Maybe it sounds cliche, but we hope and pray you get to experience being engaged only once. Engagement is a very unique and special season, full of the things that you will often only experience this once in your lifetime. I mean, really, if you think about it, engagement begins as soon as you say “yes” to forever with the man or woman of your dreams, then is followed by a bit of celebration with family and friends and quickly rushes into the immediate questions and comments like “So do you have a wedding date set yet?”, “Where do you guys hope to live?”, and “Tell me about your dream wedding!”
While these are great questions and thoughts, all of which make this season important and unique, those of you who have been or are in this season, know that it quickly can turn to exhausted feelings of frustration, chaos, impatience, and annoyance. In many ways, we all want to get this over with and be married, right?!
Of course! We see brides and grooms experiencing all sorts of these kinds of things during this time. Unfortunately, you can’t just skip over it, so while you are tackling the “big” life questions and taking on the wedding planning process (hiring a planning team is suggested, but you already know how we feel about that. ;)), my husband, team and I wanted to share our top tips on making the most of this season.
Let’s take this on together, shall we?
1) First things first. Preferably when you see your fiancé for the first time each day, be intentional to actually look one another in the eyes and affirm each other. It can be as simple as “I’m here for you.” or “I’m so thankful for you. I love you, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you.” No matter what’s on the day’s to do list or who else is around, DON’T STOP making the space for a few reminder moments of the fact that you’re a team not just after you get married.
The journey starts now.
2) Forget about the wedding for a couple hours. Take some time for dates (how often is different for everyone’s situation) where you DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR WEDDING but rather talk about how you first met, your favorite memories you’ve shared, inside jokes between you, or fun guesses on what life might look like five, ten, thirty-five years down the road. There’s no harm in dreaming a bit.
3) Give yourselves permission to be spontaneous. This is such an intentional season full of planning and goals for the future, and you know we love that! That being said, however, it’s so good to allow yourselves the freedom to breathe and have some fun! This circumstance doesn’t control your life and isn’t forever. As much as you can, don’t let this time steal the joy of just living as usual. Be okay with taking on some of the spontaneous opportunities sometimes despite your wedding planning. Do what you love to do. Go take little road trips, stay involved in that sports league you’ve been in since high school, meet up with friends, grab your favorite book, watch your favorite shows or movies. And heaven forbid, let some things go.
4) Discover your healthy way(s) of processing. You may like to blog, journal, chat over coffee with a friend, exercise, listen to music or take walks. Finding your “rhythm” and habits that help you reenergize is vital to being a healthy person and is especially vital during the stressful seasons of life. Plus, the more you practice this now, the easier it might be to practice when living life together with your spouse and family.
5) Find your “safe” people. Don’t isolate yourselves during this season. Trust me, it doesn’t do you any good to just walk it alone. Granted, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can give you a “safe”, or in other words, “trustworthy” place to share this season. Certainly be selective and aware of what is healthy and of those that pull you to a better place and the best versions of yourselves during this time.
We often suggest a friend or even a professional usually of the same gender who will not jeopardize in any way your relationship with your fiance. Or maybe it’s another couple you can have fun and share with (it doesn’t really matter the age, but sometimes those that are older may play a “mentor” role and help remind you that there is much life beyond this season).
It also may not be a close family member or even a member of your bridal party, and that’s okay! It might be better that it isn’t! As you may know, tensions and pressure can be high during the engagement and wedding planning process, so be sure to find someone that you know can help you separate a bit from the chaos and help you be accountable to practice some of the above tips and ways you want to live during this time! This season is kept in perspective when you invite “safe” others into your life to help you remember what’s really important in it all.