Are you skeptical that preparing for a wedding can be a spiritual experience, rather than a stress-filled journey of details? Put our timeline to the test and watch your engagement become the most spiritual time of your life.

9 Months - 1 Year Before the Wedding
Refresh your memory about your faith tradition's teachings on marriage and wedding preparation. Meet with a pastor, rabbi, or spiritual leader, or simply read up to reconnect with the spiritual meaning of a marital union. Jewish brides might wish to visit a mikveh, or ritual bath, as a way of preparing for marriage according to traditional teachings. Catholic couples might wish to attend a Pre-Cana weekend retreat to learn more about the Church's traditions and views.

Start a meditation or yoga practice. Planning a wedding can be a stressful time, and these techniques are sure to help you through tense times during your engagement. Sharpen your mind-body connection by learning different breathing and posture techniques. Not only will you stand up straight on your way down the aisle, you'll be fully centered and ready to embrace the joy of the moment.

Include your favorites. Preparing for marriage means sharing with another person all the particular things that make you who you are. Talk with your fiancé about how you can choose foods, colors, favors, or centerpieces that reflect your true inner selves.

5 - 8 Months Before the Wedding
Read a book about the spiritual meaning of different types of flowers. When it's time to select flowers for bouquets and table settings, think about which blossoms are both meaningful and beautiful to you. For example, in Victorian England, ivy symbolized "wedded love," and phlox meant "our souls are united."  

Rediscover family. A wedding is about more than just the bride and the groom, it's about the two families that are coming together through the marriage. Reach out to family before the wedding, plan casual get-togethers or holiday meals, and you can be sure that at the wedding, everyone will get up and dance to "We Are Family."

2 - 4 Months Before the Wedding
Talk about your marriage, not just your wedding. This will ease the stress when something small goes wrong in the wedding planning process. If you're future-focused, misspelled names on your cocktail napkins won't bother you as much.

Write a letter to your fiancé. You don't have to include in it every hope, dream, and expectation for your marriage—just share your thoughts about what you are feeling as the wedding draws closer, and put into your own words the connection you two share.

1 Month Before the Wedding
Take a long, quiet walk with your future spouse. In all the hubbub of wedding plans, it's easy to lose track of the joy of spending simple time with the one you love.

Spend quality time with your friends—and your fiancé's. Showers and engagement parties are fun, but they can also be meaningful, personal, and special. Getting married will be a big change in your life—take this opportunity to assure your friends that the foundation of your friendship will only strengthen in your married life.

1 Week Before the Wedding
Be thankful. Think about how grateful you are that you have found your soul mate, and that you are pledging each other your eternal love and loyalty.

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