Marry". Whenever I pull it out and one or both people say, "276 questions?!", I'm always like, "I mean, you did say married…for the rest of your life, didn't you?" If that's what you and yours want to do, the more prepared that you are on the front end, the better. The. Better.
That's just one more reason why a marriage registry is so bomb. It's a reminder that while a wedding registry is all about your wedding day, a marriage registry is about your marriage; it's about getting some of the things that you're going to need that tangible items ain't gonna be able to help with.
So, there you have it. There goes my commercial for why I think engaged couples, newlywed couples and even married couples who are just now hearing about a marriage registry should have one. If it's something that you're totally down with, click here for the registry that I referred to earlier.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a team to keep a marriage strong and solid. I think a marriage registry is a step in the right direction of marital preparation. How about you?
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