During our engagement, Erick and I knew that we needed to be preparing more for our marriage than we did for our wedding. That is one of my big hopes for all of my KCP couples, too! I hope and pray that you are taking steps to plan for a meaningful marriage that lasts far beyond your beautiful wedding day.

      For me, one of the ways I chose to prepare for marriage was by reading and soaking up as much wisdom as I could! I have read lots and lots of books about marriage and relationships – today I am sharing just a couple of my favorites.

      THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES

      “For love, we will climb mountains, cross seas, traverse desert sands, and endure untold hardships. Without love, mountains become unclimbable, seas uncrossable, deserts unbearable, and hardships our lot in life.”

      I read this book long before Erick and I were even thinking about marriage and it completely changed the way I view my relationships with people! It has significantly impacted my family relationships, my friendships, and of course, my relationship with Erick. Knowing and understanding that each of us feels love in a different way was monumental in our relationship. I highly recommend reading this book – probably the easiest read on this list!

      THE MEANING OF MARRIAGE

      “The gospel is this: We are more sinful and flawed in ourselves than we ever dared believe, yet at the very same time we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope.”

      This book is all about the Lord’s design and desire for marriage. It is not a quick read because of how much depth Timothy Keller brings. It is packed with scriptural truths about the covenant of marriage – I would recommend this to anyone who is single, dating, engaged or married! Not only will it give you a better understanding of the true purpose of marriage, it will draw you closer to the Lord and who He is.

      HIS NEEDS, HER NEEDS

      “How are you feeling? What problems are you facing? How can I help you solve those problems? That’s the kind of conversation that helps married couples stay in love with each other. Or it leads people into affairs when it’s done outside of marriage and with someone of the opposite sex. It’s intimate conversation.”

      The book describes the five most important needs of a woman and the five most important needs of a man and sets up different situations that could happen if those needs are not met. It really highlights the innate differences between men and women. In order to best love our spouse, we need to be able to see and meet their needs – even though they are much different than ours!

      SHEET MUSIC

      “I believe that love takes time. I believe there is such a thing as infatuation at first sight, but not love at first sight.” 

      This book encourages you to read only the first four chapters before you are married (such a quick read!), and then read the rest on your honeymoon or after you are married. I chose to read this about a month before our wedding day! It helps to start a conversation about one of the most intimate parts of marriage and really helped Erick and I get on the same page about our expectations.

      Some other options…

      I only included 4 books in my main list just to be realistic. Because if you’re anything like me, planning a wedding is BUSY! I planned mine in 6 months AND was trying to graduate college at the same time – crazy!! I didn’t have much time to read, but I tried my hardest to make it a priority because I valued what I was learning. If you’re in a season where you have more time to read, here are a few other recommendations for you to check out…

      Love & Respect by Emerson Eggerichs
      You and Me Forever by Francis & Lisa Chan
      The Mingling of Souls by Matt Chandler
      The Path Between Us by Suzanne Stabile (If you’re an enneagram lover, this one’s for you!)


      Kieran Claire is a photographer based in Greenville, SC who specializes in romantic, elegant, and timeless weddings & portraits. 

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