Wedding Planning 101: Enjoy Being Engaged

Girl, you’re ENGAGED!!!! Welcome to the first post in the Wedding Planning 101 series! There will be a new post every Wednesday this month with maybe a few bonuses thrown in there, so keep checking back for more. Today, it’s all about learning to enjoy being engaged.

What do I mean by that? By now, as an engaged woman, you’ve probably figured it out. Once that gorgeous bling finds its way onto your finger, in an instant, the pressure is on. The hypothetical wedding you’ve been dreaming about is now actually going to happen, and YOU have to plan it. Talk about pressure! Everyone starts to ask you questions almost immediately. They congratulate you on your engagement, pick up your left hand to get a closer look at your new hand candy, and then ask the question…

“So have you picked a date?!?”

As well meaning as those people are (I know, I’ve been one of them!), they are not helpful to you as a newly engaged woman. If you have picked a date, they will follow up with more questions. Have you booked a venue? Or a photographer? Have you been dress shopping? How many bridesmaids will you have? What will the wedding colors be? How many guests? And the list goes on, and on, and on. Some people will even inquire about your budget, or if they are going to be in the wedding party… yikes. Side note: If you’ve ever asked either of those questions, please call your friend and apologize for your insensitivity.

If you haven’t picked a wedding date, the conversation usually turns in a direction that makes everyone uncomfortable… “Oh, you haven’t picked a day… well let me know when you decide, so I can alert so-and-so,” or “You should really get on that, venues book up fast you know! Have you looked at [insert venue here]?”

The problem that most brides-to-be face is that they never actually get to enjoy being engaged. A man has just told you he wants to commit to spend the rest of his life with only one person: YOU! He is head over heels in love, and so are you. You probably can’t stop looking at your left hand and just smiling because he put a ring on it! But in our society, when wedding planning has fallen prey to the wonders of Pinterest, planning months if not years ahead, and social media pressure to have the perfect day, it can be hard to take a deep breath and just enjoy your fiancé for a moment without wedding plans swirling around you. People will pressure you to take your attention off the man who just pledged to be your husband, and instead pay attention to the event and all the details that come with it.

Trust me, I know that wedding planning can be overwhelming. I planned my entire wedding myself, and for the last three months before my wedding in Ohio, I was living in Illinois. My mom and maid of honor lived in Virginia. It was NOT easy! I booked my flowers over the phone while sitting in my car on my lunch break at the hospital, without a computer or floral guide in front of me. I just had to describe what I wanted and trust the lady on the phone. And they were GORGEOUS. It can be done ladies! I also remember those Wedding Planning Checklists you find on Pinterest. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, here’s one…

I don’t know about you, but these overwhelmed me!!! Here’s my advice from a girl who’s been there… DON’T LET THESE STRESS YOU OUT. YOU DON’T HAVE TO LISTEN TO THEM. By this person’s “ideal timeline,” I was already behind. I was only engaged for nine months, so what about all those things you are supposed to have DONE by the time you reach the nine month mark?? Don’t get me wrong; tools like this can be helpful if you’re not sure where to start or are afraid you might forget to do something. But don’t become a slave to them You can plan a gorgeous wedding whether you are engaged for two years or three months. Just do whatever you can to enjoy the process, but even more importantly, enjoy being with your fiancé. Being engaged is a unique time period in your relationship where you will learn a LOT about each other. Focus on your fiancé, not the wedding. The wedding will happen one way or another, and at the end of the day, the festivities will be over and you’ll be left alone with be your brand new husband. He deserves your time, love, and affection.

It can be done, ladies!

Here are your three action steps to ENJOY BEING ENGAGED…

1. Have date nights where you both resolve to not talk about ANYTHING wedding related. Talk about each other instead, or do something you love together. Don’t allow every date to turn into a wedding planning session.

2. On that note, DO have wedding planning sessions! Set aside time to sit down with your fiancé and talk about some of the big decisions you’ll have to make together. But contain the wedding talk to those meetings and try to avoid it as much as possible elsewhere.

3. If you’re a list person (like me), you’ve probably already written out a wedding planning to-do list. Write out another list of things you love about your fiancé and why you can’t wait to marry him, and then another list of

4. [This one’s a bonus! If you haven’t signed up for premarital counseling, do it. Josh and I learned a lot about each other in our premarital counseling and had conversations we never realized we needed to have. It was awesome! I always looked forward to our sessions because I knew I would learn something new about him. If you need a book recommendation, we LOVE Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts by Dr. Les & Leslie Parrott. It comes with a book and a workbook (one for you, one for him) and is extremely practical! Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs is another awesome one. It’s a little thicker and goes a little deeper, but it’s totally worth the read.]

That’s it, ladies! Just enjoy your fiancé for a little while. Don’t give into the pressure of having to plan the wedding right away. It can wait. Your fiancé, on the other hand, deserves your time and attention.

P.S. The photo at the top of this post is my wedding bouquet that I ordered from a parking lot without really seeing it!!! Trust the experts. Photo by the wonderful Tyler Scott Photography.

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