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Marianne Fidel

7 Things I’ve Learnt in the First Month of Engagement

I have a friend who told me that her friend cried down the aisle. Though people thought they were happy tears, she was crying because of all the things that went wrong. Weddings can definitely seem daunting but they don’t always have to be!

Since getting engaged just before Christmas, I’ve been reflecting on a lot of deeper things about engagement, marriage, and what really does make a bride beautiful and glow on her wedding day? I’ve come to the conclusion that at the end of the day, there is just a deeper level of beauty that joy and a peaceful heart can give you that not even the world’s best hair and makeup artists can.

I’ve been pondering on observations I’ve made of friends who’ve been engaged and married and even on my experience with brides working in the bridal industry. I’ve mixed in some of the advice that has been given to me and summarised these into the 7 best lessons I’ve learnt in my first month of engagement. They’ve helped me so much to get a peaceful and confident grip on wedding preparations and are helping me stay calm and grounded.

Nobody likes being and/or being with a bridezilla so I hope that even one of these tips can help you/your friends enjoy the engagement phase! Here it goes:

1. Think “big picture”

Getting married isn’t about the “wedding day” as much as it is about the lifelong commitment that you and your beloved are about to make. Take the time to invest in your relationship. As you focus on preparing the wedding, focus even more on building your unity and friendship; one that can stand the test of time and trials that life will bring and a love that will only grow stronger even when all the ‘feeling of love’ and attraction fades. In the end, none of the details will matter, what will matter is your marriage, unity and fidelity.

2. It’s not all about “you”

Being happy on your wedding day is so important that you’ll be even happier by sharing your joy and thinking about others! The minute we start becoming more self-obsessed, the more miserable we can become. From there, it’s so easy to spiral down into obsession about the wedding and “image” that expectations get higher and higher and we risk ourselves even more at getting disappointed and snappy. Looking outwards can help the most :).

3. Be happy for your friends

Some of us are so privileged to have friends and family going through wedding preparation around the same time as us. It’s not a competition. Don’t feel threatened by their ideas or scared to share yours in fear that she might “copy” you. A sign of true love and friendship is being genuinely happy for each other. I’m fortunate enough to be getting married within 3 months of one my best friends. We’re bridesmaids for each other and share ideas all the time! The more ideas and resources we share, the more creative we get. Take this opportunity to really strengthen your bond and build up your friendships.

4. Be kind

Show gratitude and kindness to all those who are accompanying you on your journey. Looking back on what I have seen to make the most beautiful brides, I think of those who’ve just been so happy, content and grateful for everything they have and everyone around them. Kindness reveals the beauty in your heart and touches people far deeper than all the makeup and glam. For sure it’s important to look beautiful, just don’t forget the inside too.

5. Be generous

It’s no lie, weddings can cost a bomb and saving wherever you can is awesome! It’s also so easy to get carried away in frivolities of extra things that you don’t need. One thing that’s really helping my fiance and I direct where we spend our money is thinking, “what do we really ‘need’?”. What can I go without and splurge a little more in the areas that other people will really enjoy more and make them happier? For example, I’ve opted not to buy new shoes and to put the extra money towards an awesome DJ who everyone else will love.

6. Honour your parents

This links very closely with No. 2. As much as it is “your” day, it’ll mean a great deal to our parents to feel involved in the process. Although they don’t necessarily need to be consulted about every decision, they like being kept in the loop as this is so special to them too. After all, they’ve raised us and we have a lot to thank them for. A really good one to be mindful of is being open to their ideas. Although some of their ideas may not align with your “taste”, receive their ideas very lovingly (even if you choose not to go with them) but it can go a long way in avoiding any unnecessary tension.

7. Try not to obsess over pictures you find on pinterest/online

How good is pinterest!? While it’s so helpful to make mood boards, try to remember that they’re there for inspiration. I’ve seen many people go through the anxiety of trying to find in stores or through their suppliers ‘exactly’ what they saw online. It’s often a hard battle unless the models/bloggers have listed exactly what the product is, where you can buy it and that it’s at a price point you can afford. When shopping for wedding details, come with your inspiration but also be open to something different or similar.

I hope this helps other couples with some perspective and with that I’ll leave with a final thought which is something my fiance and both share. We don’t want to look back on our wedding day and wish it went for longer. Rather, we want to enjoy all 218 days of our engagement and savour our wedding day fondly as the cherry on top.

If you’ve found this post helpful, feel free to tag and share with your friends. If you’d like to get in touch with me or hear about any of the work I do with weddings, feel free to email me at [email protected]. All my best wishes! Marianne xx