If you are struggling or want to improve your marriage, start learning from weddings and apply these lessons in your relationship today…

Getting married is one of the best decisions l have made in my life. And l love the memories from our wedding day.

If you are getting married this year, congratulations! As someone who likes to observe and learn from events, I have been thinking about the marriage lessons we can all learn from weddings.

Here is what I learned…

1. Plan, prepare and work hard for your marriage

Every wedding I have attended involved a lot of planning, preparation and hard work. These three things play a huge role in how successful the wedding will be.

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If you plan, prepare well and work hard for your marriage, the chances of your marriage ending in a divorce considerably reduces.

Many couples forget the hard work (like becoming selfless, empathetic listening and putting your spouse’s needs before your wants) required to make a marriage work.

2. Find the best resources you need to have a great marriage

For every wedding that l have attended, I have observed the best products and items are used for the wedding. From the wedding dress, bridesmaid gowns, tables and chairs, to the gifts, photographers, DJ and cake.

For example, the design, taste and look of the wedding cake are made with care and some of the best products. Who wants a crappy cake for their wedding day? Not me, and l am sure not you either.

Don’t be scared to invest in your marriage. Find the best resources that will help your marriage, and use them. Read marriage books. Attend workshops and seminars that will help you become a better spouse.

How successful will your marriage be if you spent the same or even a fraction of the money you spent on your wedding for your marriage?

Don’t be scared to invest in your marriage

READ MORE: 7 Ways to fix a broken marriage

3. Hire experts to help your marriage when the need arises

Whenever an engaged couple plans their wedding, they hire experts (people who are trained, experienced or just plain good at what they do) to help with the wedding. An example is hiring a wedding photographer. Even if you are on a tight budget, you want to make sure the visual memories captured are done by someone who knows what they are doing.

When the tough times arise in your marriage, and you are not making any progress, hire a marriage counsellor or coach to help you resolve your problems.

How successful will your marriage be if you invested in the same professional help for your marriage, that you do for your wedding?

4. You can’t do it alone

It takes more than one person to get married. This is a reminder that the success of your marriage does not depend on you only.

It also depends on your spouse.

So, work together with your spouse on the issues, problems, and struggles that come up in your marriage.

Celebrate your wins, successes and joys together, regardless of the size.

5. Don’t be afraid to rent

A lot of weddings take place in a rented space, or with rented wedding dress, tuxedo, costumes and furniture, so don’t be in a rush to buy your first home. Rent one if that’s initially the best choice for your financial situation. The first year of marriage can be stressful enough as you both adjust to your new roles without adding the stress of buying a house.

Celebrate your wins, successes and joys together, regardless of the size!

6. Smile, dance and laugh with your spouse

Weddings are filled with a lot of excitement and laughter. Guests eat together, share jokes, have different conversations and display their dancing skills.

Enjoy your marriage by remembering to laugh and smile together every day. Eat together, share a joke or two, and dance together like you did on your wedding day. This alone will relieve you of stress and keep the spark alive in your marriage by building your friendship.

7. Have a plan for your finances

Before a wedding takes place, the soon-to-be-married couple decides how much will be spent on the wedding and creates a budget plan for the amount of money to be spent.

This budgeting tool will become very handy in your married life. Financial issues are the root of many fights in marriage and many divorces, so the quicker you both learn to deal with your money as a team, the better.

8. Be ready for the unexpected

Things don’t always go as planned on the wedding day. However, you will find different ways to make your wedding day a success. It happens in marriage too.

You and your spouse will change over time. What he/she used to love doing before you got married could change. Be open to the changes that will occur in your marriage. Adjust and support your spouse as they grow, mature and become a better person. Furthermore, learn to compromise with your spouse on the issues on which you have different opinions.

We all want to believe that nothing bad will ever happen and we will live happily ever after. The truth is that life is full of surprises. Unexpected pregnancy, the loss of a family member, or sickness can happen, so being able to lean on each other and having some sort of plan for the unexpected will help your marriage survive the rough seas.

Communication issues can make or break a marriage

READ MORE: Why the hardest thing about marriage is… staying married

9. Communicate more often

Communication is vital to the success of planning a wedding. From the beginning to the end. Don’t stop doing it. Continue this even after the wedding day. It will help you to communicate your feelings and build a safe haven in your home.

Communication issues can make or break a marriage. Learn how to listen to your spouse and understand where they are coming from as much as what they are saying. Don’t forget that your spouse is not a mind reader and you have to voice your needs as well. One of the biggest parts of communication is listening, so make sure you try to understand where your spouse is coming from.

10. Have fewer (or no) criticisms

I have yet to observe a wedding which involves criticism, especially the negative kind. When you criticise your spouse, let it be kind and constructive.

The negative criticism will increase resentment in your marriage. Show your spouse you appreciate him/her, just like you did on your wedding day.

If you are struggling or want to improve your marriage, start learning from weddings and apply these lessons in your relationship today.

Marcus hosts the First Year Marriage Show podcast and co-authored two best-selling marriage books with his wife. Visit him at www.OurPeacefulFamily.com