Beyond your wedding day – The honest truth about marriage

There are all kinds of books and publications out there about marriage these days… I know this because as a professional wedding Officiant who works so closely with couples getting married in Maine, it is important that I explore these offerings because it is just one of the many ways I offer value to couples who work with me…

But the truth is, the market for this kind of content is a bit over saturated by a lot of authors who likely aren’t very emotionally or spiritually invested in your future, but rather, financially by you purchasing whatever it is they’re selling. So, when I came across a thread full of advice for newly engaged couples, it got my brain spinning with an idea that I decided to bring right to the trenches…

I believe that you deserve to hear the knitty-gritty stuff from real, everyday people just like you, who are all in various places in their lives – the ones who live the true meaning of marriage day in and day out. As someone who may already be planning their wedding, you should be optimistic that everything will be perfect (whatever your version of that looks like) and we all want that for you – Instead of wishing they could go back in time to tell their engaged self one thing… they’ve decided to tell you! 

PS: This is one you’ll want to save for later, too so go ahead and bookmark it now. 


This is what I asked this group of people… I half expected to get most of the same answers, but each person made a different point, proving that each marriage is unique – Just as yours will be. And just like them, I think you will find what fits you and what doesn’t in some of their answers.


Q. What is one thing you wish you had known before getting Married?


Read on to see the answers that revealed 11 pieces of sage advice every engaged couple should hear. 


That marriage is not a 50/50 partnership – sometimes you are giving way more and sometimes you are receiving way more. 


– Catherine, Wife of 29 years, Mother, Wedding Planner.


I wish we had known that it was okay to make our wedding exactly what we’d wanted and not follow traditions for traditions sake. I wanted my best friend to be my man of honor but that wasn’t a thing back then so we didn’t end up doing it…


 – Brittany, Wife of 10 years, Wedding Photographer.



How much work it would be. Relationships have always been full of work but when you’re married, you can’t just walk away if the tough gets too tough to deal with. The lows of a marriage either have to be worked through or you can let the relationship fall apart. I was very naïve going into marriage and wish I had taken the time to put more thought into the adventure ahead – though things are fine with my wife, things are super hard sometimes and I never thought it would be like that. 


– Chris, Husband of 5.5 years, Dad, Wedding DJ.



What is really meant by and required by a marriage partnership. It’s not just two people coming together, it is about learning to put your partner above and before you sometimes and not thinking about it always “being fair”. Love isn’t always “fair” – it is about loving and caring for your partner without regard for what might or might not be returned. Marriage (at least a loving one) balances at the end of the day so, stop worrying or keeping a score. Just do.


– Clark, Husband of 26 years, Wedding Caterer & Mixologist


Just because it is hard or that you’re actively working on it, doesn’t make it a failure. 


– Angela, Wife of 5 years. 


How very important communication is. Talking about everything with each other even if it’s something you think is silly or something that might cause a disagreement. You should never be afraid, nervous or ashamed to talk things through. 


– Sandra, Wife of 50 years, Mother, Equestrian.


The wedding is basically just a party and that the relationship matters so much more than the day. 


– Chantal, Wife of 10 years, Wedding Photographer


How hard marriage truly is. I mean, people always say that a successful marriage is hard work but you don’t really know until you experience it first-hand. The first few years were great and so easy – then we went through a rough patch. It would have been really easy to get divorced but that wasn’t the answer – Plus, we have kids and that would have been really hard on both of them. Marriage isn’t always easy but in most cases, it is worth all the effort!


– Val, Wife of 9.5 years, Mother, Wedding Photographer


That giving up yourself for your spouse is not a noble thing to do, is not love, and does not help either one of you.

– Melissa, Divorcee of 5 years, Entrepreneur 


I wish there had been a class that couples go through before they get married that taught the different phases a married couple goes through and how to walk through them because you have to understand each other in order to strengthen your relationship throughout your marriage, in order to get through the tough times. Always keep your lines of communication open between each other no matter what so, you don’t lose each other. 


– Cathy, Wife of 40 years, Mother, Nurse. 


That marriage is so much better than how it’s often portrayed. When two people not only love each other but commit themselves selflessly to pleasing their spouse, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s not about give and take, or getting brownie points, just simply give.


– James, Husband of 6 years, Wedding Photographer
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Featured Photo by: Betsy B Photography

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