Love Actually: Words Of Wisdom On Tying The Knot
By: Sophie Normand
At IMPACT Collective, we love working with couples who are planning their wedding and being a part of their vision for their big day. I’ve been thinking a lot about weddings lately (it pretty much comes with the territory when you work for an events company that specializes in weddings!) and of my friends and family, many of whom are celebrating wedding anniversaries this summer. In the name of research, I decided to pick their brains a bit about what advice they received when they were getting married, and what advice they would give to someone getting married now. I’ve compiled their best advice, so if you’re getting married soon, or if you’re a hopeless romantic like me, scroll down to see what they said!
Bea & Al, married 52 years
Advice to give: “If you’re upset, think long and hard about what you say to your partner, since we often say hurtful things in the heat of the moment that can’t be taken back. Also, never go to bed angry!”
Helen & David, married 50 years
Advice to give: Don’t go to bed mad, be ready with a sense of humor, and be willing to forgive easily.
Michael & Randi, married 32 years
Advice received: Don’t elope and share the load in the relationship.
Advice to give: Give each other space in the relationship, and be patient and forgiving.
Anne & Jacques, married 29 years
Advice received: Don’t rush into it and look at how he treats his mother.
Advice to give: It’s normal for things to ebb and flow in a marriage and you can’t expect things to be amazing every day. You also can’t throw in the towel at the first whiff of trouble. Marriage is also about more than just the “I love you’s” and the romance, it’s about doing things for your partner—even if it’s just doing the dishes after dinner—to show that you care.
Jeff & Holly, married 27 years
Advice received: It’s important to stand united as a couple, so in a moment of choice or conflict, always choose to support your partner.
Advice to give: “Find opportunities to create a life together, separate from family expectations and obligations. Go on the adventure together!”
Jean & Frank, married 24 years
Advice received: Never go to bed mad!
Advice to give: “Get to know your significant other’s parents well. Study their habits and mannerisms because your fiancé(e) will have inherited a lot of those—if those traits and mannerisms aren’t something you can live with, then maybe getting married isn’t the right thing, since we all become our parents eventually!” Frank added that marriage isn’t just a fairytale, there’s a lot of give and take.
Eddie & Christine, married 3 years
Advice received: Don’t go to bed without resolving conflict.
Advice to give: “Open communication is your key to success.”
Jana and Chris, married 1 year
Advice received: Don’t forget to keep the fun going!
Advice to give: “Never stop dating each other.”
Tori & Nathan, married 1 week
Advice received: “Choose vulnerability.”
Advice to give: Not everything needs to be so serious. Some things don’t seem quite as important if you can learn to laugh and let go.
Hailey & Ryan, getting married in 2021
Advice received: “Take a deep breath, turn around and count to 10 when something irritates you. It calms you down and can help reduce conflict!”
Advice to give: Communication, communication, communication! Also, make sure to laugh together, it makes everything better. Making time to do the things you love on your own is also important. “That way, you also give your partner the opportunity to nurture what they like to do and that, in turn, strengthens you as a couple. It also helps you appreciate the time you have together and not take it for granted.”
This was just going to be a fun little exercise to hear some of the tips my friends and family had to share, but as I read through their answers, I noticed a few trends. Here are my biggest takeaways from this:
- Almost EVERYONE said to never go to bed angry. This just shows how important it is to resolve any conflict as quickly and lovingly as possible. Your spouse is your partner, literally and figuratively, and leaving conflict unresolved breaks down communication and often just makes things worse.
- Communication is key. In a relationship, being able to openly, calmly, and clearly communicate with your partner is necessary. They can’t read your mind and you can’t read theirs, so being able to discuss things—whether it’s the plan for supper or how you want to raise your kids—makes you that much stronger as a unit.
- Relationships are fun, but they’re also work. As Frank said, not everything is a fairytale. The traditional wedding vows spell it out: for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. Not everything is going to be perfect all the time and that’s ok! Take it as it comes and enjoy it either way.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other advice to add! And remember, never go to bed angry.
*Some answers were edited for clarity