In honor of #ThrowbackThursday, I thought I’d repost an article I wrote around this time last year. Seems fitting given all of the holiday and upcoming Valentine’s Day proposals…
This weekend there was big news in my family – my twin sister got engaged!! Her romantic rooftop dinner ended with a proposal under the stars…and this jaw-dropper of a ring!! We all couldn’t be more excited. Luckily for my sister, she has an in-house wedding planner in the wings revving her engines.
Here is Erin at my wedding catching the bouquet…we knew it was coming!
After the screaming stopped once Erin called to give me the news, I gave her one simple piece of advice. I told her that she and her fiancé need to make a promise to each other now to not stress out and to enjoy every single second of their engagement. If you follow this advice, you are bound to truly enjoy your engagement. This is supposed to be the most exciting time in your life! You are getting married to the man of your dreams, why rob yourself of this?
As a wedding planner, I am a huge advocate of enjoying your engagement. That is why I am here, after all! I could write a novel on this subject alone but the truth is, it really isn’t complicated. It’s all about being present in the moment and taking care of yourself.
As a recent bride, I’ve been asked to share some of my perspective from my engagement. Those close to me always tell me how well I handled the months leading up to my wedding and, given the circumstances, I am proud that I was able to enjoy it as much as I did. Are you ready for this??
Grant’s commissioning, the day before we got engaged.
At the time of our engagement, my husband was going through the intense officers training programs for the Marine Corps. The story of our engagement involved living 10 hours apart, seeing each other once every 4-5 weeks (if we were lucky), limited phone calls, and periods of no communication outside of written letters (romantic, yes, but not fun). To top it all off, we had been engaged for six months when he called to tell me that he was no longer available for the date….that’s right. We had five months remaining of our engagement at the time and the only date that would now work was in 60 days. I didn’t hesitate when I said, “Let’s do it.”
While you would expect news like this to turn my world upside down, I just took deep breaths and told myself that stressing would do nothing but set me back – and there was no time for that! So in the middle of a bustling spring and summer wedding season while at Kristin Newman Designs (during which I spent a month at three different destinations away from home!), I tackled our busier-than-normal work days planning our 15 other weddings while burning the midnight oils planning my own.
What got me through was focusing on the fact that I was about to marry my best friend and the love of my life. It was that simple. Everything else was just a celebration of our marriage and it needed to be treated as such. I managed to exercise when I could, which helped manage my stress, and I made sure that I was eating nutritiously. That’s all I needed and in 60 days I had the wedding of my dreams.
My experience was a major reality check, not only for me, but for those around me. It grounded us all.
You don’t have to have a crazy experience like I did to learn from this. As I have told my newly-engaged sister, be grateful for the time you have with your fiancé. Be completely present in every day of your engagement and take care of yourself, physically and mentally. Rest, drink plenty of water, and communicate openly because if you don’t bring it back to these basics, you won’t be able to be there for yourself, for your groom, or for anyone else who is trying to support you as you make the most important commitment of your life.
There should be no decrease in happiness from the moment your fiancé asks you to marry him to the moment you walk down the aisle. Your engagement should be a constant journey of bliss. Don’t let anything take this away from you. Just remember, you are in control.