This is Part 1 of a five-part “To the Newly Engaged” series about making your engagement, wedding planning, and wedding as enjoyable and productive as possible! This is from my personal experience as a bride, and from my perspective as a wedding photographer as well. Check back for the next 4 weeks to catch each part of the series, and share with your friends who are engaged as well!
To those of y’all who got engaged over the holidays – CONGRATS!!!!!!!! This is such an exciting time for you and your fiancé. Isn’t it fun to be able to say that?! Fiancé! (Hopefully I’m not the only one who felt like that haha)
The engagement period can be such a fun, sweet time, but it can be also overwhelming… How many times have you already heard ”Have you set a date?” I remember that being one of the first things people would ask after looking at my ring. Usually “How did he propose?” came first, and then asking if we already had a date figured out.
Those people mean well, and they’re excited for you. Maybe they want to be able to put that date on their calendar early so that they can make sure they are there on your big day. But that question (and that ring) can start to bring on the feeling of pressure to get it a llllllll planned out – and fast.
So I’m here to tell you, it’s ok to not have a date, or a venue, or a dress, or a color scheme, or any of the details planned out just yet.
Breathe…. And take a second to relax and enjoy it!!
Which leads me to the actual advice part of Part 1:
- Remember that your focus should be on your marriage and your fiancé first and foremost. It is really easy to get carried away in planning a wedding down to the very last detail. After all, it’s typically the biggest party/event/celebration you’ll throw in your lifetime. But you have to also keep in mind that you need to also be planning and preparing for your lifetime of marriage. If things get stressful in the planning, take a step back and really focus on your future spouse. Remember to be planning a life, and not just the party at the start of it.
- Seriously… just enjoy it! You really don’t have to start planning RIGHT AWAY. If you already know you want a shorter engagement, you’ll have to start sooner rather than later, but it’s still ok to at least take a day or two to just soak in the feeling of being engaged, and continue to celebrate that feeling with your new fiancé. Then you can dive into the magazines, Pinterest boards, and venue hunting. Try to really soak in the experience and reality of your engagement before you start in on a planning to-do list.
- Planning is fun, but don’t let yourself get overwhelmed right away. Not all brides-to-be are excited about planning a wedding. Not everyone thinks it’s fun. But for those who do think it’s fun, the key is trying to keep it that way!! If you’re enjoying the process, don’t rush through it at the speed of light. Sit down in your favorite cozy chair with a soft, snuggly blanket and a hot beverage, and flip through that bridal magazine – don’t speed read it at a desk like it’s work.
- Don’t forget to keep dating your fiancé throughout the process- no one wants to be a “wedding-planning widow.” Some guys will genuinely want to be a part of the decision-making process when it comes to a wedding. Some guys will genuinely want to be as far away from it as possible. But all guys will not want to lose their woman to Pinterest, excel sheets, bridal shows, and florist appointments. Make sure to take time to continue dating your man during your engagement! This will help set you up for success when it comes to my first point too – just because there’s a ring (or rings) on your finger doesn’t mean you stop dating one another. Keep that as an important part of your relationship, now AND after the wedding.
Don’t forget to share this series with anyone you know who is engaged!