Friday, January 4, 2013

Newly Engaged? 7 "Must-Follow" Tips to Stay Sane!

Happy New Year fabulous Bridal Bubbly readers and friends! The start of a new year means lots of things--fresh starts, change, resolutions.  But for us it always means new engagements. Couples who are starting off on a new chapter in their relationship and beginning to learn all the fun that goes along with it.

As we all know, change can sometimes bring stress.  So in the spirit of helping all our newly engaged brides and grooms out there avoid this very thing, here are some of our tips for starting out your engagement the right way (the way that avoids mucho headaches down the road).

1- Take a breather.  It's so easy to want to start planning your perfect wedding the nanosecond the ring hits your finger but be sure to enjoy the moment. Despite what everyone says, you will have time for plenty of planning ahead. So savor those first giddy days of your engagement. Call everyone you know. Clean your ring a thousand times. Take a picture of it and upload it to Facebook. Drink lots of champagne. Go out to celebrate. Go out again. Be in the moment. It doesn't come often.

2- Don't speak too soon. In all the excitement, it's easy to want to call every friend from grade school or sorority sister and ask them to be in your wedding but looking before you leap could cause issues later on. Take the time to talk through how you and your fiance envision your wedding (and wedding party) before you do any asking. If your beloved has his heart set on having his brother (and only his brother) stand up with him, it's going to look mighty funny if you have a squad of twelve ladies fanning out on your side.  Although sides don't need to match exactly, there does need to be overall balance in your planning.

3- Get all the information. Before you set a date or snatch up the last June Saturday at your favorite hotel, be sure to talk with all your family members and closest friends. It isn't worth doing all that legwork only to discover that your parents are booked on a cruise to Alaska or your best friend is expecting that same day.

4- Get even more information. Before you start the major planning (booking venues and planners and bands) be sure to know how much money you're working with. I know, I know. Talking about money isn't romantic. But neither is getting halfway through your planning and realizing that your dad isn't able to chip in what you'd expected. Be clear and upfront. Don't assume anything. And don't spend more than you have. The quality of your marriage and life isn't determined by the swankiness of your wedding.

5- Be gracious. This applies to every element, every moment and every detail of your wedding planning and engagement. Despite reality shows to the contrary, behaving badly or being a Bridezilla is never appropriate and is never warranted. Just because you are getting married, you do not have the right to treat anyone badly. Don't demand money from your parents. If they can contribute, great! But it is not something they are required to do and any financial gift should be accepted with thanks. The same goes for your bridal party. Be thankful for their help and don't keep a running tally in your head of all the things you think they should be doing for you because "it's your day." They all have lives and personal responsibilities and, even though this is your most important day, it is not theirs. Keep this in mind and ask for help and participation with kindness, not entitlement.

6- Talk it out. Have a conversation with your fiance about what is important to both of you when it comes to your wedding. Make sure you understand each other before you start planning. If you don't agree, come to a compromise or make concessions so you can both be happy. Planning a wedding is a great exercise in getting along and negotiating. Play fair!

7- Have fun! Don't get so caught up in wedding planning that you forget to take time for each other. Be sure to make time for dates and agree not to talk about "the wedding" all the time. It can take over your lives and get old really fast.

Best wishes to all the newly engaged couples and we hope these tips help you navigate the waters of wedding planning!  Cheers!

Laura, Sara, Christine and Amanda
The Engaging Affairs Team