SETTING THE SCENE
You’ve been dating your favorite person in the world for a few years now…and you both decide to finally seal the deal. WOOHOO! You are so ready to commit to forever with one another.
You are thrilled to plan a sweet celebration that honors that commitment and you are humbled by the thought of getting to experience life with the one person on the face of the planet that you just can’t get enough of (besides Yoncé).
You start running into friends and family, bursting at the seams, beyond excited to share with them everything about your fiancé, your hopes for your marriage, and your favorite parts about your upcoming wedding.
But you start to notice a pattern…most everyone asks you the same series of questions….
“So when is the big day?"
“What does your dress look like?"
“Have you picked your wedding colors?"
“Have you decided on a venue?"
You are flattered by their interest, but can’t help but feel disappointed that the most important thing to you… your relationship with your future spouse… is almost never inquired about.
PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN
Ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to… our fetishized wedding culture where weddings have become less about marriage and more about...well... weddings.
On the other end of those wedding vows is a LIFETIME commitment that only 50% of couples are sticking with. Yet seemingly 99% of conversations brides have with acquaintances, friends, and family revolve around the material aspects of a planned event?! Something’s off here.
I’d say that this saddens me… but the deep burning in my stomach as I write about this suggests something else - anger, betrayal, confusion, grief, heartache.
I am heartbroken for the women out there, on the cusp of the biggest decision of their lives, minimized to conversations revolving around the best nude tones and the silhouette of a dress.
Because you see… brides KNOW that all of those questions are well meaning, and a lot of the time those brides are more than willing to share those things with you.
But what message are we sending to an engaged couple when the majority of our attention is directed at everything but their future marriage?
Asking heartfelt, intentional questions is not always a natural thing. But friends, when it comes to our loved ones’ future marriages, it needs to be.
We need to be asking brides and grooms the questions that matter. We need to be intentionally reaching out to inquire, invest, and empower our brides and grooms that are stepping into territory that is new and often frightening to them.
CHANGING THE STORY
I spoke at length with some of my favorite brides about this topic and their stories are the heart of this post...
Stories of young women longing to be asked about their hopes, fears, and expectations of their future marriages. Stories of these women wanting so badly to share about the start of their relationships, the ways that they’ve grown, and how they are creatively incorporating their love story into their wedding celebration. Stories of those very wives-to-be only being asked about what their dresses look like.
So without further ado,
10 Questions that real brides wish you would ask them
ACQUAINTANCES SHOULD ASK:
1. What are you looking forward to most about being married? - submitted by Elissa Marie Crowe
2. What’s your favorite detail you’ve planned for the wedding? - submitted by Courtney Current
FRIENDS AND FAMILY SHOULD ASK:
3. What was your first date? - submitted by Micalla Laurel
4. Are you feeling ready? - submitted by Ema Williamson
5. How can I help? - submitted by Ema Williamson
6. How have you taken time for yourself during this formative time? - submitted by Nicole Lariviere
BEST PALS AND CLOSE FAMILY SHOULD ASK:
7. In what ways have you connected with your new family? - submitted by Olivia Ober
8. Do you have any marriage mentors? - submitted by Nicole Lariviere
9. How have you grown as a couple during your engagement? - submitted by Olivia Ober
10. What goals and dreams do you and your fiancé have for your marriage and life together? - submitted by Nicole Lariviere
Or here’s another idea! Just forget the questions all together. Take some time to intentionally congratulate and share some words of encouragement with a bride that could DEFINITELY use it. - submitted by Micalla Laurel
Pals, I’d hope that we could all agree that a bride is more than her dress... and a couple is more than their wedding celebration. Let us intentionally communicate that in the questions we ask and the words that we choose.
Your loved ones who are engaged need you to COMMUNICATE THAT YOU care about them. Not just their wedding day. Time to step up and speak out.
P.S. Ready to start spreading that encouragement? Give your favorite bride the priceless gift of a guided journal that walks them through the journey of being a bride and becoming an amazing wife.
P.P.S. Ready to start RECEIVING that encouragement? Sign up for my FREE weekly love letters so I can love on ya like you deserve.
// A special thank you to my bride tribe pals who contributed to this blog post for being in it to win it with me. You are deserving of the highest encouragement along your journey to becoming a wife. May The Bare Bride continue to be a source of empowerment that you can always rely on to ask the good questions.