Sex & Relationships

8 Things We Learned About Getting Married From “How I Met Your Mother”

Ron P. Jaffe/Fox

If you are one of the few people who’ve never seen the show, How I Met Your Mother revolved around Ted Mosby (played by Josh Radnor) and his gang of friends finding love and experiencing the ups and downs of relationships.  But considering it took nine seasons and around 200 episodes for Ted to meet his future wife (he dated a lot of women who didn’t work out), it seems unlikely the show has anything useful to say about actually being married.  But Ted’s long journey to the altar is actually full of lessons on how to make a marriage work if you know where to look:

1. Propose To Her in The Most Elaborate of Ways.

Think like Barney Stinson (played by Neil Patrick Harris) when you propose.  Go big or go home. But you don’t have to go that big where you devise a year-long plan.  Make it sentimental and relatable, and don’t be afraid to take risks.

2. Don’t Make Your Prenup Complicated.

Your prenup does not have to be seven stories tall, like what Barney did for Quinn, and vice versa.   Keep it simple and short, and include the necessaries such as the assets, settlement negotiations, and how to divide the debt and property.  Don’t include the rights for visitation to her lady parts nor a weekly weigh in.

3. The Smallest of Weddings Can Create A Big Impact.

Ted and Tracy getting married beside Ted's gang of friends.

Instead of the big fancy wedding, you can have a spur-of-the-moment, intimate wedding, and save a ton of dough.  Ted eloped on a Thursday, and it included a cocktail hour with the gang at their regular bar, proving that the bond between you and your close buds is special and the celebrations don’t have too mega for everyone to have a good time.  So why not have a wedding that consists of good friends to reconnect with and plenty of booze?

4. Your Vows Should Only Come From Your Heart.

Marshall and Lily having their private ceremony.

Your wedding vows can be silly and quirky with plenty of inside jokes and sayings, but they should also reflect the feelings that you have for your partner.  Marshall and Lily had iconic vows because they were filled with personal references like “Eggs Marshall”, and the “Marshall and Lily Rockin’ it since ’96” t-shirt.  Saying stuff like that will definitely bring out the tears.

5. Don’t Give Your Best Man Too Much Leeway.

Ted helping Victoria escape her wedding.

Don’t get a best man who will talk your bride into escaping her wedding the minute she starts to panic (especially when the best man is her ex).  Even though Ted was not the best man at Victoria’s wedding, she had cold feet, and ran away with Ted when he was supposed to be the voice of reason.  But for your wedding, your best bro should know his role as the supporting character. If needed, his only job should be to calm her nerves and assure her that she is making the right choice.  But hey, at least Ted learned his lesson the second time around, and helped his other long-time lover Robin get down that aisle.

6. Keep Calm On Your Wedding Day.

Don’t pull a Marshall and freak out on your wedding day, because of something like a bad haircut and color.  There is no need to buzz cut your head into Krusty the Clown territory.  If your hair turns the wrong color or shape, take a breather, then get an emergency stylist and have them touch up your ‘do into something that is good for you.  Lesson learned: Don’t let an inexperienced doofus do your hair before a life-changing event.  But thank God for that gardener’s hat.

7.  Marriage Takes Hard Work.

 Of all the couples, Marshall and Lily stood out as the ideal team.  They had their fights, but in the end, they solved their issues, and they were always supporting one another through all the good times and bad.  We wished we said the same for Barney and Robin, but they called it quits due to their busy lifestyles. This shows that a good marriage is about having those goals that you want to achieve, but also working along with your partner to make sure that no one gets left in the dust.  It’s one thing to keep in mind as you wait for her on that aisle.

8. Never Invite An Ex To Your Wedding.  Not Ever.

If you want your wedding to go smoothly without any bumps, it isn’t wise to bring your ex.  Ted will tell you a thousand times how awful and embarrassing getting left at the altar is. And even Stella said it herself that having your ex around will bring up plenty of unresolved things.  The truth is that the recurrence of all ex’s can unpredictably shake things up. But in almost every wedding the show has presented, this rule has been broken.  Some people just play by their own rules.


Bottom Line

How I Met Your Mother makes for some good television- and unexpected wedding advice.  Watch and learn and you’ll be fine for your big day.  But if you also want relationship advice, please don’t go to Barney.

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