What’s Even Better than Planning a Wedding

Oh, my heart!  I know it’s Friday but this post has been on my heart to share for awhile.  So many of you have been so sweet to ask how Derek and I’s wedding planning has been going!  It’s really starting to feel like the wedding is coming soon, which is great :)  And I want to share more about it!  But I couldn’t share about our wedding without sharing this first.

I love weddings, but I love marriage more.

I’ve never been at this stage to start to understand marriage, but now that I’m here, I’m seeing with a fresh perspective.

All the details of a wedding matter, but it’s the details of a life lived together that is most important.  

Derek and I realized this early on in our engagement.

Prior to engagement, we had been working on a major issue in our relationship, about big picture logistics that we couldn’t seem to agree on.  We thought we had come to an agreement, but really, we always ended up smoothing things over when we talked about it without really diving into the deeper issue.  A good friend gave me advice in our engagement season saying, “Whenever you talk around an issue and can’t get out of it, it’s because you didn’t address the root.”  So we learned to do that.  We did engagement counseling.  And we did something that may seem a little crazy: we pushed back our wedding date 4 months, just to give us more time to sort it out.

We realized at that time that planning the wedding wasn’t important, but building the foundation of our life.

I talked to so many engaged couples who encouraged me that engagement can be a hard season at times – and if we work through issues that come up during engagement it sets us up for a really sweet start to marriage.

I asked Derek to write a little something for you guys too, about his perspective on having a longer engagement season:

“I feel when you’re able to be in a “committed” engagement period, often a person’s true colors are able to shine through, both good and bad, as they no longer feel they are in the “advertising” period of dating.  The engagement period can make partners feel secure and often times allow for natural behaviors to come out.

Also, the longer engagement period allows couples to learn how to do real conflict that they would see in the commitment phase of marriage.  I think it’s important for both parties to realize how their partner does conflict prior to typing the knot.  Conflict is inevitable, and what’s most important here is that each spouse has the capacity to be teachable and moldable to achieve a healthy conflict style.”

Those have been beautiful benefits of our engagement season!  All the time we’ve had to do life together has brought so much grace into our lives.

And this is the piece that we lose so often when we’re so focused on finding our dress or picking out the colors of the flowers.  During engagement, we’re not juts planning a wedding, but we’re also learning to do life with someone, have disagreements, and share in the vision of our future life.

I just wanted to write this post to give you permission to live your real story, and to know we’re living ours.  We’ve learned how to be honest and real and support each other, sacrifice for one another, and pursue God together as we start this beautiful adventure.  And we’re not perfect – we’re very different at times and we have to work through those differences.  But every time we do we see what grace looks like, and why marriage is so beautiful.


I hope this encourages you, that just because you’re engaged, it doesn’t all have to be perfect to be beautiful.

For me, our love is real because of our whole journey together.  And THAT is what my heart will be rejoicing in on our wedding day!

And can confess something?  I’m actually more excited about our life than our wedding day.  And I guess that’s a good thing.  It just feels weird for a photographer to admit.  I’m more excited picking out our house decor than our wedding decor.  I’m ready to do life together and dream together and live the life God is calling us to.

I’ll share more about our wedding plans soon – but I hope our story has encouraged you to build into your marriage while you’re still sorting out all the beautiful details of your day!


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A life filled with gratitude begins with finding thankfulness in the small moments