6 Lessons I Learned In 6 Months Of Marriage

Today marks a half-year since G and I said “I do” in front of our loved ones and God. Honestly, I cannot believe it has only been six months. A lot has happened during that time including a career shift for G, both of us enrolling into coursework, a new truck and house, an adorable nephew, and all the other thrills of being newlyweds with busy schedules. While enjoying sushi at our favorite restaurant on Friday, we reminisced about all of our milestones since the wedding. The ink is barely dry on the marriage certificate, but we are excited for the next memory we’re able to make in this adventure.

One thing we had fun talking about over dinner was what we’ve learned so far as newlyweds. Some were foretold during marriage counseling and illuminated during our few months as newlyweds, others we’ve uncovered on our own. We have learned a lot in this short amount of time, and I can only imagine how much more we have to discover.

1. Eat At the Dining Table together

When we married, G and I had set a goal to eat at our dining table together for the majority of our meals. Though this has not been a priority as of late, we still aim to sit together when we eat. With our hectic schedules this means we may not technically eat together but we try to make sure when one of us is enjoying a meal the other is sitting down in “active togetherness.”

I am a big proponent that relationships flourish over food. When you’re sitting down with your spouse, family, or friends, you are savoring every flavor and topic of conversation. Sitting together at our dining table/coffee table/counter top allows G and I to catch up on the day’s happenings and weekly goals. Or maybe vent, rant, and what have you, which is also just as important. Make sure you opt for open time to discuss any and every topic while having dinner — or any available meal — together.

2. Remember You Are Always Team Number One

Marriage means having a teammate in every situation. Are you having issues with work or maybe with a friend/family member? Your spouse should be your key point of communication when needing to talk things through. That may mean giving some tough love and providing valuable insight when your partner is in the wrong. Or maybe its being emotional support as your partner works out a solution. Either way, you are one another’s team members first and foremost.

Luckily, you probably have more than your spouse as your “Life Teammates.” However, sometimes you will need to narrow your team to only two people: you and your spouse. Do you have family members giving advice on how to handle a situation with your kids? Maybe you are giving too much time to an extracurricular activity outside your marriage? Whatever the case, if you see (or are told) by your spouse that they need you to take their side, DO IT.

Being a good teammate comes in a variety of circumstances too. You may need to voice your spouse’s opinion for them to an opposing team (i.e. telling a family member that you appreciate their advice, but this specific situation is strictly between you and your spouse.) Or it may mean putting an extracurricular on the sideline to be present for your spouses’s needs. There are a lot of different reasons your partner may need you to step up your “marriage game” so be on the lookout for red flags and pull your weight.

3. Pick Your Fights

I know this is one I mentioned back during our marriage counseling days, but it is still so good! Little arguments are bound to happen in any relationship. However, not every squabble needs to be a blown-out smash. Consider if making an offensive or defensive statement will help or hinder the issue at hand. If you’re saying or doing something to cause harm to your spouse, then you don’t have the best for your relationship in mind. The same goes if you’re attempting to elevate yourself or your objective. Remember, you are a team!

Some fights are better off just letting go for the benefit of everyone involved. Ultimately, you and your spouse have the same goal(s). Learn to choose your battles well and let any unnecessary issues drop to the wayside.

4. Be One Another’s Cheerleaders

One of the best parts of marriage is knowing you have a personal cheering squad in your spouse. Whether you achieve your goals or fall a bit short… Your spouse is behind you to encourage and uplift all your endeavors. Be open to sharing all your achievements with your loved one, and also freely share those little goals you haven’t quite reached yet. More likely than not, your spouse will provide the motivation, encouragement, and advice needed to reach all your milestones.

This is particularly necessary in those instances you are being hard on yourself. Take the love and adoration your spouse gives you to heart! He or she chose you and continues to choose you every single day, and that in itself should be praise enough even when you might not be feeling especially high in self-esteem.

5. Learn To Be Selfless

One of the biggest learning curves both G and I have struggled with in our marriage is something I think humanity as a whole struggles with: putting someone else’s needs before your own.

Personally, it is so easy to get caught up in my own schedule and bucket list that including my husband into the equation took a lot of self-control and mindfulness. G praised me on Friday for my effort though, and I was proud to hear I’ve been making headway in this arena of our relationship. (Insert pat on the back.) It took some practice to eliminate criteria off my weekly planner, but I did so knowing time with G was more important. In the same respect, G has gotten so much better at putting aside his perfectionism and goal-oriented mindset to sit back and relax every now and again. We compromise and enjoy common interests much more often than we go do something only one of us enjoys. It really has become the best of both worlds!

Actively attempt to put your spouse’s needs above your own while not forgetting to be an individual. You’ll be amazed at the new things you gain interest in and the adventures you and your partner can share when you prioritize your time together.

6. Enjoy the Little Things

Last but not least, my last piece of advice is a common phrase from one of my favorite movies: Zombieland. Enjoy the little things in life. Together.

G and I are still in the process of organizing our new home. We don’t fold the laundry every weekend, and we forget to dust sometimes. I don’t spend as much time reading as I’d like, and G isn’t able to work on his truck during his free time. Though that time might be a quick 30 minute viewing of my latest cooking-show binge or lounging on the couch playing cards, G and I make time for each other every day. While we certainly have our separate activities and we make time for our friends and family, finding quality time together is our number-one priority. And one we take very serious.

Fellow newlyweds, do you have any lessons to add to the following list? Everyone has different experiences, and I would love to hear yours. Please feel free to share in the post’s comment section below.

Until next time, friends,

Reblog: Six Questions That Will Radically Change Your Marriage

There is no greater joy than those nights when I get off work, go home, and spend time with my husband. I am relishing being a homebody. I love having empty nights to relax and simply work on making our house a home. I am completely happy having no set schedule to my life. Saying those words out loud is odd. Given who I had been for so many years — that girl with every evening planned, every weekend booked, every second determined — I sometimes feel lost in the simplicity of my life these days. However, as I use some of my free time reading, I am more and more aware that this phase in my life, just as my phase before, will come and go sooner or later. Sometime in the future my schedule will begin to be flagged with children’s events, school outings, and motherly duties. I’m extremely excited for that future, but also very reluctant to let go of my current phase.

G and I have discussed this concept of changing phases a lot lately. Our schedules may not be packed with external events, but our “Home Projects” list grows daily. It seems that no matter the season of Life, we are always busy. Even if that means my busyness is confined to the walls of my house. As G and I continue to prepare our marriage to be the best and happiest possible, we want to intentionally connecting to one another as well as to our Lord. However, that goal is a very difficult thing to measure. Luckily, we ran across this amazing post by Justin Davis of RefineUs on how he and his wife intentionally connect in the chaos of Life, and I didn’t feel I could define “intentional connection” better. Please enjoy what Justin and his wife, Trish, do weekly to better their marriage…

Life is busy. Trish and I used to think that the “next” season of life would be less hectic, less stressful, less busy than our current season. Life doesn’t seem to get less busy with time; it only picks up steam. It is easy to go days, weeks and even months without intentionally connecting with your husband or wife. You live in the same house, but stop sharing life together. It’s gradual. It’s incremental. It happens to the best of marriages. What if you could help your marriage be more about relationship and less about business?  It’s easy to know our spouse’s schedule and forget about their  heart. These six questions will recalibrate your marriage.

1. How can I serve you this week?

You want to capture the heart of your spouse, ask this question on Sunday night. It’s easy to focus on our to-do list. We have plans; we have deadlines; we have obligations. But we open up a new level of intimacy in our marriage when we ask our spouse how we can place their needs ahead of our own.

2. What has you stressed or anxious?

Is there a question that communicates care and concern more than this question? When you ask this question, you are inviting your spouse to be vulnerable with you. You are also communicating to them, “You’re not alone. I’m in this with you.”

3. What is the most important thing you need to accomplish this week?

Unspoken expectations are always unmet expectations. Most of the conflict we experience in marriage derive from unmet expectations. If you know what your spouse needs to get done in a given week, you can be an ally for them in that process. I always appreciate when Trish asks me this question. It let’s me know that she is interested in the details of my week.

4. What can we do to grow closer to God this week?

Busyness is often the biggest obstacle to intimacy with God. When my life gets busy, the first thing I give up is time with God. It is sad, but true. As a husband and wife grow closer to God, they grow closer to one another. Maybe there are spiritual connections you’re not making with one another simply because you’re not asking this question.

5. What are we doing on our next date night?

If you don’t plan a date night then you probably won’t have a date night. For us, Fridays are days we have off and our kids are in school. On Thursday, one of us will ask, “What do you want to do tomorrow?” It helps us be intentional about making one another a priority.

6. How can I pray for you?

Our prayers are the most intimate conversations we have. We share parts of our heart with God that we don’t share with anyone else. When we invite our spouse into this part of our lives, we exponentially grow the intimacy level of our relationship. So often we think it’s something BIG that will give us a great marriage. The truth is, it is a few small things that will make a HUGE difference. Take 30 minutes, ask your spouse these questions and see if you don’t see a few changes in your marriage this week. What questions would you add to the list? 

Written by Justin Davis on September 9, 2018. Find the original post here.

For all my married couples out there, what have you learned throughout your days/months/years of marriage? My readers and I would love to hear your advice as well.

With you and for you,

Reblog: Millennial & Married: What I’ve Learned Six Months In

My church began a new Bible study today and it is called Married People Connect. As I’m sure you can guess, this study is for married couples and involves small table groups of varying aged couples to offer insight, advice, and encouragement for strong and happy marriages. G and I were both excited for this new step in our marriage and look forward to growing together with fellow members of our congregation.

This new study also brings e-Zines to our emails full of inspirational blog posts, vlogs, and date-night ideas. The most recent e-Zine included the following article written by Forrest Fyre, and I thought it was not only well-written but also on-point for my own marriage. As a millennial, marriage has a different look than it has for any other generation, but it also brings the same difficulties that all marriages face. I loved the honesty this author portrays over his young marriage, and couldn’t have said the words better myself. Enjoy!

In the summer of 2017, I made one of my boldest decisions yet. I committed myself in holy matrimony to the most beautiful woman I have ever known.

My heart was happier than ever before. I couldn’t have been more sure. And yet, the Millennial inside of me was wondering what on earth I was doing.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned six months into marriage as a Millennial. I think they’ll be helpful for others going into marriage as well.

1. I am a 24 year-old guy.

This is just a fact. Marriage hasn’t teleported me to a distant world where I am a wise old sage. And thank God it hasn’t! It’s been only a year since I graduated college. I have no business acting like I know everything now just because I’m married.

But I have learned so much already. I do feel myself maturing. Remembering my age has served both as a way to show myself grace and a reminder of my need to keep learning.

2. Getting married early is not normal for Millennials

It’s been fascinating to look at what other people my age are doing and feel how “against-the-grain” being married has been as a millennial. However, I’d say that I fit the Millennial stereotype pretty closely.

I work at a tech start-up in Boulder, CO. I love traveling, music, social media, and all that other “hipster” stuff. In fact, what I find to be different about being married is not what I’m into, but that I always have my wife to do it with.

Many millennials suffer from the pressure to portray the “best” of their lives on social media. And why? For others to see. I almost feel as if there is this awful mentality that “if you don’t show yourself looking good doing it, it didn’t happen.”

Not every Millennial fits this stereotype. But being married has freed me from this pressure. Everything I do is shared with my wife. There’s no need to prove anything to anyone. If I have the memories of living large with my wife, that’s good enough for me.

3. Marriage doesn’t solve all of your problems.

Don’t look at marriage as a solution to your problems, but as an opportunity to serve and love, despite your problems. I tried my best to refrain from thinking of marriage as a solution, but I still found myself thinking of it that way.

The truth is, I don’t have less problems since being married. I just have different problems. The reality is that I am responsible for the person I bring to my marriage. I cannot expect my wife to be responsible for fixing my flaws.

If you go into marriage thinking it will solve your mistakes, habits and addictions, you are setting your spouse up to be nothing more than a tool for your own, selfish ambitions. The first step for me was to realize what my problems were, and take ownership for them.

Marriage is not the solution to these problems. But it is helpful to have a companion to help reflect what’s hard for me to see in myself and support me in growing in those challenges. It was hard at first to get used to working out my problems in the presence of my wife. But I’ve realized that it helps to have honesty and trust with her in the process.

A helpful perspective we’ve had in our marriage is this—expect the other to bring their junk to the table. Desire always for them to grow from it and be willing to serve and love them despite all of it.

4. I’m selfish in ways I never recognized.

Selfishness is almost always at the root of an argument. The hardest, but most honest question I still trying to ask myself during fights is, “how am I being selfish in this?” Why can’t being humble be as easy as being stubborn?

It’s rare that I find myself not being selfish in some way. And if I’m not, the next question is, “how can I be more patient?” Or “how can I forgive and forget better?” I never knew I was so selfish about little things like home decor, food storage and grocery shopping. Thankfully, we are always learning how to argue more efficiently and with less unnecessary low-blows.

Fun fact I’ve learned: Being the one who gets out more words in an argument doesn’t make you more right.

5. I am 100% free to be myself.

Since getting married, I still go to the skatepark. I still dream big. I still rock climb after work. I still make it to social events and enjoy late-night live concerts. Marriage hasn’t put a pressure on me to change who I naturally am.

The best part is that I have a wife that loves doing most of these things with me. The key is we were honest to each other before we got married. We fell in love with our real selves because we chose to be our real selves.

Marriage has prompted me to constantly better myself—as a husband, listener, encourager, and a provider. That’s nothing different from what I’ve already felt through dating. Neither of us expect to be married and never see any change in the other.

6. Friends are important.

When we got married, we found it was tricky balancing married life with friend time. We try to be as intentional as possible about pursuing time with our mutual friends. It comes down to being OK with not having certain evenings together.

I’ve learned to prioritize my time with my wife first. Then intentionally establish time with my friends. It’s easier to become isolated from people, so having a conversation to set expectations and boundaries around time with friends was really helpful.

7. Work as a team with your finances.

As newlyweds, my wife brought good budgeting and saving skills to the table. I brought survival tactics, which were not very helpful. We came from two very different financial lifestyles. It was rough getting our strategy figured out at first.

Thankfully, we have figured out some ways to be a team. Talking with others we trust and those with experience about handling finances has been super helpful. I recommend starting a budget first and then creating a plan to pay off any debt you may have.

8. Plan your meals.

This one should have been more obvious to me. But after both being single for the last six years, we are both painfully disappointed with how quickly food disappears.

We are still learning our way around meal planning and grocery shopping. Nailing down a meal strategy will help us have more food, consistently and at less expense.

Cook together as much as possible! It’s healthier and good for building patience with each other. Also, the outcomes are usually delicious.

9. Comparison kills.

Comparison is a thief. It robs you of joy while you waste time wishing you had something else. Marriage is a dangerous area to allow comparison.

When it comes to comparison, we’ve had to draw a line in the sand. We are just as capable of comparing ourselves to others as we have ever been. And we are aware of the danger in that.

One night, we talked through some of the areas we felt like we were struggling with comparison. We made mutual decisions on where the two of us stood. We agreed to be content and confident in our personal decisions and have felt much better ever since.

I recommend being intentional about voicing any comparisons you feel so you can battle it out and remove it together. Feeling confident about your decisions as a couple is the best. Be sure these conversations don’t get overlooked early on.

10. Save water, shower together.

Pretty simple. Shower together. It’s fun and saves water.

Written by Forrest Fyre on December 26, 2017. Find the original post here.

For all my married couples out there, what have you learned throughout your days/months/years of marriage? My readers and I would love to hear your advice as well.

With you and for you,

Why We Chose An Adults-Only Wedding

Our RSVP deadline was last Friday and though we had received the majority back through the mail, we still had a few invited guests to reach out to in order to confirm their attendance. As one who dislikes any sort of confrontation, wording my messages correctly was important as I didn’t want guests to feel attacked. I considered how best to phrase my inquiries so no one took my affront as saying, “You didn’t send back your RSVP, are you coming or not?” I know better than most how busy life can get and can only imagine replying to a wedding invitation takes second/third/fiftieth priority following Spring ball games, cleaning schedules, school graduations, weekend vacations, etc.

I completely get it.

However, as I took to reaching out to those last 50 or so guests who hadn’t responded, a similar topic arose as to why some would not be able to attend our celebration. As this post’s title states, G and I chose to have an adults-only wedding. Since this is the hot topic of the week, I figured I’d dive into it in case anyone else is mucking through this sticky scenario as well. To the brides-to-be, breathe. This is a long-standing debate among many couples and families — you’re not alone — and one which takes special care to maneuver.

When G and I were settling our guest list, the topic of children emerged like a snarling dragon shortly into the discussion. As a wedding coordinator in the past, I had the majority of my weddings be adults-only. I personally liked those kids-free celebrations more than the ones which invited children. (I have a number of stories involving kids at weddings I coordinated — like the one where I had to go on the roof to track down two teens who had gotten bored and decided to go smoke a joint instead. Fun times!) But such parties were berated by a number of critics, including this certain article, and made us seriously consider our options. The Number One thing we wanted for our wedding was for it to be a fun, stress-free, and memorable celebration with our closest family and friends. We weighed the options. We asked for advice. We researched other’s weddings. And in the end we made our decision: to have an adults-only wedding.

And here is why:

1. We Love Your Children
First off, G and I absolutely adore children and we especially love the children of our loved ones! We cannot wait for the day (a few years in the future) when we become parents to our own little sunshine. In no way was our decision to host an adults-only wedding meant to be mean or exclusive. Rather we have some extremely legitimate reasons that broke our hearts to make that choice.

2. It Is A Financial Issue
When we began our guest list, we had a goal of less than 170 guests to be included. And even that amount was stretching it. Neither of us are keen on being the center of attention (I tend to have panic attacks when put in front of an audience) and neither of us wanted to spend a fortune for a large wedding. By the deadline of sending our invitations, though, our guest list had climbed to a hefty 250 guests, and that was only our adult guests. I have a fiance who has an incredibly wonderful but incredibly large family, and each member was important to us and our families to invite.

However, as we began looking into renting options, that hefty number seemed to glare at us. We realized we wouldn’t be able to utilize our inexpensive tent find of only $600 because the tent was simply too small. Which meant an increase of $800 that original amount to double the tent plus add tables and chairs. With knowing our families have been blessed with an abundance of little ones, adding children to our guest list would have meant an additional 80 seats, 10 tables, and the necessity of an even larger tent! As two people paying for the majority of their wedding and wanting to also have some money left over after the Big Day, we had to make cuts. And don’t even get me started on the additional cost of mouths to feed!

Unfortunately, when a budget is tight, the 2-year-old who will remember nothing or the 7-year-old who could care less about a wedding (but yet still cost something) were easier to cut than the friend known since kindergarten or the great-aunt who would never let you forget she wasn’t invited.

3. It Is A Legal Issue
Another huge impact on our judgment was in concern of our special event insurance. I spoke about our decision to purchase special event insurance a few months back in my post Special Event Insurance: Yay or Nay?. We opted to get insurance at our family’s private residence where we are hosting our reception. In the unlikely circumstance that something were to go awry at the farm, we wanted to have coverage for ourselves and our loved ones. Especially with alcohol being served, this was a necessity for us.

We were pleasantly surprised to find out special event insurance wasn’t expensive in terms of what is covered — we paid $125 for a great policy. This policy covers an adults-only event though. An additional $500 fee is associated with policies including minors being present. And if a minor were to be present at the reception under our current policy, the contract would be null. Legally (and financially) our only option was to keep the wedding adults-only. In one way this made things easier for us because we didn’t have a “gray area” on how we defined kids; our insurance policy states no minors so our wedding is restricted for 21-years-old and older. In another it brought some stress as it made us feel trapped in the off-chance a guest chose to bring their minor with them anyways. But we had to choose to draw the line.

4. It Is A Personal Choice, And A VERY Difficult One
The fact should be stated that G and I did make the wedding adults-only before all the financial and legal logistics became clear. And for those reasons we are thankful we did; I’m honestly not sure how we would have handled things had we invited children before coming to terms with everything else. However, it was our decision to have an adults-only wedding and we had a few personal experiences as to why.

First, we had a discussion on alcohol at the wedding. With G’s past and family members who do not drink, he preferred we not have any alcohol available. For me, I preferred we do. Not only because I would like to enjoy a glass of wine as the bride, but because my family do enjoy drinking (in moderation) at celebrations. Plus, in my experience, dry weddings tend to have a less-entertaining atmosphere and earlier end time. We compromised and settled for a self-service beer and wine bar with a limited number of drinks available. This meant both G and I were on alert that minors may be at risk since we were not going to hire a bartender, and chose to make the wedding 21+ only.

Second, not everyone likes kids at weddings. I don’t mean that in an insensitive or heartless way, but simply as a fact. A child’s behavior cannot be predicted at all times. G and I attended four weddings last summer, and somehow sat next to children at every single ceremony. Though the tykes were adorable, neither G nor I could hear the vows being exchanged at any of the weddings. At one ceremony we missed the final kiss because the little boy in front of us decided to stand up in the pew. At another we spent an hour having the backs of our seats kicked because Mom and Dad didn’t like discipline. As a couple wanting the best experience possible for our guests, hosting an adults-only wedding seemed ideal.

5. We Did What We Thought Best
Lastly, we knew we’d have some backlash for our decision to have a kids-free wedding. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we all make choices in our weddings that are going to offend certain people. It is inevitable. Our decision was not based on our preferences, or even our wallets. Our decision was made by what we thought was best for all involved in our Big Day — from the bridal party to the invited guests to even the vendors. We simply took what we considered the best route to take.

With all this being said, there are a few things I would have done differently. The biggest difference would have been adding “Adults Only” to the invitation. I know, I know, I know, EVERY SINGLE WEDDING ADVICE COLUMN TELLS YOU NOT TO DO THIS. Trust me, I know. That’s why I didn’t add those two words. Instead I kept to “perfect etiquette” rules: I addressed each invite to the adults only, I asked family and friends to spread the word, I made sure to mention this detail numerous times on our website, etc. If there was an award for correct etiquette when it came to this topic, I’d be receiving a trophy.

Yet there’s no trophy in my hand and a few hurt feelings from my guests.

As a bridal convict, I would highly advise adding those two words. Some may be offended. (But honestly, if they are, come on…) Some may never even notice. But maybe those who have children will, and you’ll be confronting the issue months before the RSVP is due. Frankly, you have enough to worry about when planning your wedding so just add “Adults Only” and move on to the next phase in the process.

All in all, I tried my best to navigate this sensitive subject. For the most part I succeeded, but there were still a few guests unhappy with our decision. Hopefully you can take some of my advice and use it for your benefit in your own planning.

As for this post, I hope I didn’t continue to offend anyone. The main point I am attempting to make is this: take a step back and realize how much thought goes into each and every decision of wedding planning by the couple. The vast majority of couples do not purposely offend their closest loved ones guests. I mean, they did consider you important enough to attend their multi-thousand dollar party, right? Use an adults-only wedding as an excuse to spend the night with your spouse, drinking, laughing, dancing, and celebrating one of your family member’s/friend’s most important day!

Happy planning, friends,

#Inspiration: Ceremony Aesthetics

Though I absolutely love writing, I know my last few posts have been very word-heavy. So! To move into a more eye-pleasing post, let’s go to another #Inspiration board, eh?

Today’s topic is on our ceremony decor and ritual. I have been going back and forth on ideas for decor at the ceremony, which is in our church, and finally made a decision on what I want to do. With us running towards the end of our budget, I have no plans to make anymore big purchases so I’m relying on my thriftiness to put the final touches together.

G and I take our faith very serious. Our marriage is founded on our beliefs and we met through our Bible study group. As we were doing one of our book studies together (we’re currently reading From Me to We by Lucille Williams) a passage from the Love Chapter of the Bible — 1 Corinthians 13 — popped up. Not a new passage to the two of us, but we both liked the reminder of the verses on what Love means. Then before I fell asleep I was cruising Pinterest and happened to have this picture pop up on my feed:

And I was sold.

My plan is to use picture frames and personally created images to recreate this look. I’m going to make a total of 9 signs, each with a different characteristic of Love, and hang them from the rows. Beneath them will be a tree stump (a staple for all our wedding decor), a jar with a candle, and some flower petals. Simple, clean, and rich in scripture.

I am also debating on using baby’s breath for some extra texture. If I purchase a few stems on Saturday morning from a local grocery store they won’t be a large expense and may add a bit more to the romance of the set up.

What do you guys think?

Other than the sanctuary’s decor, the biggest piece of decor I need to be concerned about is our mid-ceremony ritual: a tree planting ceremony.

A tree planting ceremony is just like a unity candle and unity sand ceremony. It symbolizes the joining of two individuals. A table is set up near the altar where a potted sapling sits. Two containers of dirt, sometimes two trowels, and a water can are also on the table. During the ceremony, the couple will each add one of the containers of dirt and then proceed to water the tree together. The couple can then plant the tree at their home following the wedding to symbolize putting down roots, longevity, and strength into their marriage, as well as growing their family tree.

For G and I, we plan to use a lot of symbolism in our tree ceremony. The basket we will use as a planter was given to us by G’s grandmother during my bridal shower. The dirt, contained in two jars, is from G’s hometown in Indiana and my parent’s property in Michigan. The water is out of Lake Michigan representing our current home and our first date location which was a hike along the lake’s shore. The tree sapling we have chosen is an evergreen — a symbol of wisdom, longevity, and fertility. The sapling came from my maternal grandmother’s property.

All in all, the entire ritual includes many years from our pasts and provides a symbol for nurturing and growth of our future. I am in love with this whole concept! Not to mention it falls perfectly into place for our rustic themed wedding.

This is the verbiage we’re leaning towards for our officiant during the ceremony as well:

A and G will now take part in a Tree Planting Ceremony, to symbolize the roots of their relationship, and the continued growth of their love, as they become each others family today.

Love is the essence of human experience and emotion. It is the root of all and everything we, as humans, do. Love enriches our experience, and fills our lives with meaning. It gives us a firm base from which to grow, to learn, and change.

Let your relationship and your love for each other be like this tree you plant today. Let it grow tall and strong. Let it stand tall during the harsh winds and rains and storms, and come through unscathed. Like a tree, your marriage must be resilient. It must weather the challenges of daily life and the passage of time. And just like the tree you are planting, marriage requires constant nurturing and nourishment.

With all of these ideas, I don’t think I need anything more. We want to keep the church simple for clean-up following the ceremony so our loved ones can enjoy the reception. Can you think of anything necessary to include? I’d love to hear any additional ideas which I may not have thought of since ceremonies were rare when it came to my wedding coordinating career. Please feel free to comment below or send me a DM at @uncorkingpeonies on Instagram.

Until next time,