As you set out to plan your special day, you should be mindful that while your wedding is a very important day for you and your spouse-to-be, it’s just the start of the rest of your lives together.
Over the past decade as a wedding officiant, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know and marry countless couples. While, admittedly, I am not a marriage counselor and cannot offer professional advice that a licensed counselor can, the interaction with these couples has helped me to compile a list of questions I ask them to assist me in creating their wedding ceremony. Perhaps these questions will be valuable to you, too, as you embark on your journey with your chosen one.
As you celebrate your upcoming nuptials, it’s my hope that you do so with the belief that you enter this union with a good understanding of what you each expect in your marriage. (And, if you are writing your own vows, perhaps these ideas will inspire you past any writer’s block!)
I would suggest that you set aside some time to sit together—perhaps over a cup of tea or a glass of wine—to talk about the important days, events and turning points in your relationship.
These are just a few questions; ask any others that you feel are pertinent to your relationship. You may decide to write your answers and then share them with each other—very romantic and probably enlightening! May this experience enhance your journey toward the altar…and your many, many years of love and marriage!
Questions to ask yourselves:
- What activities do we enjoy doing together?
- Will we be able to pursue our own interests, independent of each other? Or will we do “everything together?”
- What common values and goals do we share?
- Do we share the same—or any—spiritual belief?
- In what ways are we alike? How are we different?
- Do we balance and complement each other? How?
- What issues do we disagree on?
- How do we negotiate these differences?
- What made me realize we were life partners?
- What two adjectives would I use to describe my partner?
- What qualities do I most admire in my partner?
- What does my partner bring out in me?
- What does the concept of “marriage” mean to me?
- What do I expect of my partner and the relationship?
- What am I bringing to the marriage that I think will make it work?
- What do I expect my partner to bring to the marriage?
- What do I consider to be essential in a successful marriage?
- How do I envision the family that we will create?
- How does my partner envision our family?
- What traditions or values do we expect to pass on to our children?
- Why are they important to me? Why are they important to my partner?
- What do we want to accomplish together?
- How do I define words like honor, respect, cherish, love, support and commit—common words in wedding vows—and how would I prioritize those concepts?
—Rev. Jeri Murphy
About Rev. Jeri Murphy: Jeri is a non-denominational minister who has been performing weddings in the Sacramento area for more than a decade. She works with each couple to create a unique wedding ceremony that celebrates their love and sets the stage for their long and happy life together as a married couple.