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10 Things No One Tells You About Getting Engaged

Here are some secrets that no one tells you once you get engaged.

by Anja Winikka

No matter how long you and your fiance dated or how many times you’ve been a bridesmaid in your friends’ weddings, there are some truths you just don’t find out about until you get engaged.

lou_cropped2images by Lou O’Brien

Okay, maybe you won’t (or didn’t). But the point is that whatever fantasy proposal you had dreamed up (at the most romantic place in the world, wearing the most perfect dress, with the best hair and complexion you’ve ever had) isn’t reality.

Our Advice: Your proposal story — whether it happened on the couch in your PJs with no makeup on, or while you are taking a stroll one sunny afternoon — is more important (and special) than that fantasy proposal you might have had in your head. Why? Because it’s your story and no one else’s.

Maybe you went ring shopping together and picked it out yourself, or maybe it was a total surprise. Either way, there’s a big difference between imagining it on your hand and actually seeing that brand-new shiny ring on your finger.

Our Advice: Everyone is going to want to see the ring, so get a manicure (and be careful checking out your hand while driving or crossing busy intersections!).

As soon as you get engaged, one of the first questions people will ask is how he proposed. Get used to it. Telling and retelling the story is part of the fun of being engaged.

Our Advice: Enjoy this special time!

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Tiffany & Co.

You know how it goes: Everyone is excited. But before you’ve even had time to sign up on TheKnot.com.au and start your to-do list, your family and friends are already asking for details.

Our Advice: If you have no idea where and when the wedding will be, come up with a blanket statement you can use whenever someone asks. Say something like, “We’re so excited just being engaged right now. I’m sure there will be plenty of time to figure out the logistics in the coming months.” They’ll take the hint.

There’s usually at least one friend or family member who may not come off quite as supportive or elated as the rest of them. If this doesn’t happen to you, be thankful, because you’re in the minority.

Our Advice: A not-so-positive reaction to your good news is a reflection of that person (not you). Don’t dwell on negative feedback. Focus on the positive — you’re getting married!

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Bvlgari

You’ll know the people you can count on. They’re the ones who post five-exclamation-point messages to your Facebook wall the minute you announce your engagement; they’re the ones who take you out for drinks the day after you get engaged to celebrate; they’re the ones who tell you they’re ready to help you with whatever you need.

Our Advice: Lean on the friends who express excitement for you (and celebrate your newly engaged status often!).

There are plenty of reasons this happens. Some friends may be going through the “postwedding blues” and miss the excitement of planning their own weddings. Others may just think they’re doing you a favour.

Our Advice: If a friend offers wedding planning advice (like.  “You shouldn’t invite kids to your wedding,” or anything else that starts with, “You should/shouldn’t…”), take it in stride. Graciously accept it as a sign of their friendship (there’s no need to get defensive). If you agree with the advice, take it; if not, thank them and move on with your plans.

Whether you’ve seen dozens of Four Weddings episodes, or you wouldn’t be caught dead watching a “cheesy wedding show,” you might now find yourself a little (or a lot) more interested in wedding movies and shows.

Our Advice: Rent Father of the Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding and Rachel Getting Married — and don’t feel bad about sitting through and enjoying a reality tv wedding special or two. This is one of those guilty wedding pleasures that you’re totally allowed to indulge in while you’re engaged.

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Larsen Jewellery

Sure, you recognise there’s a long road ahead of you and there’s plenty of time to plan out a wedding. But after the shock wears off, the next natural step is to start working out wedding plans.

Our Advice: It’s okay (and good!) to get started early — just be sensitive to him. He more than likely just spent a lot of money and time planning out the proposal. So give him a little time to relax if he needs it. A few things you can get started on right away: planning out the guest list (at least your family and friends) and documenting your proposal story.

A marriage proposal is exciting, but it’s also serious. You’ve just agreed to commit to one another — for forever.

Our Advice: Work out the nitty-gritty details you may have only touched upon when you were dating. Decide what you’ll do for holidays every year, whether you want kids, where you want to live long term. Make actual plans. Even if they change, it’s good to know where you both stand on the big topics. If you’re not required to through your church or temple, consider signing up for pre-wedding counselling, where you’ll be led through the process by a pro. Having worked out hard-to-make decisions together will make the wedding ceremony that much more meaningful.

by Anja Winikka

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Comments

  1. Number 2 is totally true – I nearly crashed the car a number of times just after we got engaged, as I was distracted by the sparkles on my finger!

  2. I have had the sour ones too :( as well as being very self conscious of my left hand now fearing my clumsiness will knock the rock and sparkles off :)

  3. When I asked my (then fiancée) to marry me, I lived 5 hours south of her and it would have been difficult to do pre marital counseling so her pastor at the time suggested that instead of my making a 5 hour trip every few days, 10 times in total, that we go to a weekend seminar by Family Life Ministries called A Weekend To Remember. That crammed into 1 weekend nearly everything he wanted to go over with us. Our getting engaged was a foregone conclusion and by the time I popped the question on Valentine’s Day 3 years ago we were both more than ready. Our engagement was literally a quickie because I asked her to marry me on Valentine’s Day 2012 (I didn’t plan that, it happened the way that it did) and we got married that June 9. Now it’s been nearly 3 years. We’ve moved 3 complete times, gone through some of the hardest times emotionally but grown closer for it, and we have yet to get into an argument or a fight.



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