With the high cost of weddings today, and the even higher cost of divorce, sometimes not thinking about the marriage through all the way is the worst thing you can do. It can be heartbreaking if the bride or groom gets cold feet and calls off the wedding, but is doing so such a bad thing? Everyone needs a ‘before you get married’ list to make sure you are truly ready for the life of holy matrimony. I will be honest, I believe you should be able to marry whomever you want, but it’s not up to me. These are questions I came up with when a had someone close to me thinking about getting married. I just wanted to be sure, so I ask them these very questions.
Questions to ask yourself:
1. Am I in love with the idea of marriage, or am I in love with the (wo)man/them? Am I just looking at the excitement of everything that it takes to put a wedding together, and not focusing on anything beyond the wedding day?
2. Am I having second thoughts before I even set the date, or even a month before the wedding?
3. Am I ready to be faithful and true to only one person for the rest of my life?
4. How honest am I with myself? What are my true feelings for my significant other?
5. If wedding plans are already in motion, am I just going along with them not for fear of hurting someone’s feelings, or making them feel like they were used for their money, or as if their money was wasted, even though I want to call the whole thing off?
6. Am I emotionally, physically, and mentally prepared for all aspects of marriage?
7. Am I ready to say ‘I do’ without any doubts that I am doing the right thing?
8. If need be, am I willing to pack up my whole life and move away from friends and family if asked?
9. Am I willing to leave my friends behind for my husband/wife/them or will my friends always come first?
10. Is my significant other accepted by my family? If not, why? Does it bother me if they don’t? Am I marrying him/her/them just to anger my family?
11. Am I willing to wait longer than I already have to make sure that I am really ready to be married to this person, or do I just want to get it over with?
12. Have we had the important talks about children, and families? Do either of us have any debts, and who will be responsible, for them once we are married?
13. Do we have the same expectations of marriage?
14. Do I like the way my significant other is around children; will they make the kind of parent I want for our children?
15. Do you see yourself married to this person for 5, 10, 25, 50 years or more?
16. If I am pregnant, am I just getting married because you feel it is the best thing to do for the baby? Am I willing to wait until after the child is born to make sure that I am marrying out of love and not a sense of duty?
17. Have we talked with our religious leaders? Have we made any decisions as to what faith to practice and with which we will raise our children?
18. If we are not currently living together, am I willing to give up my home to move into his/hers/them, or to give up the space in my home for him/her to move in with me?
19. If I am a virgin, do I really understand what will happen on my wedding night? Am I ready to take that step with this man/woman/him/her?
20. Am I getting married just to keep my significant other in my life? Will they leave if I don’t marry them whether I am ready to do so or not?
21. Do I see myself waking up next to him/her/them every morning? Does the thought put a smile on my face?
22. Do I trust my fiancé with my life, my heart, and my soul?
23. Do I look forward to life after my wedding with a smile on my face, or do I feel unsure and fearful?
24. Am I getting married because all of my friends are married, and I feel left out?
25. Can I imagine my life without this person by my side helping me through it?
These are not cold, unfeeling questions you must ask yourself; these are questions you need to ask yourself to make sure in your heart that s/he is the one. These questions will potentially save you and everyone involved a lot of pain and heartbreak. It may be difficult to be adult enough to stop the wedding before the date, but it will be a huge emotional disaster (and even more costly) to decide just days after the wedding that you made the biggest mistake of your life.
You really need to ask yourself if you are getting married for all the right reasons. Never allow yourself to be pushed into getting married if you are not emotionally ready to give all of yourself to that person. You cannot just go along with marriage. Waiting months, days, or even years to get married is never as heartbreaking as realizing after the fact that you just blew it. If the person you love is not willing to wait, maybe they are not the right person for you.
Talk to your future spouse about your feelings. If you do not feel comfortable doing so, this could be a warning sign for problems ahead. An honest, open relationship is the foundation of a happy marriage. If you do not feel you can talk to him/her about your doubts, if they tell you, it’s nothing to worry about, if they react badly, or do not respect your feelings, then you definitely should consider postponing or canceling your wedding.
Sit down and write out all the reasons you are in love him/her/them, your hopes, your dreams, your fears, your doubts, and your dislikes. Listen to your heart and pray about it. Talk about it with a trusted friend or someone who is willing to help you see both sides of the question. Make sure you are able to talk freely with this person to see if marriage is really the way to go.
If you decide after answering all of these questions that you just have a case of cold feet and your life as you know it is not ending, go ahead and plan the wedding. Get yourself prepared for the biggest day of your life.
Updated for 2023