MISTAKES TO AVOID AFTER GETTING ENGAGED
Have you heard the saying that “hind sight is 20/20”? Of course you have. And if you’re over the age of 10, then I’m sure you can relate. With almost everything we do in life, we look back on it after its all over and say, “I wish I would have done ___________ differently.”
Well, I hate to tell you, but your engagement will be no different.
After your beau builds up the courage to ask you that overly anticipated question, and you say “YESSSSS,” the excitement and nerves of it all can sometimes lead to overwhelm and cause you to make a few undesirable mistakes. But hey, that’s what I am here for, to remind you of those important things and to help keep you on track, right?
So, because I truly believe that your engagement should be a time of enjoyment and preparation, I want to go over a few common mistakes that you should try to avoid. Hopefully this will alleviate some of that hind sight regret and allow you to be a happier bride to be. Let’s get to it.
1| neglecting your relationship
The first thing I want you to remember is that in the middle of all the wedding planning excitement and activities, this time is, more importantly, meant for you to prepare for your marriage. You must keep that in the forefront of your mind.
You should put in at least twice as much time and energy to nurture your relationship than you do making sure your wedding day is “perfect.” So, keep dating, confiding in, and loving on one another. Your marriage depends on it.
2| avoiding important conversations with your partner
This one is not super fun, but it’s so necessary. You can not avoid the tough stuff. You have to accept that you have decided to spend your life with another person, so all those hard conversations need to be dissected so you both know what you’re getting into.
What conversations, you might ask? Well, I dig really deep into them in my post, “Topics to Discuss Before Saying I Do.” I go into the nitty gritty so that you and your partner will be prepared when difficult decisions need to be made in your marriage.
3| not going through premarital counseling
So, I am a HUGE advocate of this. No matter how wonderful or special or amazing your relationship is, you and your fiancé should have your butts in counseling before you get married.
This is a tremendous, life altering change you will be going through. Yes, marriage is wonderful and amazing, and I would not trade it for the world, but it is hard. And to really wrap your head around how your life is about to change, you need an outside person, who will ask you the tough questions, and force you to really look at the deeper levels of your relationship.
This process won’t be easy, nor will it be a whole lot of fun. But trust me when I say, you will be so happy you did it once it’s over. This will be one of those things that you won’t regret, but you will regret it if you don’t do it.
AND NOW MISTAKES THAT PERTAIN SPECIFICALLY TO YOUR WEDDING:
4| not creating and sticking to a budget
This is not just wedding specific. This will be something you will have to do throughout your marriage as well, but doing it for your wedding is great practice.
Having a plan here is just not enough. Knowing how much money you have to spend, where each dollar is going to go, and STICKING TO IT is the only way to avoid this mistake. I won’t get on my soap box about how important it is to have a budget, but if you are serious about avoiding money mistakes while you’re engaged, check out these posts where I go into great detail:
It may not seem like it when you’re in the middle of it, but your engagement is going to fly by. The days will sometimes seem long but before you know it, it will be your wedding day.
So, it’s better to start all of your preparations NOW. Once you have your budget and money in place, start making your arrangements. Be advised, vendors book quickly. In some markets, venues and vendors are booked out a year or more in advance.
Make appointments and put tasks on your calendar. This way, you will not forget anything, and you will have a visual that will show you how much and how fast time is actually passing.
Also, don’t procrastinate with informing your families and bridal party of your expectations of them. This might mean that you may have to make certain decisions very quickly to give everyone the time they need to prepare. For instance, if you are going back and forth with the idea of having a destination wedding, you will need to decide that fairly quickly, so travel arrangements can be made.
You want to give everyone plenty of notice in case they will be required to make purchases for your wedding like travel, hotel, and attire. You don’t want the people most important to you to not be present because you didn’t give them enough time to make the necessary arrangements in their lives.
6| not putting thought into choosing your bridal party
Guys, this is so IMPORTANT. You have to be very wise in making these decisions because this group of people will be an integral part of your journey and will be by your side on your wedding day.
You want to feel confident that they are there for the right reasons, to support you and your fiancé. You almost have to take the emotion out of choosing who will fill these roles, because you don’t want to feel guilted or obligated into asking someone to be a part of your bridal party.
You should be making the decision based on their level of happiness and excitement for you and their ability to really be present for you during this transition in your life.
7| trying to do it alone
Do you value your sanity? I know I do. Well, a sure-fire way to lose it is to try to do this wedding planning thing without help. Please loves, don’t do that to yourself. Even if you choose to plan your own wedding, you will still need help. Whether that’s hiring vendors to execute your vision, or enlisting your family, friends, and bridesmaids if you are going the DIY route.
The point here is that you cannot do this thing all by yourself. The sooner you realize that, the more enjoyable this process will be for you. I have a great post about this exact topic, “What Do You Mean By Plan Your Own Wedding.”
8| getting too many opinions from family and friends
You gotta love the family. But man, sometimes they can really make life harder, can’t they? Listen, your friends and family will have the best intentions when you announce your engagement. They will be so happy for you and want to give you all this advice and tons of unsolicited opinions.
Well, listen to this advice, IGNORE THAT SHIT. You may want to have one or two people to get opinions from, but limit it to that. You don’t need the opinion of all of your bridesmaids, siblings, parents, cousins, and the interweb for every single decision you need to make. Remember that piece about valuing your sanity?
Give yourself a few options to choose from and make the decision. Life will be so much easier, and you just might have all of your hair when you walk down the aisle.
9| comparing yourself to other people
If I was in front you right now, I would look you in the eyes, hold you by both shoulders and say, “PRESS UNFOLLOW.” I can probably bet that right now in your social media feed, you are following all the florists, and wedding designers, and cake designers, and other people who are engaged and showing off their rings and wedding details. Please press unfollow.
You may not be doing it intentionally, but you are setting yourself up to go down the rabbit hole of comparisons. You will begin to make your choices based on what everyone else is doing instead of on what is important and meaningful to you. Don’t do that to yourself.
Your special day should be your version of “perfection,” not just another replica of what you see as your scroll through social media.
10| not taking time away from wedding planning
As I mentioned before, wedding planning is literally preparation for one day. But what about the rest of your life? Take time away from wedding planning every so often. Hang out with your friends, go on date nights, continue your hobbies and routines you had before you got engaged.
You don’t want to neglect your life and the people and things that are important you. So, put this time on your calendar. Even if it’s just reading a book, taking a long bath, and getting a full night’s rest. The point here is to step out of the soup every so often, so your entire life is not consumed with wedding planning.
I mean, what will your life look like after the wedding? You want to still have those meaningful relationships there and those hobbies you always loved, don’t you? Well, live your life and make time for those things now so they will still be there after you say I do.
Now, I have created a guide of the first things you should focus on after you get engaged. Between avoiding the mistakes we’ve talked about here and following the tips in this guide, I have no doubt that when you look back on your engagement, you will have very little to regret!
DO THESE THINGS BEFORE ANYTHING ELSE...
... then you can hit the ground running towards the next part of your journey!