DON’T FORGET THIS ONE THING DURING YOUR ENGAGEMENT
There are many tasks and to-do’s that couples are reminded of while they are in the middle of planning their wedding. But there is one very specific thing that has been omitted from the checklists and to-do lists out there. Sure, its mentioned in a very casual way, but the emphasis on its importance is lacking.
So, are you wondering what this mythical thing is? Of course you are. And I’ll reveal it to you in just a minute. When you do this thing right and with some thought and sincerity, it will not only affect how you feel in the moment, but it will also put things into perspective and make your wedding planning journey so much more meaningful.
This one thing is SHOWING GRATITUDE.
So, almost every wedding checklist will have a line to remind you to write thank you cards for gifts as you receive them. This is an absolute must and should be included on the list. But there are so many other things that you should be showing gratitude for that probably aren’t even on your radar. So, let’s dig into this a little deeper.
Your Parents + Family
Well, now this is an obvious one, right? Sure it is, but I had to include it on the list. We typically don’t forget to say, “thank you” when our parents buy us something, or in this case, cover wedding expenses. But it really should go a lot deeper than that. Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves that showing appreciation for the people that raised us and supported us throughout our lives falls through the cracks.
Think about it this way, you are who are for one of two reasons. Either you had an amazing family that loved you and supported you and contributed tremendously for where you are today; or, your parents/family weren’t the most ideal and you got here in spite of them. Either way, they played a part in it.
You are the person you are because of how you were raised. Your fiancé fell in love with who you are and it’s imperative that you show your family gratitude for their contribution, no matter how big or small.
So, be sure to just say, “thank you” to your parents and your family on a regular basis, for no other reason than for raising you to be the person you are today. Reflect on the good and bad times throughout your life and think about how your family played a part in it. Remember you are on a journey to start your own family so, all of those memories will shape your future family’s outcome as well.
Now, this is a big one. Your fiancé saved up to buy that rock and built up the nerves to pop the question. How many of you showed your fiancé a heartfelt sign of gratitude? I don’t mean immediately after you said, “YES”, but after you came down off the proposal high, did you let your fiancé know how appreciative you are?
In most cases, the answer would be NO. And I have a theory as to why that is. For some reason, we have this feeling that if something is expected, we don’t have to show appreciation for it. Let’s test this out. Think about a task, or chore, or activity that you typically do on a regular basis that would benefit others besides you, i.e. grocery shopping, or cooking dinner, or paying bills. Now, think about how often you are thanked for doing it?
I know, I’m being a little extreme but I’m trying to prove a point. When things are expected of us, we tend to not get the appreciation we probably deserve. And this happens all the time when a couple gets engaged. Your fiancé is expected to buy the ring, expected to propose, expected to put up with the emotions involved in wedding planning, and more often than not, no gratitude is ever shown.
So, pull yourself away from your expectations and show your fiancé the gratitude he/she deserves. Pssst, this will also be good practice for your marriage, 😉.
Your Bridal Party
Lord, bless the bridal party, especially the bridesmaids. There is something you must remember; your bridal party are volunteers. They have willingly chosen to be a part of your journey and you should treat them with respect.
It is such a shame how some bridesmaids are treated by their brides and it’s something that needs to be addressed. Your bridesmaids are, in most cases, spending money, taking off from work, and spending time away from their families to be by your side during this transition in your life. Showing your appreciation to them is an absolute must.
And I don’t mean by giving them another wedding tote or monogrammed pajama shirt. You should go well beyond this. It doesn’t require you spending a lot of money either. You could write each of them a personalized handwritten letter to express how they have impacted your life. You can have them all over for a casual girl’s night where you just shower them with love and appreciation. Or you could just give them a phone call, randomly and say thank you for being a special part of your life.
The point is, once again, to show them gratitude for the roles they have played and the sacrifices they have made to make this part of your journey special.
Read my previous post on “How to Avoid Being Labeled a Bridezilla” so that the members of your bridal party will still want to be your friends after your wedding.
Now when it comes to your vendors, it’s assumed that your payment is thank you enough. Well in some cases where you had an awful experience, it may be. But if your vendors showed up and showed out for you, making you shine, and loved on you, they deserve a little more gratitude than just their payment.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’m not talking about spending piles of money. I’m talking about doing something heartfelt and with intention. This can be accomplished, once again, with a letter. I don’t mean giving them a generic thank you card that says something like “Thank you for making my wedding day special.”
Oh no, I mean getting visceral and specific. What specifically did they do for you? How did it make you feel? Would your day have been the same without them? Take some time to really think about these questions and put pen to paper to document it.
Also, you don’t have to wait until after your wedding to send these letters to them. If you have been working with your vendors and they deliver a product of your dreams before your wedding day, i.e. your stationery, engagement photos, etc., go ahead and give them their letters ahead of time. It will not only make you look like a total ROCKSTAR for showing your appreciation, but it will make them even more eager to SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT for you on your wedding day.
And this is just a suggestion, but the ultimate form of gratitude, especially for those vendors who will not be physically working on the night of, send them an invitation to your wedding. This will truly show them that you not only appreciate them for their contribution to your special day, but that you also want them to be there to celebrate with you.
And, and, and…
And your guests, and your officiant, and, and, and. This list could go on and on. The point is to emphasize that you cannot pull your wedding day together all on you own. You must show appreciation to everyone involved, no matter the size or cost of the contribution.
Remember, being gracious is a reflection on you. It’s a sign of your character. You want people to walk away from your wedding festivities feeling like they played a small part in making it all special. And what better way to do that than to SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE.
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