Expert pre-marriage counselling sessions in the company of a hugely well-trained and sensitive Couples Therapist. In their company, you can identify tricky aspects of your own and the others’ psyche, discuss - with openness and good nature - issues you might face and agree on a set of principles that can guide you once the wedding is over.
The Book - How to Get Married
Our book, 'How to Get Married', contains a wealth of information on how to prepare for a wedding at a psychological level, paying particular attention to helping us understand what love could be and how it should unfold. It also includes our Wedding Ceremony, written to reflect modern psychological priorities and to create a moving and useful ritual. Lastly, the book contains essays on how to deal with the aftermath of the wedding and how to negotiate the sorrows and joys of married life.
‘The main preparation we need for marriage is not practical, but philosophical. We need to understand ourselves, our partners, the institution of marriage and the nature of love.’
How to Get Married
The School of Life Wedding Ceremony
The School of Life has redesigned, updated and rendered more psychological the traditional Wedding Ceremony. In the past, invoking God was the most impressive and powerful way of signalling the importance of anything: weddings were also emphatically religious events, the whole point was that a couple weren’t just promising things to one another, they were making a promise in front of a Divine Being who - on their death - would judge the worth of their efforts. Religions helped us properly recognise the gravity and strangeness of the act of marriage.
Today, we probably don’t see marriage in explicitly religious terms - and this presents us with a conundrum. If we are interested in marriage ceremonies we don’t have much choice but to use a set of rituals drawn from religion - although their original meanings probably leave us cold. We may well want to capture the solemnity of getting married - but the only people offering us this possibility are intent on wrapping it up in a lot of perhaps implausible theological speculations.
This is why The School of Life has redesigned the marriage ceremony - producing an event that is psychologically rich, moving, secular dignified and properly aligned with the needs of a modern couple. This ceremony is detailed in our book, How to Get Married, but we are also on hand to arrange such a ceremony with and for you.
We employ a highly trained Wedding Director who can, in your chosen venue, take you through the ritual from start to finish, providing a distinctive but highly memorable event for you, friends and family. The Director is happy to join you wherever your wedding is planned.
Watch the Wedding Ceremony
‘To marry is to recognise that we require structure to insulate ourselves from our urges. It is to lock ourselves up willingly, because we acknowledge the benefits of the long term; the wisdom of the morning after the storm.'
How to Get Married
For couples seeking further assistance (something which is hugely recommended) after the wedding, we offer ongoing Couples Counselling. Couples Counselling may sound like something we would only be interested in if a relationship were failing; in fact, it is the single greatest tool that can prevent it from doing so. Couples Counselling is a safe forum in which to discuss issues which, when handled by the couple only by themselves, can too easily descend into misunderstanding or recrimination. When we feel that we haven’t ourselves been heard properly by our partner, we’re less likely to want to hear them in turn. But in the consulting room, everyone can safely have their say, can feel acknowledged, and as a result, progress can be made.