'For better, for worse'. How many look back on these words with the benefit of hindsight and wonder if we knew what we were letting ourselves in for ?
And to be honest, getting hitched is a daunting prospect. Even the most in-love couples are going to hit bad patches, and who among us knows for certain what lies around the corner for us? But the amazing thing about love is that it really can conquer all - with a little help in the way of trust, faithfulness, and courage. Of course a little preparation can go a long way.
Love, romance and wedding days are wonderful life experiences, but the core experience for couples getting married is the commitment to spend the rest of their lives together, come what may.
Even the most loving couples, who have known each other perhaps all their lives, can sometimes be surprised to find out something about their partner that they never knew before.
This is where a pre-marriage course can be really helpful. Not only does it give couples the chance to discuss a range of issues which they may not have considered before, it also gives you time to spend together to reflect on what you want, where you are going and how you see your future lives together.
There are many good pre-marriage courses available in Ireland, today. They vary in length, and timing. Some are run over a number of nights, usually four in all; some, on Friday evening and all-day Saturday; and some are compacted into just the one day (usually Saturday). The main focus in all of them is on good communication, plus - in the Catholic courses, at least - on the ideals of marriage as a sacrament, meant to last a lifetime.
Be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by your pre-marriage course. You may well find that instead of being a necessary thing to be ticked off the pre-wedding must-do list, your course opens up some new horizons for you both and bring you together in a way that you may not have experienced before.
After all, marriages are all about the future, and discussing and planning your future together is what your getting married is all about. Here are five good reasons for attending a pre-marriage course (some of which you might not have thought about before):
1. OK, it does get one of your must do's off the list before the
2. It allows you to discuss topics relevant to marriage, and with other couples in a similar situation to yourself.
3. It gives you the opportunity to talk to counsellors who have gone
through many issues, problems and life experiences.
4. The course will highlight for each of you what you first saw in each other, and why you want to be together.
5. It will give you both a 'time out', away from all the bustle of
planning, to think about beyond the wedding day into your future together.