Monday, October 24, 2016

So you're getting married...

Dear Patricia Johns and Patricia Bradley,

I'm about to get married, and I need your advice. I thought getting engaged would be romantic, and it was for about a week, but then the stress started. Everyone has an opinion about everything. The guest list turned out to be longer than anticipated, and I had no idea how much a dress was going to cost until I started trying some on...

So my big day is coming up, and I'm excited, but I'm worried, too. My fiancee and I had our first big fight when his mom started insisting that we invite second cousins from Baltimore, and I made the mistake of calling his mother "overbearing."

I love him so much, but I hate the way we're starting our life together. Advice, please?

Sincerely,

Freaked Out

Photo by Alan Ajifo


Dear Freaked Out,

The wedding is one day, and things will go wrong. Big things will go wrong. In my wedding, someone completely forgot the recorded music for my walk down the aisle. As in, I was standing there in dead silence... and nothing happened. Word was quickly passed that the music was missing, and everyone pulled together and hummed "Here Comes the Bride." It's my sweetest memory from the day... besides the vows, of course.

So here is my advice to you: a successful wedding day isn't the one that is the most photogenic or with the smoothest planning. A successful wedding day is where you say "I do," and he says "I do," and you walk away from it a married couple. I don't care if you're wearing a garbage bag!

So relax. And get married!

Yours truly,

Patricia Johns

Photo by Leffeben



Dear Freaked Out,

Since Patricia Johns covered the wedding, I'm going to give you the marriage advice I wish I'd received :

1. Keep your own identity. It will make you happier and if mamma's happy, everyone is happy.
2. Spend time together creating your memories. 
3. Never, ever vent about your husband to your family when you're angry with him.  You'll get over it, and even forget it, but your family won't. Same thing with your friends. 
4. Make a budget and stick to it. If someone had shown me how to do that, my first marriage might have made it. :-)
5. Have time alone for yourself and allow him time alone for himself. We all need space sometimes.

6. Make a commitment to him and your marriage.

You're going to be fine! I wish you a lifetime of happiness.

Yours truly,

Patricia Bradley

PS. If the cousins from Baltimore get an invitation, what about me and Patricia Johns? ;) We're writers, so you're guaranteed some fantastic toasts... Just putting that out there.


What about YOU? What's the best advice you could give a woman about to get married?

31 comments:

  1. Be nice to your in-laws (even if they're overbearing). Even if you never get to where you love them, he probably does.

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    1. Love that, Liz! My m-i-l lived with us until she passed. Sweet lady.

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  2. My advice is to let it be about you and your fiancé and enjoy every moment! (I do agree with Liz, though! :-))

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  3. My question is if you can't vent about your husband to family or friends, who do you vent to? LOL

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    1. Yeah, know, Pamela. lol. Maybe you write stories. :-)

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    2. I used to keep a journal, but now I tend to sort out my feelings with writing romance novels. ;) It works! LOL!

      And sometimes it helps to say, "Honey, I'm upset. And I'm going to vent somewhere if we can't sort this out..." Fair warning!

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  4. Great and wise advice here, ladies. I'm impressed.

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  5. My advice, when your spouse says something that you find offensive, take the time to find out if that was what they were actually trying to say.
    One persons venting can come across as to the listener as attacking.
    As a defult setting we are only able to interpret what we hear through the collective experiences of our life.

    That being said, family conflict is inevitable. Stay united when making decisions and if you do need to vent in a possibly hurtful way write it ALL down, figure out whats actually bothering you, then burn the paper and tell your spouse whar you concluded.

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    1. Great advice, Anonymous! especially the writing it down and burning it afterwards.

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    2. I like the writing it down to get down to the root of it. And then destroying it before you talk it out. That's smart!

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  6. I was given the advice before marriage to never go to bed on an unresolved argument. It served us well in our 51 year marriage. We learned to talk out and solve any problems that came up in a timely manner.

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    1. Oh, Roz, how wonderful that you could do that. Most of the time my husband thought there was only one right answer--his! :-)

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    2. I can't sleep if we're arguing. So resolving it is a must. LOL! But I like that--resolving things in a timely manner.

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  7. My wedding advice is to elope and skip all the stress. (Okay, so maybe that's what I did and it's worked out perfectly for me.) As for the marriage, I know this might sound a bit cliched, but I would have to go with don't sweat the small stuff and make sure the laughter outweighs the tears.

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    1. Absolutely, Carol. My sister offered her daughter a good deal of money to forgo the big wedding and elope.

      And if you can laugh together, you can get through anything.

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    2. Eloping would be wonderful! As long as the end result is "legally wed," right? ;)

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  8. Before my wedding, just about everything that could go wrong did, including our reception hall burning to the ground two months before the wedding. Maybe it was an omen but the wedding itself was lovely and all the problems will eventually go in a story.

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    1. Oh my goodness! But you got down the aisle. :) That would be a good story!

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  9. I think it's most important to be kind and patient, and demand those things in return. Okay, we can't always be patient, but if we stop to think, we can always be kind. And pick a man with a sense of humor - a lot of times a long the way, laughter is all you've got. P.S. Anonymous is much too wise to remain Anonymous!

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    1. "demand those things in return." So true, Muriel. We do have some control over how we're treated. Love it!

      And I agree about Anonymous. :)

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    2. Hi Ladies,
      I posted as Anonymous, thank you for the complements.
      Truth the be told, I wrote my thoughts during breakfast and was too lazy to figure out how to post with a name attached. lol

      My marriage has had its fair share of obstacles over the years but theven advice I gave it cannot take credit for. I learned it from an author Patricia Johns introduced me to, Shannon Ethridge. In one of her books she makes a comment to the effect of "If you don't know what it is you really want/need, how can you ask your husband for it."
      This thought made a whole other of sense with me and brought about my "write it all down first" habit.
      You can't solve a problem till you know exactly what it is. :)

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  10. Such an excellent post with a lot of advice I wish I had before my wedding. Wedding planning is stressful, but I think that most of the stress comes from high expectations and the image in our minds of what it needs to be like or what we think others (including family) will be expecting. I went through that kind of stress...including dealing with parents wanting to invite more and more people, the one man band/DJ dying of a heart attack a week before the wedding and my mom's purse, which had our honeymoon suite key in it, disappearing from her table. We ended up locked out of our room for hours afterwards lol. But it all turned out okay. That was in 1993 and we're still married. But if I did it over again, I'd keep it super simple...or elope lol. I'd be happy standing on a beach at sunset saying our vows with nothing but nature around us. You know what they say about things (like appliances)...the more complicated the parts, the more chance something can go wrong ;).

    There will always be conflict, especially with family and loved ones. As a little girl, my mom always taught me to 'think before you talk'. Wise advice in a marriage too, because our feelings are most vulnerable with those we've trusted our heart to the most...including spouses.

    In the end, true love gets you through the toughest times. I agree about not sweating the small stuff!

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    1. "Weddings are like appliances..." That's awesome! :D So nicely put!

      And such good marriage advice, too.

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    2. Weddings are like appliances. :) I love it! So nicely put, Rula!

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  11. Take time to rest and stay centered with your faith, fiance and family.
    Remember it is just one day in the rest of your life. smile

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