Getting engaged is one of the biggest steps that you can take as a couple. It is a sign of your continued commitment to each other and, sometimes, an indication that you want to start a family.
However, there are some things that you should know about getting engaged (before it happens). Things don’t always go as smoothly as one would hope. But sometimes these things are hard to predict from the outset.
Your Best Friends Don’t Always Make The Best Bridesmaids
Your friends are there for you through thick and thin. You knew them before you met your partner, and they’ll continue to be a big part of your life once you finally tie the knot. (or at least you hope they are)
However, a lot of brides-to-be soon discover that their besties don’t always make the best bridesmaids. For instance, you want them to adopt a particular look – after all, it’s YOUR wedding. But many can be reluctant. They might not like the dress you chose for them or the accessories. Girls can get very vocal towards a bride during the planning process. And sometimes, it becomes more about them, than you. Also, there can be push back on the financial aspect of being in someone’s wedding. They may complain about the cost of gifts for all the showers, or the cost of the bachelorette party, or the cost to get their hair and make up done. Unfortunately, when you agree to be in someone’s wedding, you are agreeing to ALL of it. Once you say yes, it’s the bride’s way or the highway.
You’ll Have To Tell Your Parents In Law
Communicating with parents about engagement can bring its own challenges. You and your partner may be thrilled to bits, but that might not be a sentiment shared by all.
This situation can be particularly tricky if you and the parents in law have a bit of history between you. Thus, you want to approach telling them delicately, trying not to put your partner in the middle. If they don’t approve, the best approach is to go in strong and assert your sovereignty. Underneath all the politeness, you should make it clear that nobody tells you who you can and can’t marry. This is why it is not only important to try to form a strong, healthy, relationship with each other’s parents in the beginning, but also why a lot of people ask for the parents permission ahead of time…so there are no surprises and you can be prepared.
You Suddenly Realize How Much Work You Have To Do
Organizing a wedding is a full-time job. It’s why a lot of people hire wedding planners. They need professional project managers who can take care of the entire event on their behalf, organizing the schedule for the big day, helping to choose a location, hiring vendors, offering ideas and suggestions, saving you time and money, making sure you don’t make mistakes, and making sure you can enjoy the BEST day of your life.
When you decide to go at it alone, you can quickly find yourself in trouble. You realize that you have a mountain of problems you need to solve, and not enough time to do it all. Weddings don’t take away the need to work. Your regular life goes on as usual.
Most people enlist the help of others. You don’t necessarily have to go to a professional to take care of things for you. Often friends and relatives will step in to assist with some of the grunt work if you find it overwhelming. But even that can become overwhelming and stressful, and you may even find you and your fiancé’ arguing more and not enjoying the planning process.
You Find Out That Wedding Prices Are Double Normal Prices
Everyone knows that modern weddings are expensive, but just how much they cost can be a little terrifying. You’re often looking at thousands and thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars for a single day or weekend of celebrations. And the more people you invite, the costlier things get.
It’s incredible just how much the little things add up. Getting a lush linen for the VIP table doesn’t cost much. But when you try to replicate that look across the entire event, you soon find that you’re spending an enormous amount of money (on linens). Getting a good, solid, realistic budget put together before hand and figuring out who is contributing to what is so important. There is nothing worse than starting off a new marriage in a mountain of debt. An experienced wedding planner can put together a great blueprint budget for you to get you started.
You Can’t Always Show People The Ring
When people hear you’ve gotten engaged, the first thing they do is ask you to show them the ring. But in the early few days and weeks, you’re usually unable to. Usually, the ring is at the jeweler being resized to fit your finger, unless your fiancé’ was THAT good, that they got it right the first time. (Mine did!)
The typical solitaire diamond engagement ring doesn’t arrive in the perfect little blue box already the perfect size for your finger. Instead, you order it first and then get it resized after you have said “YES”.
A proposal is supposed to be a surprise. It ruins the atmosphere if your spouse-to-be asks to measure your ring finger with a tape measure. When they do that, you can be pretty sure what’s coming. And that’s no fun.
You Discover That People Want To Talk About Their Wedding More Than Yours
When you get engaged, you expect to become the center of attention. After all, you’re the one getting married.
You’ll soon discover, though, that that’s not how other people see it. They don’t necessarily want to talk about your engagement or even how it happened. Instead, they want to tell you all about their marriage, engagement, wedding, and all the other details.
Unfortunately, this is something that you just have to put up with. You let other people say their piece, and then you can all just get on with your lives.
Sometimes, though, what they have to say can be helpful. Often you learn what does and doesn’t work at a wedding, and you can avoid making the same mistakes. But be careful. Weddings can bring on a LOT of unnecessary opinions. So be careful who you share with. Be even more careful who you take dress shopping with you. Lastly, try not to share TOO many details with your other engaged friends. They might steal some of them, we’ve seen it happen.
You’ll Have To Tell Your Proposal Story Repeatedly
Other people will want to learn about what happened at the proposal, especially your girlfriends. Thus, you’ll find yourself having to recount events in dizzying detail every time you go out.
Therefore, it’s essential to get your story straight beforehand. Perhaps there are elements in the tale that your spouse-to-be wouldn’t want you to share! You can keep it short and sweet, or go into detail about how it happened. It all depends on how nosy people are.
Just be warned that your friends and family will use your story as an excuse to talk about their engagements and reminisce. So make sure you’re prepared.
You’ll Worry That You Don’t Have Any Interests Besides Weddings
After you get engaged, all bets are off. Your old life disappears in the rear-view mirror and suddenly, every day is about the wedding. The all-consuming nature of getting married can take over your life and make you forget that you ever had other interests.
Planning your dream wedding is a lot of fun and important, but you don’t want to miss out on all the other things that life offers. That’s no fun!
So what can you do?
The first thing is to compartmentalize the time that you spend working on the wedding. Perhaps you’ll dedicate Tuesday and Thursday evenings to planning and then use the rest of the time to focus on your other hobbies, or your engagement.
The second thing to do is to remind yourself that the wedding day will come and go. You have the rest of your life in front of you, and what happens after you tie the knot counts just as much as what you do before. Don’t put your education, career, or training on hold. Plan your wedding alongside pursuing these things.
You Will Spend Hours Looking For The Perfect Dress
Finding the perfect dress for your wedding day seems like a pretty straightforward process. You rock up to the dress shop, waltz in, try on a few items, and then pick the one that you like the most…all over champagne of course!
However, the reality of the process is usually far more agonizing.
Most brides fall in love with two or three dresses. You can’t wear them all, so whittling down the choice to one is a painful experience. Or, maybe you can change 3 times! Buy them all. (Just kidding – sort of)
Some women find that they can’t find any dresses that they like, no matter what they do. Others start to become more body conscious and obsessed with losing weight, growing their hair, etc.
The whole process is made even more complicated by the fact that there are a bunch of people there – usually your bridesmaids – watching the carnage unfold. And they all have their own opinion on which dress you should choose.
Sometimes, you can get so disgruntled that no dress seems to fit the bill, even if there are items that really suit you.
The trick here is to break the cycle of disillusionment. Ideally, you should go to the shop, try on half a dozen dresses, and then leave to think about it. Then, you return a week later and repeat the process.
Giving yourself time to decide will help you to make the best decision. You also need to consider how far ahead of the process you are. If you buy one too soon, new lines may come out and you may change your mind. You should not buy your dress before a year out, but you should also not wait too late. Less than 6 months out from your wedding is too late, and you will run into rush fees and issues. Don’t cause yourself that extra added stress. Also, when you go dress shopping, do these important things.
- Get ready, do your hair, and wear make up. No one feels sexy in a wedding dress with a messy bun and no make up.
- Shave your legs and your bikini line, or get a wax. Someone from the dress shop will be in the dressing room with you when you try them on.
- Wear underwear. Some stores won’t let you try the dress on without them.
- Bring (nipple covers) if you are shy. You don’t wear a bra with a wedding dress, so if you don’t feel comfortable being au natural, the covers will give you more comfort.
- Bring a hair tie in case you want to pull your hair up or back.
- Get a mani/pedi before going.
You’ll Spend A Lot Of Time Answering Questions About Whether Children Are On The Way
People automatically associate marriage with children, and so it is only natural that they will ask you about kids, if you are having them, and when.However, maybe the thought hasn’t even crossed your mind yet. You’re too busy worrying about wedding planning to dedicate your precious time to think about when/if kids will follow.
Is it annoying? Only you can be the judge of that! Also, many couples these days, are opting out of having kids. That’s ok too! There are pluses and minuses to be both, just be able to defend your position on that.
So, as you can see, getting engaged is about more than merely saying “yes” to your future spouse. It brings with it a whole bunch of new issues that didn’t affect you in your relationship. But once you announce that you’re going to tie the knot, many things change. It can be a bit like having a baby. (but that’s a whole other post)
Now go enjoy your engagement, and plan that wedding. If you need us, you know where to find us.
Table 6 Productions