Wedding Planning 101

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I recently became engaged and entered the vast world of wedding planning. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever imagine the details (and the costs!) that go into planning the “perfect day.” From “Save the Date cards” to reception favors, planning a wedding can be a daunting task. I see how one can become so involved in the details that they forget about the big picture. Although I grew up dreaming that I’d have an elaborate wedding, replete with a horse drawn carriage, I have come to the realization that it’s the love I share with my fiancé and the commitment we have to each other that will endure after the invitations are thrown away, (because only the bride is interested in framing one), the “I do’s” are done, and the band has stopped playing. Working on the ACHMI project has opened my eyes to the value of marriage education and its positive impact on strengthening marriages. How do we manage conflicts? How do we balance home and work? Do we have the foundation necessary to build a successful marriage that will inspire generations to come? I have come to value not the how, or the where, or the when, of getting married but rather the WHO. Who is this person that I have decided to marry? Who is this person that I am pledging a lifetime commitment to? Who is this person I want to grow old with, working in our garden while our grandchildren run around in the yard? Unfortunately, neither the calligrapher nor the caterer will be there to help us with these questions along the way. Rather than focusing on the details of the wedding day, I’d rather focus on the details of our relationship. So despite the lure of hand-crafted invitations, elaborate cakes, and designer dresses, my focus has shifted from planning a DAY to planning a LIFETIME.

Eugenia Parrett, M.Ed.

Graduate Research Assistant, Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative

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