Add This to Your Pre-Wedding “To-Do” List

There is a show on television where a woman goes to a fancy bridal salon and spends literally thousands of dollars on a dress she is going to wear once. When she finally picks the “right” dress she cries and feels very special and everyone agrees that this dress is the one which will make the wedding perfect. According to the website, the average wedding in Raleigh, North Carolina costs $31,742. Looking at the numbers, I am guessing that cost is for a wedding with about 150 people, all of whom will provide the happy couple with their best wishes and a gift. While there does not seem to be a correlation between the cost of the wedding and the success of the marriage; without a doubt, marriage is one of those life changing events that should be shared with friends and family.

Thinking of marriage as a life changing event should cause all couples to pause and reflect. If something is going to change your life, what can you do to help it change in the right direction? Ask yourself, have you and that person you hope to have in your life forever talked about your shared goals? Your desire to have or not have children? How you intend to handle the finances? How often you intend to be with the other person’s family? Again, turning to statistics, according to a 2014 article entitled “20 Significant Premarital Counseling Statistics”, published on line at, if that same couple who spent hours selecting the band spent the same amount of time in premarital counseling, they would have a 30% better chance at having a successful marriage than those couples who did not have premarital counseling. And the cost of most premarital counseling is less than 1 to 2% the cost of the wedding. Is it a guarantee that things will work out? Well, no. But, unlike what will happen at your wedding if Uncle Wally is placed at the same table with Cousin Lou, there is absolutely nothing that says that premarital counseling will hurt your marriage, and there is quite a bit of statistical evidence that says it may help.

While just a few years ago, most premarital counseling involved seeing a member of the clergy for counseling or a class, the number of private counselors who are now offering sessions in premarital counseling has increased substantially. If you don’t know what you would talk about, the counselor can help, if you think it’s a waste of time, well, you’re not talking about a long term commitment (you know, like a marriage would be…) And one more thing to consider, while $31,742 is a lot to spend on a wedding, everyone loves a good party; but for an average cost of about half that amount, nobody loves a divorce.

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