He doesn’t look over 4000 weddings old, but he is! Who might I be referring to? That would be the Tennessee based non-denominational minister Ralph Griggs! When I asked him how many weddings he’s officiated, he said he stopped counting a few years ago, and it was over 4000 then! Can you IMAGINE the stuff he’s seen? My goodness!
A few personal words about Ralph, though this is a sponsored post. Ralph was our officiant and he’s punctual, he’s nice, he’s professional and he’s good. Really good. We could not have been happier, particularly since The Candyman and I didn’t have our own church in Nashville. And the thing is, he’s just a super-nice guy. There, my 2 cents on that.
But on to the good stuff! One of the great things about Ralph is his on-line marriage preparation course. I know this sounds, er, lame – but marriage prep is crucial. Marriage takes WORK! Regardless of how easy your relationship is right now, it might not always stay that way, particularly when a crisis rears it’s ugly head. And crises can happen, to both good and bad people. It’s best to know how you and your partner will act in difficult times.
Now when The Candyman and I met with Ralph, we were already in premarital counseling. We knew we had some rough areas of communication that definitely needed smoothing over and we nipped that sucker in the bud. However, that was a specific issue that we needed to work on. Ralph’s course asks questions that took us in all sorts of different directions. One of my favorite questions was, “If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?” It may seem like a pipe dream type of question, but it takes you through each person’s priorities. We answered separately and then shared our answers afterwards. It was surprising (and a relief) to know that we would do EXACTLY the same thing. What’s interesting, is that particular question really gave us insight into our relationship because one of the things we fought about was money (sometimes still do). However, knowing that the core, the things that we see as important, were the same now make those money-talks a lot easier.
Here are some additional things that the on-line marriage preparation course can do for you:
- Prevent unhappy surprises in your marriage. You don’t want to get into your marriage and say to your significant other, “I had no idea you thought that!” You should kinda know all the important stuff up front! It sounds simple, but isn’t always.
- Build confidence in your relationship strengths and explore new areas. Premarital preparation made us feel more confident about our decision to marry. Period.
- Get a heads-up on tricky relationship issues, and have some compromises worked out already. This was crucial for me and The Candyman and was well worth the time investment.
- Begin marriage with the knowledge that your mate cares enough about the relationship to put some effort into making it grow. Amen.
- It’s fun. I’m not blowing smoke here. When done right, premarital preparation is fun. It just makes you feel really good about your partner.
Some other benefits?
- It’s the marriage course guys love. For real. The Candyman would not lie about something like this.
- It’s the course anyone can do at home! You don’t have to find a therapist. You don’t have to schedule and drive somewhere. You don’t have to pay a $50 co-pay or more if you aren’t covered by insurance. You don’t have to tell private stuff to a stranger.
- Yo, Tennessee couples, save $60! Did you know that if you partake in premarital prep you can save $60 on your marriage license?
You don’t have to live in Tennessee and you don’t have to have Ralph as your officiant to take part in the on-line marriage preparation course. You can already be married too! It's never too late to dig a little deeper with your partner, particularly when it's fun.
So go check it out and come back here an let me know what you think. How do you feel about pre-marriage prep?