Is Premarital Counseling the Newest Wedding Planning Trend? – Vogue

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There’s a standard series of activities that couples typically embark upon before their wedding day. They might throw an engagement party, tour venues, go cake tasting, attend a bachelor or bachelorette party, and maybe even take dance lessons. But a less expected pre-wedding activity that’s become a popular step for over a third of Gen-Z and millennial couples? Premarital counseling. While it might not be as fun as other prenuptial excursions, there’s a growing camp that believes visits to a therapist or a trusted religious figure to discuss the nuances, strengths, and weaknesses of your relationship is an essential step before tying the knot.

“Historically, we’ve seen patterns of couples seeking out therapy or premarital counseling only when there’s looming issues,” shares The Knot deputy editor Esther Lee. “However, for many in the Gen Z and millennial generations, they now view seeking out any form of counseling or therapy as a proactive way of coping and improving the quality of their relationships and overall lives.” Based on the recently published The Knot 2023 Real Weddings Study, a whopping 45 percent of Gen Z and 31 percent of millennial couples attended premarital counseling last year.

Benu Lahiry, LMFT and chief clinical officer at modern-day relationship wellness company Ours, shares that while views on premarital counseling have recently changed, the structure of sessions has as well. “It was often viewed as a mandatory step within certain religious institutions, contributing to a reputation of the process being inaccessible, rigid, and formal,” he says. “Today’s premarital counseling transcends the one-size-fits-all model—evolving into a personalized and relevant journey for couples, creating a solid foundation for a successful and fulfilling marriage. Couples are increasingly acknowledging that a successful and enduring marriage is not devoid of obstacles but, rather, is built upon navigating and overcoming them. The openness to the complexities of marital life celebrates a more realistic and resilient view of what constitutes a thriving partnership.”

So, what exactly does premarital counseling entail? “It is often a series of conversations facilitated by professionals to help a couple ensure that their values and vision for marriage align,” says TacklingTorah Rabbi and CEO, Rabbi Elyssa Cherney. “As couples envision what a long-term relationship will look like, it is helpful to seek the support and guidance of professionals to strengthen the couple’s communication skills. This will help them start with a solid foundation to build on in achieving their shared dreams. Couples will explore how their past upbringing brought them to where they are today and what their hopes for the future they create together will look like.”

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