Yesterday marked 100 days until I say I do. (But, hey, who’s counting.)
Last weekend, Zach and I attended pre-cana. For those of you who don’t know, pre-cana is a marriage preparation course offered by the Archdiocese. We are required to complete the preparation in order to get married in the church. It was 6:30-9:30 Friday night and 9am-3pm on Saturday. I told a few people about it and some responded with, “Ugh, that sounds awful.”
The idea of giving up a Friday night and most of a Saturday does sound awful. But, Zach and I enjoyed it. It was a good way to break away from life and talk about things we don’t often bring up in normal conversation, such as finances, how we handle conflict, how the other is feeling about this whole process of wedding planning. I believe it is important to take a step back when you’re in the thick of things. It helps you get a different perspective on a situation and also helps you see the perspective of your loved one more clearly.
We had the chance to answer questions about each other and then share our answers. It was enlightening and we both enjoyed sharing the time together. There were couples that got up and spoke on different topics. Even if there were some things we didn’t agree on, we listened and kept our minds open to new ideas. And we also of course giggled and whispered like we were in 6th grade. I laughed more than Zach did. He was more of the nerd and I was the class clown.
I think it was good timing for us to reflect. We are 100 days away from one of the biggest days in our life. It’s been a whirlwind preparing for this whole thing and I think we both needed to slow down and reflect on our progress, not only our wedding planning progress, but our progress as a couple. I didn’t realize how much we have grown together in the 3.5 years we have been dating. Why would I? I am in the throws of being in love and creating my life. It’s hard to find time to sit down and grasp how our relationship has developed. Have you ever heard someone say, “Yeah, I think this weekend we’re going to spend some alone time talking about how we’ve developed as a couple and go over some aspects of our relationship that we need to work on, such as conflict resolution.” No, that is never on anyone’s weekend agenda. At least nobody I’ve ever met. And if that is how you spend your weekend, well more power to you.
So far, this year has been a formative one in our relationship. As exciting as it is to be getting married, it is also daunting. We have come to learn that it’s okay to be afraid. But it is important to talk about it with each other and not keep it bottled up. I think we have become more willing to lean on one another and share our vulnerabilities, which is important. Even though I am convinced Zach is superman, it is important for me to let him know that he can lean on me as much as I lean on him. It was funny to me how we both seem to be nervous about the same thing. We just want to make sure we can give the other the best life they deserve. We don’t have to worry about that though, we’ve already had good practice for 3.5 years.
It’s an incredible feeling knowing that you want to spend the rest of your life with one person. There is a new level of responsibility that comes with it, one that neither of us has had to take on before. It’s a responsibility to the other person, to love them every day in the best way we know how. It’s a responsibility to continue being the best and truest version of ourselves. It’s a call to be strong for them when they are weak and defend them in times of trouble. It is going to be hard work. But, like they say, nothing worth having comes easy. There is a lot of new ground we are covering here and I think with each passing day we are becoming more prepared. The weekend of reflection helped us think about how ready we really are.
Being a Catholic event, they obviously talked a lot about God’s role in this whole thing. Zach and I both have similar beliefs in our religion and we have talked about it before. But, again, it’s not always a huge topic of conversation. We were able to discuss our thoughts on God and religion and what it means to us now and what we want it to mean to us as we start our own family.
One of the things that was said during pre-cana that really stuck with me is something I have noted before, being in love is a decision you make every day. When you are in a committed relationship, you wake up and decide, “Yes, I will love this person today.” Saying I do on December 4th is not the only day we will say it. We will say I do every day for the rest of our lives.
Through this process, I have discovered how easy it is to get off track and forget what the point of all of this is. When I first started, I remember saying, I won’t be one of those brides who stresses out over the small stuff. I know what this is all about and I won’t forget that. Ask Zach, there have been quite a few times when I’ve been “one of those brides.” It’s so incredibly easy to get caught up in minor details like what color cushion the chairs are going to have at the reception or what I want the centerpieces to look like, or what color shoes the bridesmaids should wear. In the end, nobody will notice that stuff. What they will notice is the love and happiness all around them. I am so excited to share my love and happiness with those closest to us. After reflecting on our time together so far, for the next 100 days I will try harder to keep in mind what all of this is truly about.
It’s simply about two kids who love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together…..and they’re going to have one hell of a party to kick it off.