Enjoy the Ride of the Engagement

The one that makes your heart skip a beat has asked you the most important questions of your life.  “Will you marry me?”  With joy you accepted as you had already started picturing a life together and now it was becoming a reality.  This is a life changing moment!  One that you should remember and carefully weigh in your mind and your heart.  You are preparing to be in covenant with someone.  Ensuring the vows you say on the wedding day are words you really mean.  You should be enjoying one another.  Going on dates or long dinners.  Gazing in each other’s eyes and discussing your excitement, nervousness and future plans of growing old together.  So why on earth are you racing through Google, Pinterest and Instagram trying to plan your entire wedding, when you only said “Yes!” a few short hours ago?!

I get it.  Wedding planning is exciting.  There is so much to do.  Tons of decisions to make and options to weigh.  Venues and vendors book quickly.  You want everything to be perfect.  That is all great in theory, but the reality is you are missing out on your engagement trying to figure it all out at once.  To put it simply, wedding planning should not be your focus, marriage planning should be.

I was listening to Angela Proffitt’s podcast and her guest Peggy Kelly of Late Nite Bride made an excellent point on Episode 99.  She talks about an email she received around 11 PM one night from a lady named Debbie.  Debbie had just gotten engaged and was telling her that she was stressed out.  Debbie asked what she should do.  I love Peggy’s response.  She replied, “First of all, Congratulations.  Secondly, go to bed!  Tomorrow go on a really great date with your beloved and be IN your engagement.  Don’t worry about a thing, we’ve got you.”  This experience lead Peggy develop her show as a resource to brides and wedding professionals, which can be watched on Youtube, but her point was that she wanted this bride to get out of the mindset of tasks and into the heart of the relationship.  My favorite point made on the episode was that planning a wedding utilizes all the same tools you will need to plan a great marriage.  Communication, negotiation, budgeting, etc., which is so true.  I’d add that if the goal is only to use these skills to plan for that one day, you are missing out on the bigger picture.

I love to tell my couples that your wedding is just the launch party for a great marriage.  Usually launches occur for new products.  Well, your marriage is just that!  In product development there are phases of research and tweaking, enhancing and adjusting.  The engagement phase parallels to this.  Look at the root word of engagement.  It’s engage!  Are you engaged in your relationship?  Building it for a successful marriage?  Making the needed tweaks and adjustments?  This should be a fun time to really focus in on having a solid foundation or product that can be celebrated at your wedding. 

The road from “yes” to “I do” should be enjoyed not stressful.  Planning is important.  By no means am I downplaying the need to plan for the intricacies of a wedding.  What I am foot stomping is the importance of guarding your heart and your time from being consumed by planning an event and not enjoying what is happening in the moment.  Your engagement.  I’ll echo Peggy and tell you that as wedding planners, we’ve got you so enjoy the ride.