Before I Said I Do: I Sought Guidance and Counsel

Thirty-year-old Shalyce Tyson of Waldorf, Maryland is a proud wife, mother and business woman. She married her best friend, Dominique, in 2009 and she knew early on there was something special about him because of his attentiveness and openness. Before they took their vows, the couple knew it was important to seek guidance through pre-marital counseling as they transitioned into married life. Learn how Shalyce benefited from these steps, among other great tips she shares for recent brides or brides-to-be.

Briefly describe yourself:

I am the owner of Sensational Soirees, which is a wedding and event planning company based in the Washington, D.C. area. I enjoy blogging, quality time and fun with family, hilarious conversations and outings with my girlfriends, delicious cuisine and desserts, being inspired through Pinterest, the ever so addictive TGIT on ABC, and good times in general. Best of all, I am Dominique’s best friend and wife, and Cameron (3) and Cassidy’s (11 months) proud mommy!

When did you get married? 

I was married on March 28, 2009. It rained that day, and while most brides would have been devastated, I was actually at ease because I was told that was a sign of good luck! Our wedding was more beautiful than I could have imagined! Our colors were platinum and cerulean blue, and we incorporated both flowers and candles in the ceremony and reception décor. We had an evening ceremony at a lovely church.  It was a love-filled celebration, and the decision to have a harpist, live singers and musicians made the ceremony all the more romantic.  Following our ceremony, we had a dinner reception and danced the night away.

What are some things you did to prepare for marriage? How was it helpful?

One of the most important things we did to prepare for marriage was take pre-marital counseling. Yes, we knew we were in love and wanted to grow old together, but the reality was we were engaged in our early twenties and had so much more living and growing ahead of us. Therefore, the sound guidance and candidness of our awesome, pre-marital counselors was so extremely helpful in preparing us for marriage. Our class discussed everything from sharing money, going from “I” to “we”, keys to a lasting marriage, how to overcome challenges and disagreements and most importantly keeping God first.

What books would you recommend for a bride-to-be?

“The Power of a Praying Wife” by Stormie Omartian (which I’m currently reading)
“His Needs, Her Needs” by William F. Harley Jr.
“The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman

What was one of the biggest challenges when transitioning into married life? Did you receive any helpful advice?

Communication at times can be a bit challenging when you transition into married life. My husband and I did not live together before marriage, so while moving in together after marriage was a wonderful new experience; it also meant we were in each other’s space more often that we were previously accustomed. Naturally, friction can arise from time to time. I learned not to major in minors and to choose my battles. When you both work on not sweating the small stuff and a good pattern of communication, it makes life so much easier.

What attracted you to your husband? How did you know he was 'The One'?

During our dating years, I was most attracted to my husband’s attentiveness. From the day we met, he wasn’t afraid to show his interest and even called the night we met to schedule our first date. We would talk every day, go on frequent dates and have so much fun together. He was the kind of guy that didn’t just say he loved me, but showed it. I knew he was the “One” about a year or so after college. We both had started our careers and were thinking about future plans, and although I had a lot of “to be determined” goals, he was the one thing I knew I wanted to be a definite in my future. Just like the saying goes “we may not have it all together, but together we have it all”, and that was definitely the case for us being young love birds and deciding to grow old together.

What advice, tips, or suggestions would you give to brides-to-be or women seeking to be married one day?

My advice for brides-to-be is to enjoy every facet of your engagement. As a wedding planner, I know of all the excitement and fun that comes with planning a wedding. Yes, finding your dress, picking the perfect venue and planning all the special details are important. However, it’s equally important to relax and stay stress-free, and most importantly connect and have fun with your fiancé. Coupled with staying stress-free is ensuring you can be debt free after the wedding, so try not to over splurge.

My advice for women seeking to be married one day is to fully enjoy your dating years and never pressure your significant other to marry you. Although my husband and I talked about marriage as most couples do, I never gave him any kind of ultimatum, and was actually completely shocked the night he proposed. I believe that the decision to marry will come natural, in due timing, to two people who are madly in love and meant to be. Even if all your friends are getting married, trust your journey and God’s timing.

Feel free to add any additional thoughts or advice.

Falling in love and marrying the love of your life is truly one of the greatest things in this world. To preserve a thriving union as the years go by, marriage enrichment is important, such as attending a couples retreat, having enriching discussions or game nights with other fun and positive couples or simply praying together. I think it is also important to set goals or reminders of things to focus on, so here are a few goals that I think are great for couples to focus on throughout their marriage:

  1. Do more of what makes your spouse happy... “happy spouse, happy house”.
  2. Keep the disagreements “mild” and the love making “spicy”!
  3. Take time to connect and communicate every day, no matter how busy life gets.
  4. Travel together at least once a year.
  5. Laugh and have fun together often.
  6. Always be the kind of spouse you would want your son or daughter to marry.
  7. Stay together “for better or worse, until death do you part” and keep God in the center of your marriage.

Before I Said I Do is a new bi-weekly column dedicated to sharing stories and advice from women on how they prepared for married life. Take a look at our previous feature with wife and mother, Christy S. Muhammad. Interested in being featured for this column? Email:

  1. “Before I Said I Do” Feature | Sensational Soirees | BLOG

    […] for the Munaluchi Bride’s “Before I Say I Do” column. My interview can be found here. I don’t profess to be a marriage expert, but I enjoyed sharing what I’ve learned over […]

  2. Ryan

    Congratulations Shalyce & Dominique on the feature! We are so lucky to have such a great wedding planner who encourages us to focus on each other during the stress of wedding planning! Love the marriage tips!

    • Shalyce

      Thanks Ryan! Working with you is a true and joy, and I can’t wait for you and Brian’s big day!! :-)


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