I'm going to be very honest today! (Not that I'm not normally...haha) Engagement was NOT all I thought it would be. It was probably, no, REALLY, the toughest time for me and Kevin.
I've heard many times that those couples that never fought while dating or during engagement usually fight more in their first year of marriage and that those who fought more while dating/engaged don't fight as much during their first year of marriage. Don't tell me that you and your spouse never fought/fight (have heated discussions) because all relationships have conflict...let's just be honest. Maybe it's worse for some than others, but we are all human and are sinful and bring a bunch of brokenness into a relationship. And it's okay! We just have to learn how to work through it and love our partners through it!
Well, Kevin and I are the latter. I know we're only 6 months into marriage, but it's been way easier for us than engagement. We're both open books and discussed almost everything we could before we got married. We had a lot of "heated discussions" but they were good for us and helped us to have realistic expectations for marriage.
So I speak from experience - these are things that I would recommend that you do or not do while engaged:
Set aside an evening at least once a week that neither of you are allowed to talk about wedding planning or anything related to the wedding.
As a woman, you may LOVE talking about the wedding. You probably breathe and sleep wedding stuff, but I've got some news - your fiance probably doesn't. I know there are exceptions, but most men don't want it to engulf your time together. It'll show him that you love him by refraining from wedding talk every now and then. (Perhaps the genders are reversed on this one - I know some of these couples!) Even if he is one of those guys who likes talking about it, I think it's good for your relationship to have an evening where it's not discussed.
Only invite those guests that you see being a part of your life in your future.
This is a tough one, especially if you hate hurting people's feelings like me, but this is a very important day. Share it with the friends and family that'll be around for years to come. The same goes for your bridal party! You will look at those photos for the rest of your life!
Do what YOU and YOUR FIANCE want, not what anyone else tells you that you "should" do.
Exception: if your parents are paying for you wedding, they should have a say as well. It's your wedding and their money so hopefully you can come to agreement on most stuff. But as a whole, don't let someone talk you into something because it's all over Pinterest or it's the "traditional" thing to do. Your wedding should reflect YOU and YOUR FIANCE and that can be whatever you want!
Seek out some type of premarital counseling or class.
As I discussed HERE, Kevin and I took a premarital class, premarital counseling and found a mentor couple before we got married. It really helped us learn more about each other and have realistic expectations of marriage. There are so many Proverbs about seeking wise counsel so there must be something to it!
Remember who you are marrying above the details of your wedding day.
Engagement is so fun and exciting! I loved looking forward to our wedding and honestly, I love planning so it thrilled me. Sometimes though, I may have been so excited about the wedding day that I overlooked my fiance's needs. He needs to remember that you love him more than the wedding so remind him of that and don't let details get in the way!
Ask your friends to help you plan or make stuff for your wedding if you're doing DIY.
I had some phenomenal friends step up and help me prepare for my wedding. My friend, Jennifer, helped me with almost EVERY detail, helped me make all of my decorations, baked cupcakes for the wedding, let me live with her for months before the wedding, and on and on and on. She was such a blessing! I had other friends help also with making decorations, my bridal portraits, with checking out my venue to help me come up with ideas, make signs, etc. Don't be afraid to ask! Most people want to help...they just need to be given specific duties.
Don't let your feelings get hurt easily.
Do not take everything personally. There are so many things going on during a wedding and people tend to say/do pretty insensitive things surrounding your wedding day so blow it off. Have thick skin. It's your day so just enjoy it!
Try to remember that this is one day of your life. Don't blow your life savings for it, because in the grand scheme of things, it's only the beginning of the rest of your life.
I understand wanting to spend a little more than normal. I'm a very budget conscious girl, but there were definitely areas that I was willing to spend a little more. Whether it's your parents' money or your own, remember your future. That day will pass like a blink of an eye.
Speaking of money, don't skimp on a wedding photographer.
Photographers are crazy expensive nowadays, but you will have those photos for the rest of your life. If you're going to splurge on one thing, let it be that. I know friends who skimped and wish they could go back and change that. I'm so glad that I have great photos to remember that day!
Slow down, enjoy it.
I know you've heard this. People told me a million times. And it's true. It all passes so quickly so enjoy it, don't rush it. Spend time with your fiance looking forward to your marriage. It's only the beginning!