(Please tell me that you caught the sarcasm in that).
But seriously, there are a couple things I wish someone would've told me when I was engaged, and I'm hoping my experience can help some of you out there.
1. If possible, make sure you have about a week for a honeymoon. 2 1/2 days is NOT enough.
2. Your wedding day is very exhausting. Unless you are superwoman, you should schedule some time for a nap in between the wedding and the reception, or even hold the reception the night before the wedding. We arrived at the temple at 9 am and didn't leave until about 3:30 pm. By the end of the day, we were wiped out.
3. You may be called upon to give a little speech at your wedding luncheon, so be prepared. I had no notice and gave a short, flimsy, sniffley, sorry little tribute to my wonderful husband that certainly did not do him justice. If you prepare some eloquent words in advance, your guests will not leave wondering how you ever graduated from high school with such poor rhetoric.
4. I highly recommend the Premarital Health Class at the BYU health center. It taught me everything I needed to know in an uplifting, non-intimidating way. It prepared us to talk about intimacy and helped me overcome my fears and anxieties. It's just one more reason why I love BYU soooooo much.
5. Make sure you get pictures of the guests in candid moments. The day goes by so quickly, and it's so sweet to look through our pictures and see the little moments we didn't catch. I love seeing photos of our family and friends showing such love and devotion for each other and feeling the overwhelming love of that day all over again.
6. It's very likely that you will receive 3 or more crock pots as wedding presents, even if you do create a registry. Be prepared to return them/regift them/sell them on ebay.
6 1/2. If you like camping and the outdoors, you should register at REI. You won't regret it.
7. From the beginning, make family prayer and scripture study a habit. It helps unite you as a couple with each other and the Lord. I think this quote says it best:
“I know of no other practice that will have so salutary an effect upon your lives as will the practice of kneeling together in prayer....The little storms that seem to afflict every marriage become of small consequence while kneeling before the Lord and addressing him as a suppliant son and daughter. Your daily conversations with him will bring peace into your hearts and a joy into your lives that can come from no other source. Your companionship will sweeten through the years. Your love will strengthen. Your appreciation one for another will grow.Your children will be blessed with a sense of security that comes of living in a home where dwells the Spirit of God. They will know and love parents who respect one another, and a spirit of respect will grow in their own hearts. They will experience the security of kind words quietly spoken. They will be sheltered by a father and mother who, living honestly with God, live honestly with one another and with their fellowmen. They will mature with a sense of appreciation, having heard their parents in prayer express gratitude for blessings great and small. They will grow with faith in the living God.” -President Gordon B. Hinckley, "Cornerstones of a Happy Home"
8. Be patient with yourselves in the first couple weeks of marriage. It's tiring to adjust to a new way of life (not to mention sleeping with someone else in your bed). Don't try to take on too much. Make sure to put each other first. The piles of boxes can wait; your spouse really is more important than unpacking.
9. Focus the day on the temple. It is really the highlight of your wedding day, and in many ways the highlight of your lives. Commit to return often so you can learn. It's impossible to soak it all in at once, and even sweeter with the experience time and repetition gives you.
10. Marriage really is so wonderful. It's beautiful to be so united with your best friend and sweetheart, and to work with them towards building an eternal family. If you work at it, your love will grow stronger every day, and you will find the greatest joy you can experience in this life.