My dear readers, I hope you are well. Today my post is specially for all those who plan to get married or have a wedding in their family coming up. Before you get married, there are a lot of things which you need to do. I know many of you would be thinking ‘Duh! Its obviously the wedding preparations’. But honestly, that is only one part of what I think one should do. The important part is not even related to wedding preparation. Any ideas what that could be? In my opinion, they are as under:
Photo Credits: Waliya Najib Photography
1- Be thankful to Allah. Read the Quran
Pray for a blissful marriage and a kind husband. I had realized I wouldn’t be able to take out so much time every day for completing my Quran English Tafseer which I had started. So I gave myself the deadline of completing it before my marriage.
When I had that goal, I made sure I completed it and it felt superb. And I knew that if I had left it, I would never have been able to finish it. Try to read some Nafals and Dua-e-Hajat during this time also. Its very important to read the Quran with meaning so you know your rights, your husbands rights and how to live a good happy life. Values are extremely important in a marriage and I believe values come from understanding religion.
2- Spend quality time with your family We all take our families for granted till the time we know we will be leaving them. You will be moving into a new house and family and it will never be the same again. So make the most of your time with your family. Make plans, go out to the mountains, beach, movies, send them all a gift separately, and most importantly make memories!
Before your wedding day, buy a greeting card for each of your family member (parents, siblings and grandparents) and write your most beautiful memories with them and tell them how much you will miss them. Put your wedding dates card on that and hand it over to them on your wedding day. This is an amazing way for a daughter to leave her parents house and let them know how much she loves them. It also lets them know that their daughter is never too busy for them and she took out time for them even on her wedding day.
3- Look after yourself You know your biggest day of your life is coming near. You don’t want to look your worst during it or let the signs of all the stress and chores show on your face. You better make a proper plan of having at least one raw vegetable (e.g. Carrot, cucumber), one fruit, one glass of milk and a Multi vitamin tablet every single day. You must make sure you have 8 glasses of water and at least 15 minutes exercise everyday. You must also use Sandlewood powder, Ubtan, rosewater and other herbal products on your face and neck for natural radiance on your face. Please stay away from skin doctors unless you have a big problem. You are the most important person in your upcoming wedding so you better take care of yourself, first of all.
4- Cook, clean and practice how to be a better manager
It is true that once you get married, it won’t be easy to suddenly change your lifestyle completely. So it is advisable to first of all make a Recipe Folder where you print out all the best recipes which you find and try out. Your family will have whatever you make. So it is best to try out recipes on them rather than messing up your first impression at your in-laws.
5- Give Zakat or charity As you are going to have a new beginning, it is best to start it by giving to the poor. It will make you feel better. The best thing is to give to household staff who had served you all your life. If you have contact with your old staff workers, you can call them up and transfer money to them also.
6- Have a decent saving in your personal bank account A lot of girls today get married after working for some time. It is vital for a girl to have savings in her personal bank account. You never know when you may need money for any unforeseen circumstances. Although it is husbands responsibility to take care of wife but she should at least have some back up for emergencies. She should also have an organized banking system. She should have a running cash bank account and one for savings which she almost never touches.
7- Take out a little time every week to do what you love doing If you are into arts, make paintings. If you love riding, ride a horse. Some other examples are Tennis, friends, movies, eating out, reading books and scrapbooking. Sky is the limit. Just do what you love doing. When you get married, you will need to adjust to the new lifestyle and if you are unable to do what you love over there for some months initially, you may get frustrated. To avoid that, its best to do it while you’re at home now. Hobbies and interests also tend to take over, at times. We lose track of time when we want to finish our painting or complete a journal. When you are married, you will have a lot of responsibilities and fact is that you will only be able to continue your hobbies within certain time limits. So try to complete your previous projects fully before you get married.
8- Self talk Getting married is surely the biggest decision of ones life. I think between different stages of ones life, we need some time in between to be able to accept and adjust to the reality. I think its vital to find a peaceful place and spend some alone time. Doing Yoga or breathing excercises while you are alone is also a good idea.
9- Organize yourself Since you will be starting a new life altogether, it is best to start organizing your things and decide what you want to leave behind. These can then be given to a sister or friend. The most important thing that I can’t stress enough is that you must sort out all your legal documents. In a file, put all your education, health, work, legal documents and scan them. In case you don’t have a scanner, take a good picture of them with your cell phone and edit them on an editor within your phone.
Once you have a softcopy of all your legal documents, upload them on your online space. You already have access to free online space with your email provider. Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, all provide it. For more information on this important topic, please click here for my full post dedicated to sorting out legal documents.
10- Talk to your fiance I do not believe that a couple should be too friendly before marriage but I believe very strongly that a couple must have a few good sessions where they discuss important matters like their beliefs and values. My husband and I talked to each other openly about our priorities, expectations and commitment. I asked my fiance right before our marriage to write his thoughts on a piece of paper regarding marriage. We then met in a park where I took my relationship commitment note as well. Although we had an idea about each others beliefs before I said ‘Yes’, this particular discussion made us feel very good and confident about our upcoming marriage.
I suddenly realized that in our Desi weddings, there are no wedding vows. So basically the couple has never formally promised that they they will be there for each other through thick and thin. During this conversation, we covered a lot of topics like respect, financial matters, difficult times, fair relationship, family, integrity, loyalty, privacy, space and communication. Before this detailed talk, I had been having jitters and sometimes wanted to run away and never get married.
After knowing my husbands views and telling him about mine, we both were very happy and promised each other to abide by this commitment always and to keep it safe. I couldn’t wait to marry him after this talk and all my fears were gone completely. I strongly believe every couple should have such a talk before marriage.
11- Know your rights and duties
This point is one of the most important yet it is almost never taken into consideration before marriage. God has set boundaries in every relationship which we must be aware of in order to adhere to them. This is specially important for all you girls out there. In our culture, even girls parents do not talk to her properly before she gets married.
Since her childhood, her parents keep telling her how to act and behave well. She is repeatedly taught how to always be nice and to always agree to her husband and future in-laws. She is always taught to keep her husband happy no matter what. I learned it the hard way that this teaching is wrong. She should be taught to be nice to people specially in-laws but at the same time, she should also be taught what is fair and what isn’t. She should know when enough is enough and when she needs to say ‘No’. The most common types of abuse in a marriage are physical, mental, financial and social. A woman needs to know what she must not accept and when she needs to put her foot down.
In order to know her rights, she needs to go through the teachings of Islam. There are many websites available from where she will know what she needs to do for her husband and what he needs to do for her. Every one MUST know about the rights and duties of husband and wife before entering into a marriage. It is also advised to send these website links to your fiance so they are aware of Islams teachings regarding relationship.
In that way, I have become a little skeptical about girls getting married at a very young age. When they are not mature, they are too naïve and they are often mistreated as they don’t really know what’s going on. It is our daughters right to know the difference between right and wrong and she must know it well before she gets married.
This was the end of this topic. Do you agree with the above? Would love to know your thoughts.