Couples are showered with words of congratulations when they announce their engagement, but few words of advice for newlyweds are given at that time. Starting a new life together can be stressful and with the wedding a big event, couples often forget to nurture the marriage that will begin after the big day.
Asking for Advice
The best way to get advice is to ask for it. Parents and grandparents used to be the main source of advice for a person's upcoming married life. As the typical family changes face and divorce rates have grown, however, they may not be able to offer much. Trusted friends and neighbors may be able to add to any insights parents pass on.
For general marriage advice, couples often choose to make it part of their wedding activities. Bridal party members might choose to offer advice as part of a wedding toast. A popular activity at a bridal shower is for the host to ask attendees for words of wisdom that will be placed in a scrapbook or photo album of the event.
Couples can also solicit advice from their guests that will be shared with everyone. You can choose to devote a portion of your wedding website or wedding newsletter to advice your guests tell you. Be sure to credit who offered which words of wisdom.
Finally, couples can ask for advice at their wedding reception. A wedding card box with pens and notecards can be set up near the guest book table, with instructions for writing advice. The videographer can also shoot clips of guests who have suggestions on surviving the first year of married life.
Advice for Newlyweds
The actual advice that newlyweds get is often varied. From humorous jokes about splitting chores to sentimental clichés about love, people will offer advice that runs the gamut. If you are going to be asked to give advice, draw upon the following resources:
- Personal experiences with marriage or relationships
- Clichés, and why they may or may not be true
- Quotations on love and marriage
- Marriage poems
- Advice from talk shows like Dr. Phil or other media sources
Newlyweds should be careful not to put too much stock into any advice they are given. Advice is meant to be a helpful suggestion, not comprise a how-to manual for their entire married lives. What works for one couple may not work for another. Take your own relationship into consideration when using advice.
Newlyweds often need advice on more private matters that they are dealing with directly. These are situations that are often personal and may make you feel uncomfortable sharing with a large group of people. Traditional wedding advice often does not cover these kinds of situations and should only be discussed with your closest friends or relatives.
Seek out a confidant in person for advice on the following:
- Personal money issues
- Physical or sexual advice
- Advice on dealing with future in-laws
- Guidance in personal matters you want to keep private
Personal crisis and other private issues can also be dealt with in pre-marriage counseling. A licensed therapist or religious counselor may be able to offer practical advice on dealing with matters before they become problematic.
Troubled Marriage Advice
In this day of quickie divorces, couples may be ready to give up at the first sign of trouble. Though pre-marital counseling can help calm waters for a smoother start, life may get in the way. Bankruptcy, job loss, family crisis or health issues in the first few years of marriage can make even the most solid couples falter in their life together.
Couples dealing with a little rough patch may be able to work it out by keeping lines of communication open or reading a book on advice together. Discussing more serious issues with a therapist can help newlyweds work through any trouble before making a decision regarding their entire marriage.
Wedding planning is hectic and exciting at the same time. Too often, couples will overlook the marriage that results from the big event. Newlyweds who seek out helpful advice along with happy wedding wishes will be more prepared for their future together.