When you propose to someone (or when someone proposes to you), you can’t help but start planning and picturing the rest of your lives together. All of your focus will be shifted towards hammering out the details of your big day. While there isn’t anything wrong with making sure the wedding is special, oftentimes couples can let the time in between slip between their fingers as they drive their attention towards caterers, guest lists, and vows. It is important to remember not to lose the next few months (or years) as you work together to plan your wedding.
Think Beyond The Veil
You have your engagement rings picked out, as well as your wedding party and venue, so what else should you consider? Simply put, everything. When you become engaged to another person, you are preparing to share a bond with that person for the rest of your lives. Just as your relationship should not stop after the church bells ring, neither should your planning. If you have not already, now is the time to sit down with your partner and talk about the future. You may think that you have the same ideas about household responsibilities, children, finances, and other aspects of married life, but sometimes even the people we are closest to can take us by surprise. During your engagement, these conversations are essential to setting and managing expectations throughout the rest of your relationship. and don’t worry- you may not agree on everything with your partner, and that’s okay. Learning to compromise is part of being a team.
Have Some Family Time
As a couple engaged to be married, it is important to get to know one another’s families. Taking some time to get to know your future in-laws is a great way to get to know your partner, too, if their family is the kind that enjoys sharing baby photos and childhood stories. If you already know your partner’s family, it might be fun to introduce each others’ families over dinner or some kind of activity (bowling, game night, etc.). This way, the two families can get to know one another before the day of the wedding arrives.
Have A Trial Run
Some couples may not be able to explore this due to religious or cultural restrictions, however, if at all possible, it is a great idea to try to see what living together will be like if you do not already share a living space. Booking a hotel or renting a place for a week or so can help give you insight into how your partner functions on a daily basis. You can get more familiar with their schedule, activities, habits, and mannerisms. If you are unable to live together before your wedding, it might be a good idea to sit down with one another and discuss what a regular day looks like for each of you. If one of you wakes up at the crack of dawn and the other prefers to sleep in, for instance, you may want to negotiate what your mornings will look like.
This is not to suggest that you necessarily continue to see other people (unless that is the situation you have both agreed upon), but rather that you continue to date each other. Quite often, sometimes as early as engagement, married couples tend to stop trying to “pursue” each other. Just because you are engaged does not mean that you have to (or should!) quit trying to “woo” your partner. While certain aspects of your relationship may become more mundane as you integrate into each others’ daily lives, you will also find new ways to love each other every day, so don’t let the magic die when you say “I do.”
The period during which you are engaged is typically brief. It is important to make that time count and not let your relationship fall by the wayside as you get caught up in the planning of your wedding.