Pep Talk Tuesday {When It's The Right Time to Get Married}

A reader a few weeks ago submitted a rather interesting question to me; "How do you know when it's the right time to get married?" and I was so stumped on an appropriate answer that I later asked Apb if he had an intelligent answer to offer up. I asked him while we were in the car and I remember him making a confused-type look as he stared out at the road in front of us. I believe that much like when you know your wedding dress is 'the one' or a new apartment is 'you' or something else is truly 'meant to be' (new pumps, anyone?) you know you're ready to get married. But then again, getting married is a little bit bigger of a decision than signing a lease. 

In the vows I read to Apb on our wedding day, I told him I knew as soon as we started dating that he'd be the man I'd marry. I can't pinpoint one exact thing that was said or done that made me feel this way but instead it was just a feeling I had that him and I would be good together for the long run (he'll argue he knew I'd be the girl he'd marry when I brought him toasted bagels and cream cheese for breakfast when he used to sleep in and I had early morning classes, ah college. I miss you like whoah). We were young when we got married, well we still are young and could we have waited? Absolutely. There's never a right time to get married in my opinion. But we didn't wait, we are very happy and here's my take on how I knew I was ready. And how you too might be able to determine if you are.

{Filling the Gap} Do you ever hear the saying "You don't need a guy to make you happier, to make you feel complete, to fill in the missing piece of the puzzle"? Because I hate to break it to you blogettes, but if marrying someone is an effort to feel more fulfilled, satisfied or happy with yourself or your life, then it's all for the wrong reasons. Because like we mentioned before, marriage (or any relationship for that matter) is tough work and how rude of an awakening it would be if you got married for the purpose of being happier only to find out this 'till death do us part stuff is tough. Look at your entire life before you, subtract your significant other out of the equation and determine if there are things that need adjusting with your own self and agenda; perhaps going after that new job? Building a new social circle? Finishing that degree? Making the move to a new state? Loosing 5 pounds? When getting married is merely a way to add happiness and love to your life rather than completing it or filling in a gap, I think you're ready.

{Age Is Just a Number} The whole age thing when it comes to marriage sort of boggles my mind. I remember visiting Southern Utah on a recruiting trip the summer before my sophomore year of college. The majority of girls in their senior years were engaged; newly graduated chicks were married and pregnant. I remember feeling so out of my element, so shocked that 20 and 21 year olds were now soon to be wives and moms. Then again when I went home to Canada to study my graduate program in 2009, my fellow classmates were beyond shocked to know that at 24 I was about to get married. I was "so young!" to them and surely had other things I wanted to do before settling down. Similarly, some people always seem so taken aback when they see a bride in her late 30s early 40s. Society has such a cemented vision on the ideal age to get married at. And we all know how I feel about societal expectations; whether or not you want to get married at 18 or 56, the right time is whenever you determine it to be.

{Relationships Aren't All Butterflies} I love my husband, and fall more in love with him everyday. With that being said, I knew going into our marriage that there would be things we would still argue about/not see eye to eye on/have to battle with and the list goes on. Marriage doesn't mean an end to the things that may not be the most pleasurable during a courtship. Meaning you take the good with the bad and if you can get along with your inlaws (a biggie I'm telling ya, because these people will be your new family forever), successfully go on vacations with your significant other, see eye to eye on things like kids, household duties, relationship expectations, finances, name changes, living arrangements and so forth, then marriage may be the next best step for you and your partner should you both want it. And if you don't, and you mutually decide to pull a Brangelina because you don't need a party/ring/piece of paper declaring your love for one another, then that's cool too. Marriage (or throwing a wedding) isn't for everyone.

And because I love photos, here we are. On our 8th vacay together. Also know as our honeymoon.


How did you chicks know you were ready to get married? Or how do you predict you'll know when the time comes?

32 Lovely Comments:

Lou said...

Love this post Rhi... good advice xox

Bri Bee said...

Hey - where is your GAWGEOUS dress from??

Nicole said...

LOVE these Tuesday posts, Rhi. Like you said, the right time is different for everyone. Personally, I feel that it is important to have some sort of financial stability before embarking on a marraige journey. Along with having some stability, I think it's important that mine and my boyfriends relationship with Christ is where it needs to be. I want to be money smart, but I also want to be spiritually mature. I think both of those will determine a lot for the future of my relationship.

Alisha said...

Wonderful advice, my dear. You're right about marriage, you have to take the good with the bad, the ups and the down, the laughter and the tears. And if the two of you can handle that, you can handle anything!

I had this gut feeling about a month into dating Brandon that I 'just knew' (too soon, some might argue), but I knew he'd be a wonderful husband and friend, and I just HAD to have him in my life!

xoxo

Kirby said...

What a great question! I think you're right, it's different for everyone and you shouldn't get married to fill a void or because society tells you to. the whole age thing is spot on too, I have a friend who says she doesn't want to get married until she's a certain age and have children by another age. if we put dates on things like marriage and children it seams wrong.
I knew like you did. I can't pin point an exact moment but I knew. I also had a dream where I was getting married. I've had this dream before but never saw the grooms face, the last time was different, I saw his face and it assured me to follow my heart.

Leah said...

I agree, it's a tough question to tackle, but a very important one. I have been with my BF for almost 7 years and though we would have loved to get married a few years ago already, our financial situation and jobs were not ideal to start our own family. We are both in our mid 20's now and feel well rounded as a couple and have gone through enough ups and downs together, and are ready to get married. It's definitely not something to rush into, or give in to the pressure from people around you. I think each person knows in their heart when the right timing will be.
Thanks for this post.

xo L.

Anonymous said...

I was 28 turning 29 when I met my fiance. We started talking about our future together short after we started dating and we both like the same things...where to raise our children, where we want to grow old together,where we want to travel, etc. We got engaged after 4 months of dating, but without the ring...it became official on our one year anniversary last year. I will be turning 31 five days before our wedding day and I am trully excited.
My fiance used to say/ask, "why didn't I met you along time ago?" my answer is, "that's because it wasn't the right time for us to meet. We got to do things young poeple do...party, be in a suckie relationship, buy expensive things that you don't need...so that by the time you're ready to settle down, you won't miss those things."
The only thing about getting married at my age is that my relatives, especially my grandma, are pressuring us to have a baby STAT!

Lisa said...

Thanks for this, Rhi :) I went to a Catholic university for two years, which is where I met my boyfriend. The huuuuge majority of our friends there are engaged, and I get bombarded all the time with "Why aren't you and John engaged yet??" I'm 21 and he's 23 and we're live 2000 miles away from each other right now, that's why! :P It's frustrating sometimes seeing couples who have been together less than half the time we have getting engaged...I always wonder if people then look at me and John and wonder if we don't love each other as much as those people do or whatever. I know that's so silly, but it's definitely nice to get away from the pressure sometimes where early-20s people aren't all showing off their engagement rings and trying to figure out what's "wrong" in my relationship. I'm lucky to be with a guy I love who loves me back and is my best friend, and my response is always that we'll get engaged when it's the right time for us...and when we live in the same state again :)

Paloma said...

I was just having a conversation with a good friend about this last weekend! I am forwarding it to her ASAP :) Thank you for always writing such thoughtful posts!

Alicia@CharityWedding said...

I agree with you. I think you just know and if you have to question it, you probably aren't ready. We applied the same logic when buying a house. We wanted one so bad so we often found ourselves talking each other in to something or questioning it. But then we walked in to our home that we own now and instantly I just knew it was the one. It isn't perfect but it was us. That is how relationships and marriage are too I think. If you have to talk yourself into it because of family pressure, or expectations, or whatever, it probably isn't right. When you're ready, you'll just know!

la petite coquine said...

First, I'm with Nicole-how I love Tuesday's posts!

Since you know a bit about me and my marital status, you can guess my answer is a little complicated. John and I got hitched because we wanted to, but we're holding off on getting engaged and throwing a wedding because frankly, I just don't think we could squeeze one more thing in right now! I'm excited for a time when we're ready to make a wedding a priority, but happy to enjoy my husboyfriend right this minute!

ASHLEY said...

Such good advice! I totally agree! I can pinpoint the exact moment I knew Jeff was the one. I love thinking about it and remembering the same night he gave me his dog tags which I guess is tradition to give to your gal before you head off to war. I had to say goodbye to him for another 6 months as he deployed to Iraq but I knew he was the one! :))) XOXO

Naomi Goodman said...

My comment would take forever but I must say this you again have given great advice! You and your husband are just adorable BTW....love love the pics.

Aileen@LoveandLavender said...

This is a great question! Tough to answer, but I think you offer up some great advice. I got married at 21, and my husband was 23. Lots of people were shocked that we were getting married so young, but to me it was like why wait til I'm a certain number when I know he's the guy for me?

Naomi Goodman said...

BTW I got married at 38...OK now you can do the math and I've been married for less than three years :-) Cemented vision indeed!

Shafonne said...

My husband and I have been together for 16 years. So as trivial as it sounds we knew when we were together in high school that we were going to get married but we had to find ourselves. So we didn't rush into getting married but when we knew, we definitely knew!!

Erin*Sparkle&Hay said...

ooooooooooooooh i LOVE this. i just love how you always take on the tough questions. i'm so right there with you - i can't even explain it but there was something just different about dan and i think i knew pretty early on that i'd be marrying him one day :)

Shal said...

Hey Rhi! I agree wholeheartedly, especially about the 'gap' issue. One thing my Pastor said a while ago, that has really stuck with me is: "There are a lot of single people who want to be married, and a lot of married people who want to be single." In so few words, it speaks volume about the nature of marriage and how to know if you're ready for it! Also I think 24 is a great age to tie the knot, no bias of course ;) haha!

Alicia - Bakeaholic said...

My boyfriend and I are 4 years apart, he's 27 and i'm turning 23. We've lived together for almost a year now, and we know we are going to eventually get married, within the new few years im sure. We both just knew it was something we would do together and knew almost immediately that eachother were the one. Some of my friends definitely do the whole "woah! were too young" while others i know my age have been married for 2 years already! It's totally up to the person/couple but I for sure knew my guy was the one when we started dating and he did too. I like how it doesn't scare him away when we talk abou it - we've even gone to many jewelry stores and tried on rings. I cannot WAIT to get married! I'll definitely have to consult your website when the time comes!

Rosie said...

You two are adorable...is your white lace dress by BB Dakota? If so, I have the exact same one, I love it!

Amy said...

I'm 32 and I've been married for 11 years. Hubby and I got married at 21. I would say that the biggest mistake was making sure we were financially ready to get married. I had just lost my job and he was making $9 an hour. That was more money than now but not enough to support us. He is the love of my life and I don't regret a day that I've share with him. I just think that we should have been a lot smarter about the choice of when.

Jenna Lee said...

I knew I wanted to marry Frank from a month into our relationship. A year later I could not be more sure hes the one. Every time I look at him my heart gets happy. He is the most handsome man in the world. I have dated guys long term before but never loved them like I love Frank. Its just a different feeling. We both try hard to make it work and we both try to make each other happy. I think its that fact that we both try that makes it work so well.

Lynzie Kent said...

Im getting married this summer and I will be 26. My fiance is 30. I knew that I was ready to marry him when I realized I didnt envision any of the "big things" in my life happening without him. When I thought of children, buying a house, retiring etc. he always seemed to be right next to me in my daydreams.

kellyhicks said...

I knew I wanted to marry D when..

-Everything was boring without him
-I realized he was my best friend
-I figured out neither of us are perfect but we loved each other anyway.

I loved what you said about not getting married to fulfill yourself. Right on. If you leave your happiness up to a human being, you will always be disappointed. SelfLESSness is the biggest tool you will need in order to have a successful marriage.

Brooke said...

I love the Age is only a number! Before I had my daughter I didn't think I'd get married until well into my 20s, but after everything I went through and the time just feels perfectly right!

Krystal said...

you guys are so so cute :) So it always baffles me when people say "but don't you have so much more to do??" before getting married. am I bound to the house afterwards or something?? What can't you do as a married person that you can do single? mark would support anything i wanted or needed to do and vice versa. sheesh. we're not glued to the hip yo!

Ashlie said...

Once again great post Rhi! You write so well. My husband and I actually only knew each other eight months before we tied the knot. A lot of people had a lot to say about it, but in the end when you know you know. In July we will have been married a year and half, total of two years together. We could not be happier.

Liesl @ FabulousFashions4SensibleStyle said...

Beautiful picture of you both on your honeymoon and I'm loving that chunky ring too!

This blog offered such great advice and I think you are right about pretty much everything! Marriage is going to be work, that I know, and even while dating there are things my fiance and I don't see eye to eye on, but to people coming together are going to come from different backgrounds and have formed their own opinions, but it is how you bring each one together and make the most of it even if they are different!

I also love that you touched upon age! I will have just turned 33 by the time I get married next year (GASP) and my fiance will be only 29, but in the end we worked, even though I said I would never date someone younger! LOL! That said, both my sister married younger too and are happily going strong...perhaps we teach them a thing or two! ;)

That said, I agree that you can't pin point these details, but more of just do what is and feels right to you...we are all different and in the end things happen at different times in each of our lives and that is what makes us who we are!

Thanks again for a lovely post and I hope you had a Wonderful Wednesday!

Liesl :)

Michelle @ Ten June said...

I love your advice posts! They are so chock full of fabulousness : ) And I love love that photo... you guys are so cute!! PS. WHERE is that top from?! Gorg.

jacin {lovely little details} said...

such a great post, lovely. sorry i've been a bad blogger friend this week, it's been a bit crazy so i haven't commented as much as i'd like! hope you're doing well :)

Hilary said...

One of your old baking blog buddies here, Rhiannon! I suspect I'll be around here a fair bit now since I recently got engaged. I had to laugh at your description of your grad program classmates in Canada thinking you're sooo young to be getting married. I am totally one of those - I more or less woke up one day after I turned 30 (am 31 now) and thought, "OK, I'm old enough to get married now!" It's so personal for everyone, but it's also interesting how your social milieu plays a huge role in when seems like "the right time".

Alexandra @ bWed Exclusive said...

Such a great post! Advice one can truly take to heart. Everything you said is very true and well-written to boot (as always). But it's also an inspiration. It's advice I know I'll remember as I am still waiting for not only the right time but the right guy as well.