Before you grab some popcorn and assume that this is a rant about how being engaged has negatively impacted my relationship, let me assure you that this article is not that dramatic. Instead, I am mapping out specific things I wish I knew about friend involvement, proposals, and wedding timelines prior to becoming engaged.
1) No one is going to be more excited about your engagement than you and your fiancé: It is easy to expect those around you to be jumping up and down with joy, anxious to celebrate this special time in your life. But ultimately, this is your engagement. Do not expect everyone to constantly be up for dress drama, centerpiece drama, and neutral wedding chit-chat at every moment. I firmly believe that close friends and family should make time for your planned engagement party with advanced notice, but it is unrealistic to expect them to drop everything to spontaneously celebrate with you. People have lives and things get busy. Try to not be overly upset if your maid of honor in graduate school 1,000 miles away cannot throw you a bridal shower. A lot of brides plan events on their own, such as the engagement party.
2) Stop comparing proposals: This is a big one for woman- and men- in our generation. If you were thoroughly surprised and loved your fiancé’s spontaneous proposal at Chipotle, enjoy it! What’s there not to love? But if you loved your spontaneous Chipotle proposal until you saw Mary Lou’s scavenger hunt, air balloon, ring on a puppy proposal, then you need to think about things that really matter. Everyone has a different personality. What your fiance is comfortable with might be something completely over-the-top for someone else’s fiancé and that is completely ok. In the end, he asked and that should be all that matters. Stop comparing your proposal to the ones that go viral. That topic is reserved for another blog post on another day. And you might want to grab your popcorn because that is guaranteed to be a rant fest.
Fun Fact: I wrote this post after seeing a picture shared on Facebook that begged for the future fiancé to hire good quality hidden professional photographers to capture the moment. What’s next? Begging him for a Mary Lou style proposal just because Mary Lou got it? I am all for a man hiring a photographer on his own but once you demand that from him (and through a Facebook post for God’s sake) it becomes absolutely unacceptable. A proposal is one of the only things he can do his way, so let him do it his way without too much intervention from you, the person who will take over planning for the decor and beyond. PS: Thank you Clay for giving me the woodsy, private proposal that a Maine girl like me has always desired.
3) Don’t be overly productive if you have a 1+ year engagement: I am so guilty of this. The fiancé and I are currently in the midst of a 14 month engagement. I found myself immediately wanting to jump into planning about 1 week later! Enjoy the first month. This does not mean that there are not things you should be looking into, such as venues. Venues get booked quickly and it’s always wise if you have a list of potential places at the 2 week mark. However, do not feel like the centerpieces, caterers, and the honeymoon all need to be researched and on their way to getting booked until three months into your engagement. I know you will want to immediately start the search and begin to piece together your bridal dream, but planning too soon allows more time for changes and downtime when you are bored. A longer engagement has its perks financially and organizationally. Make sure you take advantage of this! Spread things out and soak in this most important and exciting time of your life.