Dear Newly Crowned Fiancé,
Congratulations! You have entered into a uniquely beautiful season of life and it feels like there is so much to do! You may still be on cloud nine, simply enjoying the bliss of engagement. You likely still pause every few hours to glance down and admire the sparkling ring that graces your finger. Or, you may have already kicked it into high, wedding planning gear with the notebook, Pinterest page, and Knot timeline. Or maybe—you’re so overwhelmed you haven’t even thought about where to begin. Instead, you just drink your wine and browse the internet for new workouts, recipes, or book recommendations.
Wherever you are in your wedding planning, take a deep breath and hang with me a few minutes. You won’t regret it.
Here’s what I want you to know: you are standing in a beautiful moment in time. A crossroads. Ahead of you lies an adventure. Yes, an adventure. Our culture tells us that marriage is “settling down,” “boring,” “uneventful,” that “gone are the days of fun and freedom”. BUT, that is a LIE. Marriage is a life-long journey of becoming one with your spouse, of sacrificing, discovering, growing, and changing. Really, it’s a beginning, not an end.
So, instead of jumping right in to planning mode, or running in the other direction because you’re overwhelmed—here are some tangible things to enjoy your engagement, rather than stressing the to-do list.
- Give yourself time. You don’t have to start right away. It’s really, truly okay to wait a week or two before you start figuring out the “big” wedding decisions. Start simple. Set a time frame: maybe it needs to a be a week or a weekend, but make a concrete decision about when you will “start” the wedding planning. Then, put down the notebook. You heard me. Put it down. Delete the Pinterest app and get off Instagram. Take that time to celebrate your engagement and enjoy your FIANCÉ!
- Write down your engagement story. I have a historical soul, so anything that marks history, especially mine, makes my heart leap. Take 30 minutes or so to write down the full story of how he proposed. This is a great way to slow down your heart and mind and celebrate the news, rather than jumping to the next step. Plus, future you will be so glad you have a fresh, clear account of one of the best days of your life!
- Go on a date. Yes, remember those? I’m not sure when exactly it happens, but it happens to all of us. One day, your dating life feels less about dates and more about what you’re going to watch on Netflix tonight. So, instead of re-watching another episode of the Office (#tbt: this is my husband and me every night) and scrolling on your phone, go out and be together. Go to dinner and talk about the proposal. Ask him all the juicy details, when did he start planning? Who helped him plan? Did he ask your Dad? How did that go? What is he most most excited about? What are you most excited about? What makes you both nervous or apprehensive?
- Go get a manicure. You may have already done this one, you know, the day you got engaged. But, if it’s been a while, there is no harm in getting another one! People won’t be asking to see your hand forever, so you might as well give yourself some extra pampering! This will give you yet another moment to relax and enjoy. Plus, it’s a great excuse to stare at that beautiful ring again!
- Celebrate with friends. The best way to cherish a moment, at least to this extrovert, is to gather the people you love and share the joy and excitement together! There’s no recipe here! Half-priced margarita night with your group of people, or wine and chocolate at home with the girls! Both will do the trick.
- Lastly, and this might be my favorite, listen to other people’s stories. Call up your Grandma and ask her how your grandpa proposed. Let your colleagues at work tell you their stories over lunch. Ask your mom, your neighbor, your mentor, your girlfriends. Whoever you care about, ask to hear their stories and actually listen. The danger of engagement is that we can become solely focused on our own life and forget about the ones we hold dear. Listening to their stories will help you cherish your own, while also loving them well. Not to mention, it’s just plain fun!
Friend, look at where you sit: you’re at the crossroads of now and the rest of your life. This time of excitement and anticipation is something you don’t get back. So enjoy it. Take some time to just be and look lovingly at you’re fiancé and rest in the joy that you get each other, for the rest of your lives.
Ferris Bueller said it well,
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
With love and joy,
A woman who’s been where you are