Great Expectations!

There are many reasons to marry… many good reasons. There are the legal and financial benefits, health care issues, and spiritual and emotional growth. Marriage has been scientifically proven to promote longer and healthier lives. And of course, love is at the root of it all. You love your partner and want to formalize your commitment.

Here is a partial list of the legal benefits:

  • visitation rights and can make medical decisions, unless otherwise specified in a living will.
  • benefits for federal employees – many of which are also offered by private employers – such as sick leave, bereavement leave, days off for the birth of a child, pension and retirement benefits, family health insurance plans
  • some property and inheritance rights, even in the absence of a will
  • the ability to create life insurance trusts
  • tax benefits, such as being able to give tax free gifts to a spouse and to file joint tax returns
  • the ability to receive Medicare and Social Security, disability and veteran’s benefits for a spouse
  • discount or family rates for insurance
  •  immigration and residency benefits, making it easier to bring a spouse to the U.S. from abroad

At its best, a healthy marriage provides a safe place to grow emotionally, as a human being, and it creates a loving environment to raise a family.

Many couples decide to tie-the-knot because they are expecting a child. Once upon a time this was shameful, but fortunately that is no longer true.  Having a baby is a splendid reason to get married, not something to hide. It is cause for celebration, double celebration, in fact.

There are many ways to address the pregnancy in a wedding, and I don’t recommend hiding the fact. People know. I hope you are very excited about the coming child and want to share that joy with the world.

With the couple’s full approval of course, I like to add a few words about it in the ceremony script. Not too much, though. Then there is ritual. A Sand Ceremony is great for this – the couple can each have a nice size jar of sand for themselves, and a smaller jar representing their future child. This they add along with their sand to the large container, pouring in all they are and hope to be – cementing their bond. Many other rituals work well. Writing letters to your child is another favorite of mine.

As always, balance and proportion matter. While I advocate mentioning the pregnancy, I also don’t want to over emphasis it. After all, you’re not marrying just because you’re having a child, you’re marrying because you love each other and are having a child. Important distinction.

To the future parents – prepare for the emotional rollercoaster – you’ve got a double whammy going on here. And be prepared for those relatives or others who may be uncomfortable with your status and can’t let go of old standards. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel shame or guilt. Women – go ahead get a gorgeous dress, one that will fit you on your wedding day of course! Wear comfortable shoes (every bride should anyway), drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. And enjoy your big day and the days ahead.



Thank you Katie Santmyer-  ksant photography  - website | blog | instagram | facebook

as seen in: borrowed & blue, seniorology, washingtion bride & groom, discover charlottesville, and more.

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    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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