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What comes after the wedding matters more than the ceremony

Getting married is one of the most important decisions in life.

Yet, as a solemniser and counsellor, I have found that many couples spend more time preparing for the wedding than for what comes after it ("Wedding bells can spell big banquet bills"; last Sunday).

These couples are often more excited about going for a honeymoon than about growing the values of a shared life. They are more focused on how to make a living than on how to enrich each other's life.

There is more time spent on pursuing quantity of possessions rather than quality of contributions.

They plan for and are more prepared to handle life's pleasures rather than the pressures of building a healthy family and treasures that will last a lifetime.

It serves to always remember that a house does not automatically become a home. A marriage does not naturally become a union for the greater good.

Marriage can be likened to developing a fruitful farm. Couples need to invest time and effort to nurture and strengthen their relationship.

At the same time, they will have to balance the time they spend between looking at each other and looking ahead to serve a higher calling and worthier cause.

Their commitment to a healthy marriage is not just made in a ceremony, but in the heart. It has to be made again and again to develop a meaningful, exciting and fulfilling relationship.

By investing wisely in the marriage, they will be rewarded with fruits of happiness, well-being and achievement.

Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on March 20, 2016, with the headline 'What comes after the wedding matters more than the ceremony'. Print Edition | Subscribe