Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Between the proposal and the wedding: How to enjoy being engaged

Exactly 10 years ago, Vince was planning to propose to me. But because I bought him an expensive gift (the first models of the Sony PS3 were pricey back then), I impulsively decided it was too much of a gift to give to just a boyfriend. So I dropped down on one knee and proposed to him instead! Two weeks after our engagement, he proposed to me properly with a proper diamond ring because that's what proper people expected us to do. Nah, just kidding. Vince really wanted to propose but the ring took longer to make than anticipated so I ended up doing it first!

Anyway! Lots of people are getting engaged these days, as my Facebook feed attests. So here I go dispensing advice no one asked for but you ought to follow: Enjoy your engagement! 

Being engaged is a strange time in your life. It often feels like you’re playing the waiting game until you actually get married, at which point your life with your partner will really begin. But between the proposal and the wedding, is planning the wedding all you must do? That can be really stressful. I know a lot of couples who were tempted to elope! Yes, us included! So why not try to really enjoy your engagement? It’s a time when you’re planning your future with the love of your life. Here are some tips to help you enjoy—not stress about!—your engagement.

Go on vacation
Okay, so you should probably be saving for your wedding right now. But why not take a trip? Even a short trip away from all the wedding planning will make you even closer—get some sun, lie by a pool, eat some great food, and spend a lot of time talking to your partner. While you’re there, you could talk about planning your honeymoon or future vacation spots you’d like to visit one day.

Go to couples’ counseling
More than anything, you want your relationship to work. When you get engaged, you are effectively telling each other that you expect to stay together for the rest of your lives. However, that’s easier said than done. If you go to counseling before you get married, you’ll be able to sort out any issues you might have before they arise – like taking a vitamin C supplement to make sure you don’t get a cold before you even feel sick! If you plan to get married in a Catholic church, you'll be required to attend some sort of marriage seminar anyway so try to choose one that will help you realize if you and your fiancĂ© share the same family values and life goals.

Set aside an evening with no wedding talk
It’s so easy to allow your wedding planning to take over your life. Make sure that you set aside at least one evening a week in which you don’t discuss any wedding planning at all. Hang out with your partner and fully enjoy his company, without any of the stress of wedding talk. Make dinner together and curl up on the couch to watch a movie, or go on a double date with your best friends, or do some home improvement. Just make sure you relax together!

Get an engagement shoot
Sure, some engagement shoots look kind of cheesy (and that's why we didn't do it haha), but lucky for you, you’re not that kind of couple. Or maybe you are, and if so, you should embrace that! Get the look here to figure out what you want from your shoot. Getting an engagement photo shoot done will be a lot of fun for you and your husband-to-be, and it will also provide you with a photo album full of great memories. If you like your photographer, you could also consider hiring them to shoot your wedding—treat it as a trial run for that!

Explore your neighborhood
A lot of couples plan to have children after they get married. Although children are, of course, a blessing and a joy, I'm telling you now that they are also undeniably a huge responsibility. So while you don’t have kids, you should go out and fully explore where you live, or where you will both live when you're married! If you live in the province or the suburbs, take a trip to the nearest city for a couple of nights. Go out for dinner, take a bus tour, and hit the clubs to party all night, and make the most of being together.

Remember: You're not just planning a wedding, you're also preparing for a marriage. And that contract ends at "till death do us part." So use your engagement period to really get to know each other. Once the wedding preps really kick in and the moving into the new home happens and the integrating into each other's families start and especially when the kids arrive, it's hard to focus on each other. All that I mentioned are wonderful phases in your married life but they can distract you from what's truly important—your marriage. So use this precious time to really lay the foundations of your union. Congratulations and best wishes!

*photo from Pixabay

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