Sometimes the best advice a newly engaged couple can receive on planning a starting their married life together comes from someone who recently walked down the same aisle in the same shoes you are about to.
The Democrat recently spoke to David Boatright and Mariah (Wassam) Boatright for some practical advice and tips on planning the big day and what comes next.
The couple started dating in November 2011 when Mariah was a senior in high school and David was a junior in high school. David proposed in May 2014 and the couple were married Jan. 10, 2015.
David Boatright is a full-time student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he is pursuing a degree in animal science. Mariah received her associates of arts degree in business from State Fair Community College in 2014.
Together the couple manage 600 acres split between two farms in Sturgeon and Boonville.
The following is some of the advice the couple provided for future brides and grooms.
• Make a plan and stick to it.
“Wedding planning should be fun and exciting, not overwhelming and stressful, ” Mariah Boatright said. “Have fun planning the special day, be organized, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or delegate tasks.”
The couple married at Maplewood Church and Mariah said the ladies at the church were incredibly helpful in decorating the church and reception hall and planning the reception.
“I had a wedding board on Pinterest and that helped so much,” Mariah said. “It helped that so many people let us borrow items for the reception.”
Boatright said one of the hardest things for the couple to do was to stick to the decisions they had made.
“So many friends had wonderful, good ideas and as soon as we thought we had decided upon something another friend would suggest an idea that we really liked and thought we might want to do,” Mariah said.
• Don’t go over budget for the wedding or honeymoon.
“David and I both knew we were going to be just as married no matter how the decorations or trip ended out,” Mariah said. “What we both wanted to do was make sure the day was not stressful for us but we really wanted to make sure that our families and our guests had the best time possible with us on our special day.
“We wanted our reception to reflect what we liked but wanted it to be for our guests to enjoy,” Boatright said. “One of our favorite things is popcorn and M&M’s so we served that and a lot of snack foods.”
The couple invited more than 250 guests to the wedding and many of their friends have young children so snacks and sandwiches seemed an ideal fit at the reception.
• Talk about finances before the wedding.
“We went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class a few months after we were married and wished we had done it sooner,” Mariah said. “It was so helpful for us.”
“Money is one of the biggest stressors in a marriage,” she added. “Don’t wait until you’re already struggling financially to have the discussion.”
The Boatrights said they didn’t realize how much money they were spending on little things but after taking the class they have not only began to save more money but it has provided a sense of common goals for the couple.
“We really shop for a long time and consider what we are spending our money on,” Mariah said. “We also plan to save money for special things that we want and that makes it more exciting to realize that we are working for the same goal.”
• Make goals for your marriage and for each other individually.
“It’s important to encourage one another and work together,” both David and Mariah said.
Prior to their wedding, the couple met with Pastor Eddie Brown of Maplewood Church and his wife Wesley for pre-marital counseling.
“Part of the class involved taking a personality test which was fun but we also learned things about each other,” Mariah said. “We realized there were some little things about each one of us that we needed to work on.”
Both said they feel they were blessed to marry their best friend, but offered this last advice to others.
• Always be willing to forgive.
“Marriage isn’t always easy or fun,” Mariah said on behalf of the couple. “A strong marriage takes hard work, you have to be willing to put forth effort.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484