small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

our story: preparing for marriage

on August 6, 2011

This is the fifth installment of the story of my relationship with Jonathan. If you missed any part, check them out before reading this one to get the full story. 

1.  our story: the meet-cute

2.  our story: the start of something good

3.  our story: going the distance

4. our story: the proposal

Preparing for Marriage

After the whirlwind of telling family and friends about the proposal, it was time to start planning. I am not much of a planner, so the task was daunting. It took me about a month to get things straight in my head before I started making decisions.

I wanted to get married at the parish where I belonged, as well as volunteered with the youth group, so I went to the church to pencil in a date and get our marriage prep stuff started. I remember stressing out that there wouldn’t be any Saturdays free and than everything would be booked…funny how I can psych myself up for no reason!

After many phone calls and discussions we finalized the date at the church and then began searching for the reception place, my dress, bridesmaid dresses, etc. I was doing all of this while teaching full-time, taking classes to finish my Master’s degree, and getting documents ready to apply for teaching jobs in Indiana. Oh, and Jonathan was 600 miles away! Looking back, that 9 months was probably the busiest of my life as of yet. Just thinking about it is stressful!

In addition to planning for the wedding and reception, we needed to plan and prepare for our marriage. This was the part I loved most about being engaged. We were able to seriously discuss what we wanted our life to look like as a married couple, and start preparing ourselves for it. Our marriage preparation consisted of 3 meetings with Father Tom (the priest at my church who was going to marry us), a marriage prep weekend, our own book studies, and meeting with a Natural Family Planning consultant periodically.

In our meetings with Fr. Tom we took a test where we answered questions about our life goals and our personalities, which we then discussed together with the priest. This was very insightful and started some much needed discussions about things we didn’t talk about previously. He asked us to think about our relationship in terms of a gift to each other, as well as working together to get each other to heaven. I remember him telling us that praying together is essential, as well as practicing selflessness and sacrifice. We also went over the meaning of the vows, which is good so we knew what we were agreeing to!

Our weekend marriage prep was guided by a married couple who gave small talks on different aspects of marriage. We watched some videos and discussed many things throughout the weekend. This was basically a review for us of the things we talked about with Fr. Tom and our own spiritual directors. My favorite part about that weekend was when we wrote letters to each other. I loved reading what he said about why he is excited to marry me!

We also did our own book studies to gain more insight about marriage and to foster more deep discussions about the big commitment we were making. We read Three to Get Married by Fulton Sheen, and Marriage: A Path to Sanctity by Javier Abad. Both books were full of wisdom and advice on how to keep God a part of the relationship, as well as help to live marriage in real, holy ways. I recommend these books to anyone interested in some great insight into the sacrament.

Meeting with the Natural Family Planning consultant was awesome. She was a part of FertilityCare KC and really taught me a lot about my body and helped me to understand more fully the beauty of marriage. I love this because marriage is both unitive and procreative, and NFP embraces both of those elements. Any engaged/married ladies out there who are not familiar with NFP, please check out this website, or just talk to me!!

I felt as the day drew closer, Jonathan and I had a fairly good idea of what we were getting ourselves into. Of course we didn’t know half of what marriage is, but at least we knew enough that we knew we wanted to do this together.

Even with all the stress, anxiety, and business, there was a transcendent peace which made me know that it was all going to be just right.

This picture was taken by our lovely friends Pete and Emily at BelltowerPhoto. Click here to see more from our engagement session!! 

Stay tuned for the next installment of the series! our story: the big day


One response to “our story: preparing for marriage

  1. […] 5. our story: preparing for marriage  […]


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