THREE FACTS: THREE FACTS: (1) Alexandra and Ian are planning an intimate black-tie destination wedding for 60 of their nearest and dearest in Puglia, Italy. (2) Alexandra is Jewish, and Ian is in the process of converting to Judaism. (3) Alexandra is a member of Smashing The Glass’s Brides Club!
Couples counseling before the wedding
Early on in Ian’s and my engagement, an older friend gave me advice for a successful marriage: go to couples counseling before the wedding. At first, it seemed a bit extreme, but he does have a great marriage and two bomb kids so I listened on.
He said that wedding planning brings up a lot of things you didn’t even think of before you were married, even if you are cohabitating.
We did not immediately jump on this advice because life got in the way. When we finally decided that it was time, we struggled to find a couple’s counselor that we could afford that also reflected our values.
Image by STG Recommended Vendor Jossef Si from Julie and Guillermo’s wedding
After several months of looking we found an amazing therapist at the Institute of Contemporary Psychotherapy in New York, which operates on a sliding scale.
We meet with her every week at the ungodly hour of 8 am on Thursdays. In these sessions we have discussed everything from blending our families to finances and our plans for the future.
We had already discussed these points before, but having the space to discuss these issues in front an unbiased third party has been amazing.
Image by STG Recommended Vendor Ronen Boidek from Laura and Elad’s wedding
Ian and I come from very different backgrounds. I come from a boisterous Jewish-Italian city-dwelling family while Ian comes from an extremely all American sort of Christian family (he’s converting) that is on the quieter side, which probably explains why they live in a more rural area.
Our families get along very well but we do have different expectations when it comes to events and RSVPing which is an issue that has obviously been present in our wedding planning process.
Our therapist has helped us talk through these issues and figure out the best way to handle our families differences and present them as a unified couple.
Image by Rachel Stelter from Samantha and Jeff’s wedding
Dealing with our differences and challanges
We leave our sessions feeling even more secure in our relationship. We are entering our marriage with our eyes open to each other’s differences, but we are prepared to deal with these challenges before an issue arises.
Our counselor says she sees a lot of couples that come into therapy and it’s more of a forensic thing, where they try to figure out what is wrong after the fact. She likes us obviously for our charming personalities but also that we have made the choice to enter our marriage prepared for success.
We are also doing a Jewish counseling program called Prepare/Enrich with our officiant, my childhood cantor. That program is focused more on personality traits than the nitty gritty or relationships, but similarly is meant to help us understand each other and grow as a couple.
We are entering this union ready for success and if we ever have any issues we know we can always go back to counseling and that there is nothing wrong or shameful about that.
Image by STG Recommended Vendor Ran Bergman from Shira and Jonathan’s wedding
Click here to read all Alexandra’s planning posts to date.
Alexandra and Ian’s Wedding Vendors booked so far:
Venue – La Corte Dei Messapi