“It’s crazy because I can honestly say I’ve never wanted anything more than to be yours forever and ever.” ~ To Jonathan
During this time of wedding planning I find that I am falling more and more in love with Jonathan every day. Today we stand 92 days away from our wedding.
Here’s where we are in the planning process and what I’ve learned so far…
I want to talk about marriage counseling first for a little while since we just finished our first session with Pastor Ron Elwardt last Sunday at Camelback Bible Church in Paradise Valley, AZ.
After our first session I feel even more confident going into this marriage and also so certain that Jonathan is the man God designed for me to spend the rest of my life with.
In the last two weeks I have had a handful of people come up to me wondering about pre-marital counseling, why we are doing it and what we talk about in our classes. Someone even asked me if this was a “normal thing for couples to do.”
It got me thinking…I’m not quite sure how “normal” it is now-a-days. But personally, I always thought it was a common thing to do since my parents did it before they got married and right now my best friend who is also engaged is doing it as well. This is something I’ve always wanted to do with my future husband even before I met Jonathan. I think it is crucial and I had always planned on doing it.
Let’s be real for a moment… it’s not a secret that marriage is hard. Many, sadly end in divorce and truthfully it is the biggest commitment you will ever make to someone so why wouldn’t you want to have some counseling before you jump right in?
So, why are we doing it?
Because, Jonathan and I want to set our marriage up for success and we want to strive to be a model of what a Godly marriage is.
So, what do we do in counseling classes?
(Keep in mind, we’ve only finished our first class but I will say we have already done tons of homework and have already learned a lot just within the first couple of weeks)
To give you an idea…This week’s homework was for me to write down 3 ways I can show Jonathan respect and for Jonathan it was 3 ways to show Caitlin love. The reasoning behind this is that God specifically calls husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. Not that we both shouldn’t always love and respect each other but to also understand that God made men and women unique in their own ways with unique wants, needs and desires. Women need to feel loved and men need to feel respected and that’s just how God made them. (Ephesians 5:33) If we follow God’s design for marriage it will make us stronger as a married couple and if we don’t follow His plans it could easily send us down a rocky road. So let’s stay focused on what the Bible says about marriage.
We are also working through a couple of different workbooks alongside our pastor. In one of them we are reading what the Bible says about conflict. We each have to write our own 10 Commandments of Conflict Management based off of what Scripture says. Here’s mine:
Jonathan and I also took a D.A.R.E. test. We took it separately and throughout our counseling course we will work on finding solid ground on certain issues and important topics where our answers may have differed in the test.
We will also be talking about family planning, money, intimacy, the roles of a husband and a wife and much more all according to the Bible. In addition, we have already read several articles on the permanency of marriage, meaning staying with each other through sickness and any tough times we may face down the road.
So if you were one of those people not sure what pre-marital counseling is all about I hope this helps you understand a little better and I also really hope you consider taking pre-marital counseling one day. It’s worth building your marriage on a firm foundation even if that means tackling tough topics to get there.
*If you would like me to do a dedicated post on marriage counseling and everything we discuss and learn at the end of the course leave me a comment in the comment section below. Thanks!
Okay now let’s talk about WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING!
I said Yes to the Dress at Mariée Bridal in Scottsdale, AZ. I brought with me my mom, Nana and one of my best friends Marlee! (P.S. My dress is not in any of these pictures above in case you were wondering)
One thing I learned about wedding dress shopping is that it’s hard. It took me two days to find a dress and I nearly tried on 100 dresses…not exaggerating!
I didn’t really have any ideas of what I wanted so I came into the experience with an open mind wanting to try on all different styles and in search of a feeling.
But after looking at three different stores on the first day, I felt so discouraged. I wasn’t loving anything. I started to think I may have to settle for something I didn’t love. But ladies…just like finding a man…NEVER settle. The right guy or the right dress is right around the corner! On the second day, it was the first dress I tried on and everyone cried. I didn’t expect the moment to feel like how it did but it was such a… how do I put this? Holy moment. I know God was right there with me. That’s how I would describe it.
“A God thing”
What I think made the dress I chose special is that it immediately reminded me of Jonathan. In some ways I feel like the dress I chose resembles our love story. The details make me think of him and his sweetness and the things we both love. Okay…that’s all I will say. The rest is a surprise!
Onto the yummy stuff! … FOOD TASTING!
This was so much fun and I’m so glad Jonathan and I could do it together! One thing I didn’t expect was how big the portions would be. I feel like I ate four full sized, four course meals haha! Jonathan and my dad loved it!
In the photo above we are clearly having a good time but then in the photo below it’s down to business.
After the food tasting, we went cake tasting (not on the same day, thankfully because I was so full)
Together we designed our cake! I never knew 200 guests meant your cake needs to be 5 tiers. Who knew?! That’s a massive cake though. It will have 3 different flavors that are very unique. That’s all I’ll say about that. Yum!
Special shoutout to our photographer who sent us our Vow books!
Cannot wait to write our own!
I’ll wrap up this post with a link to our wedding website: caitlinandjonathanthropay.com
It’s exciting to see all of the pieces start coming together. Overall, pretty much all of the big stuff has been booked or planned. Now we are moving on to the details! I really hope everyone at our wedding feels so special and included in some way and I also hope everyone leaves feeling touched by the love Jonathan and I have for each other. We are truly blessed to have each other.
In sickness and health, till death do we part, my love.