Getting married is a monumental occasion, so much so that newly-engaged couples will pull out all the stops in order to have the perfect wedding. Unfortunately, they become so engrossed with the actual ceremony that they forget what lies ahead, which is the actual marriage. Because of their haste to get married, they end up surprised when they realize that the person they married isn't actually someone who they know very well. This in turn can make for a lot of unhappy marriages, some of which culminate in divorce. As such, it becomes important for you to make sure that you are ready for what marriage will demand from you.
Premarital counseling can be a good way for you to become acquainted about what you can expect once you are married to your partner, but this is not necessary for some couples as long as they know how to prepare for marriage. There is a two-fold approach that you can take before you can get married: for you to get to know yourself better so you will know what you are looking for in the marriage, and for you to know your partner better so you can become a good spouse to him or her. Don't be blinded about the possibility of having a fairy-tale wedding and actually being married to someone. Instead, take a good and hard look at yourself and your partner if you can truly imagine seeing yourself in a lifelong relationship with him or her. Of course, experiencing problems even before marriage does not mean you should cut all ties with your fiance or your fiancee. It simply means that you have to evaluate yourself as to whether you can imagine resolving any of these issues together once you are married.
While you or your partner may have high expectations about the relationship, you also have to be aware of the fact that reality may not always meet your expectations. Like you, your partner is only human, with very human weaknesses. Do you know what your partner's weaknesses are? If so, can you imagine yourself living with these and dealing with these on a daily basis? Does your love for your partner overshadow his or her faults? The trick is to expect perfection from each other, but to love each other, warts and all.
Preparing for a grand wedding is all well and good. However, all of the preparations are worthless if the couple is not actually prepared for what is entailed in a marriage. Make sure that you are ready for what the relationship calls for so that you truly will be able to have a love that will last forever.