If there's one thing I could never stop talking about with you during our wedding planning process, it's marriage prep.
I LOVE marriage prep and the season of engagement!! It's such unique time and a season of life that is like no other. Living out engagement well is a struggle for many couples, and this time is often filled with questions like, "How do I even do this?", "How can I enter into engagement better without just wishing it was over?", or "How can I prepare for our marriage and not just the wedding day?"
Let me tell you - if you like the idea of talking about this with your wedding photographer, I'm 100% the gal tog for you, haha! I was in your shoes a few years ago, navigating an engagement where we were 2 hours apart and I was living as a missionary on a mountain with veryyy limited cell service. I wanted wholeheartedly to dive into engagement, but whenever my then-fiance and I saw each other, it felt like wedding planning took over a lot of our conversation. We had to seek out very intentional time to actually focus on the preparation aspect. We were blessed to work with a priest who took us deep into the marriage prep process, facilitating the tough conversations and teaching us how to communicate gracefully and clearly - something I am so grateful for to this day.
I know not everyone is able to have such an experience within the pre-cana process, which is a topic that makes my heart ache. Imagine a world full of marriages where couples were guided through talking about the hard things and taught how to communicate within conflict! If I could offer a newly engaged couple any one piece of advice, it would be to find a priest or counselor prior to marriage to facilitate these conversations. Learning how to live together and manage conflict at the same time is not a walk in the park! If you are someone who is seeking to prep for marriage with a little more intention or wanting to enhance your pre-cana, here are 5 resources that I wholeheartedly recommend for couples.
Three To Get Married
If you've made it into engagement and haven't heard of this book yet, I'd be shocked haha. It's popular for a reason!! I love the way Ven. Sheen writes and makes theological concepts accessible to those of us without a theology degree. He talks about causes and solutions to marriage problems, sex, and why our Lord is the primary third person within every marriage. Literally, go read it right now.
The 5 Love Languages
I am a little obsessed with this book. It totally transformed the way my husband and I love each other, and has helped put words to many scenarios where we were feeling a little lacking in our "love tank". Don't just take the test, read this book so that you can develop and understanding of your spouse and what it means to them to be loved!
This is technically a marriage devotional, but Jackie also writes it for couples in the season of engagement. My husband and I really enjoyed this book and the conversations it facilitated between us! I wish we'd read it during engagement since some of the topics we've covered (that's 3 years of marriage for ya), but we'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to go deeper with their spouse to be.
Dear Young Married Couple
Y'all. If I could recommend this podcast to everyone I know, I would (and do). Adam and Klarissa King are Christian marriage therapists who are just incredible!! My husband and I discovered them last year and absolutely love their episodes. They cover everything under the marriage blanket, from childhood wounds to sex to parenting. Even though they aren't Catholic, we've been amazed at how in line with Church teaching many of their episodes are. 10/10 recommend their conversation starter card deck!!
Yes, I know that last one isn't a book, but I had to share! If you also go through these and love them, know that I'm down to chat about them at any time. Happy wedding planning ;)