First comes love, then comes marriage counseling. Such is the case for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, who are reportedly undergoing marriage counseling ahead of the royal wedding this upcoming Saturday. No, this doesn't mean that the couple is in any sort of trouble; rather, they're taking part in premarital counseling, in accordance with the traditions of the Church of England, before becoming man and wife.
According to Cosmopolitan UK, the Church of England notes that this type of counseling (which is also traditional in the Catholic religion) gives couples "the time and space to think about what marriage entails, the meaning of the marriage vows and understanding the service." The sessions, which take place within six months of the wedding, typically include topics like communication, coping with conflict, sex, in-laws, and family issues, as well as having and raising children.
Premarital counseling is hardly out of the ordinary, even for royals. It was reported around the time of Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2011 wedding that they, too, underwent this type of counseling with the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres.
"There's no stigma to relationship counseling anymore," Elizabeth Carroll, founder of Marriage Boot Camp, told Brides of the practice. "Pre-marital counseling helps couples address topics that might be difficult to bring up with each other, and it addresses topics that some brides and grooms haven't even considered." Basically, per Carroll, it's a way for couples to talk through their long-term life goals, which not all have necessarily done before saying "I do."
Despite Meghan Markle's tendency to rebel against tradition, this is one of a few marital traditions the couple seems to be upholding. In addition to being married in a church (St. George's Chapel, to be exact), they'll also be spending the night before the wedding in separate accommodations, and both plan to wear wedding bands. As for whether or not Meghan will be wearing her usual non-traditional messy bun, though, is anyone's best guess.