Enjoy Your Engagement

As I’ve rambled on about before, I learned a lot in planning my wedding and would do lots of things different if I had a time machine. I don’t though, so let me pass on some tips to you! So many of the lessons I came away with after my wedding could come to one simple thing: I wish I had enjoyed my engagement, and the whole process, more. I get it: It’s super easy to get caught up in the details. You want to plan the BEST day ever and completely lose yourself while striving for a Pinterest perfect wedding. But it could come at a cost. Your sanity.

Save yourself from an embarrassing meltdown like I had and avoid having regrets.

enjoying your engagement tip picture

So without further ado, here’s some of my own tips for enjoying your engagement to the fullest:

-Be organized without overdoing it. Not everything needs to be color-coded and meticulously organized, but you do need a basic system so that you can easily find something when you need it. Keep all your wedding items and papers in one place (the corner of a spare bedroom or closet is great), and have a binder or folder with the most important papers, including a checklist, phone numbers of vendors, etc., that you can take with you to appointments or planning sessions with your bridal party.

-Ask for help! Seriously. Don’t suck it up and do it all yourself like I tried to, because you simply can’t do it unless you find a way to live without sleep. Enlist your bridal party, parents, crafty friends, co-workers, whoever you can get. Bribe them with candy. Whatever it takes to get some assistance in any area you need. And revel in the great people in your life that are willing to take time out of their day for you!

-Stick to (and make) a budget. When you get to the point you’ve realized you’ve overspent, there’s probably not much you can do to take it back, so don’t let it happen in the first place. Remember that it’s more important to invest in your marriage, not your wedding.

-Breathe. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, sit back, close your eyes for a minute and simply breathe deeply. It’s crazy how much something as simple as that can help you calm down. If that’s not enough, walk away and do something else for awhile. Try yoga even!

-Have plenty of date nights with your fiancé. Make time for each other and be in the moment! It’s so important to not let your relationship slide to the back burner during this time. You’re engaged! Enjoy it! Prioritize spending quality time together and find fun ways to connect. I think it’s also important to talk a lot. Get to know each other on a deeper level. Ask each other hard questions. It’s amazing what you learn about your partner when you take the time to ask!

-Make lots of time for you. Go ahead, get massages leading up to the big day, schedule a facial and plenty of pedicures! Pamper yourself, because loving yourself is important too. If you’re tight on money, have an at-home spa day, or devote one entire weekend day to reading on the couch with your fave beverage. Go for a long walk in the park. Whatever it takes to relax your mind, have some fun and recharge your battery without doing anything wedding-related.

-Think about your expectations of your husband, bridal party and close family members and communicate to them what EXACTLY you want out of them. Never assume anything. (I assumed my mom would show up to help me get ready before the ceremony, but she didn’t because I didn’t tell her to be there. She simply didn’t know and wanted to help make sure the church was prepared and greet guests as they arrived, which was nice, but not what I had envisioned. That is 100% my fault.)

-Stick to your guns. Don’t let anyone else persuade you from wandering from your wedding-day dreams. If you really truly want to walk down the aisle to Spice Girls, do it. If you want to serve broccoli-flavored cake, do it. Who cares if someone thinks it’s weird or untraditional. It’s your day. Do what YOU want. They have/had their own day to do what they want.

-Accept the fact that things more than likely will go wrong on your wedding day and leading up to it. You probably will be disappointed in something, someone will make your big day all about them, and people you thought you could rely on may fail you. And as much as all of that sucks, it’s completely normal and there’s nothing you can do about it.

-Remember the big picture. What’s most important at the end of the day is that you get to marry the man (or woman!) you love. View your wedding as a success if that happens. As long as you and your spouse are happy with your decisions, you’re set.

The reason I think it’s so important to have an enjoyable engagement is so that you can carry it into your upcoming marriage. You want to set a good tone for your new life together. You don’t want to go into it frantic and frazzled! You (probably) only get to be engaged once, so you want to be able to look back on that time of your life and smile. It’s a happy time; enjoy it!

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13 thoughts on “Enjoy Your Engagement

  1. Great tips! We got engaged while on vacation and I definitely found myself jumping into wedding planning mode the moment our plane landed. (I actually even bought Bridal magazines at the airport!) But with all my planning, things did– and will– go wrong. But no one, including myself, even noticed! Keeping in mind what the day is really about it super important 🙂

    • Oh I totally get that! It’s so hard to not jump right into planning mode! The night I got engaged, I sat back and enjoyed the feeling and looking at my ring, but by the next day I was already making to-do lists, contacting vendors, looking at dresses, etc.
      I would be shocked to find a couple somewhere where everything went totally right. But hey, mistakes happen, it’s part of the day. If nothing else, you’ll get a memory out of it!

  2. Love this! Considering we’ve had about a year and a half of our engagement, I can tell you we spent about a year and 3 months really enjoying it. Now, we get down to business! Ugh. lol Wish I could enlist more friends to help, but I don’t have any here…so we’re flyin’ a little solo. But I’m up for the challenge!

    • I’m so glad to hear you had that much to sit back and enjoy it. I see nothing wrong with a long engagement. I can’t judge others who have had short ones, but to me, I knew we’d have our whole lives together, so there was no reason to rush planning.
      Aww, I wish you lots of luck in planning now that it’s down to business! I’ll help from a distance, haha!

  3. This is so true! My favorite part is “remember its more important to invest in your marriage, not your wedding”. All of these are completely true for any engagement (I think!) you have to enjoy each other still, otherwise the wedding won’t be as special of a start to your marriage.

    • Isn’t that such a great tip/quote?! I can’t claim it as my own though, I stole the phrase from somewhere – Pinterest or a blog probably. It rings SO true though. I wish I had heard that phrase earlier on in my planning.

  4. I completely agree with this list!

    It’s incredibly important to let people know what you expect of them and not assume anything. We assumed that the pastor would take charge of the rehearsal but since it was her first wedding at that church, she let the organist explain things and he confused the heck out of everyone. We assumed that a friend who had been a groomsman/usher at his brother’s wedding a few months before would remember how to be an usher. Be kind but clear with expectations definitely!

    It’s sound advice to keep your relationship as a priority while planning a wedding because you don’t want to invest your entire engagement in planning a wedding that the day after you are married and don’t really know what to do with yourself or your marriage.

    • Oh, I can see where you’d assume those things too in your situation, and I probably would have done the same. Definitely never assume anything. Exactly! You want to go into your marriage relaxed and confident, not frantic and stressed. For me, I stopped worrying halfway through my wedding day. After the ceremony, I was like, ‘I don’t even care what happens anymore. I got married. That’s a win right there.’

  5. Mark and I talk about this all the time…ultimately a wedding is the two of us getting married…and that is it….it’s not a party for our 3rd cousins to come and get drunk at. Also my mother is like Martha Stewart so she has the binder and I pick from three options….it’s fabulous!

    • Exactly. It’s one of the few, if only, days where you can be completely selfish and do only what you want, even if that does upset others. I felt bad at first about that but quickly got over it. It’s my day and I want it how I want it! No bride should ever feel bad about that.

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