The Most Important Advice I Got When I Was Engaged

I get so excited for engaged couples because I know how good marriage can be, and how special this short time of anticipation is. It’s been a hot minute since I was a fiance, but I remember there was so much to think about on top of planning a wedding, that it times it was overwhelming. Meg, from The Practical Wedding, wrote something that helped me focus on what was important, and I’d be doing you a disservice if I didn’t pass it along.

“You’re about to spend the next few months being celebrated because you found the right person to settle down with. Chances are, you’ll have a bunch of parties (bachelorette, shower, engagement party, etc…), topped off by one party to rule them all. You will swim in a pile of silk, tulle, balloons, sparkles – and spreadsheets and stress – while you plan your wedding. This can be, by turns, fun and overwhelming, but it is not the purpose of the engagement. The real reason for the engagement is to adjust to the idea of forming a brand-new family unit and making a major life transition.”

This period is about getting to know your fiance’s family in a different way and allowing you and your family to work through the inevitable changes. It’s about setting boundaries with your family and in-laws from day one. Being engaged isn’t just about planning a party, it’s about learning to communicate in healthier ways with your future spouse. Going to pre-marital counseling to help you understand each other is absolutely necessary. No ifs, ands, or buts.

Yes, there is a wedding that you may still need to plan, but at the end of the day it’s your marriage that matters most. The joy and celebration of your big day will just be the icing on the cake of true love. Keep that in mind as you step into this crazy world of wedding planning.