The Marriage How-To Guide

By Rebecca Blackwell, The Relationship Foundation of Virginia

Marriage doesn’t come with instructions, and many couples planning a wedding are focused on the celebration of it! Rightly so… love is amazing and wonderful. When you said yes to the proposal, that was just the beginning. Keep planning this amazing wedding day, but don’t forget to focus on the lifetime together. To have and to hold until death we do part. Don’t you want that to be your story? Start writing it now.

  • Playful: Keep fun and friendship alive. The wedding ceremony is the official beginning of your life together. Having fun together and finding things that make you both happy are important. Keep these and other activities a part of the planning process too!
  • Proactive: Keep dating each other. The ceremony, the honeymoon, everyday life… make sure that your spouse is the priority and make sure they feel important. When you are both prioritizing each other, you will both feel cared for. By scheduling regular dates to do things together, you are investing in the marriage and each other.

  • Purpose Driven: What goals do you have as a couple? Where do you want to travel together? Where is a location that you can’t imagine seeing with anyone else but your spouse? Having a purpose in the marriage is something that is often overlooked; a healthy marriage consists of partners willing to do what it takes to fulfill and honor each other. Outdo one another on purpose with the intention of growing old together.
  • Practical: The mountaintop is a great place to be, but the valleys are also places to lean on each other for support. What do you have in the tool belt that will help in these valleys? Talk to a relationship coach to learn what tools to use and how to implement them most effectively. Couples who take a relationship assessment and/or talk to a coach prior to the wedding or within the first year of marriage reduce their chance of divorce by 30%.

Improve your odds of success in the marriage and learn how to be married. Consider adding a coaching package to the wedding registry and let others invest in the marriage with you. Be a lifelong learner of each other and enjoy the benefits that are brought to you as a couple.


Rebecca Blackwell, Marriage & Relationship Coach with Relationship Foundation of VA, has been working with couples for over 15 years to help strengthen marriages and relationships. Her passion for marriage and family is contagious as she so enjoys encouraging couples as they start their marriage journey, enter new stages of marriage, rare dating, or working through issues.