The holidays are a magical time for engaged couples. You and your fiancé will be the center of attention. You’ll receive gifts, toasts, and good wishes. You’ll have parties thrown for you. You’ll be asked all about your wedding. You’ll feel more in love with your fiancé than you have since he popped the question.
Even better yet: you’ll find yourselves envisioning holidays in years to come, imagining new traditions you’ll start and the children that you’ll share them with.
Don't be surprised, though, by "blue" Christmas moments.
My uncertainty compounded over a few months of rumination and eventually grew into dread and paralysis.
I was overwhelmed. I constantly had a pit in my stomach. I cried often, and I almost called off my wedding.
I thought that the feelings I was experiencing could ONLY mean that the marriage was not supposed to happen.
Yippee for me!
This time of year, traffic on this website jumps, and a whole new group of newly engaged brides-to-be are coming my way.
Looking for explanations for why being engaged is so much more complicated than they ever anticipated.
Looking for answers to questions such as:
Worried you'll have jitters on your wedding day?
Then read this piece in today's New York Times by Alyson Kreuger: Got Wedding Jitters? Take a Hike (or Grab Your Blankie).
Great stories of how brides cope on their wedding days, and expert advice.
I'm thrilled to be included!
Watch clips from my video series for brides-to-be
For all you newly engaged brides out there, my Dec 26 post on Brides.com:
Here's today's post from Brides.com:
Rare is life as sweet as the first hours, days, and weeks of being engaged. Our advice? Prolong that lovely period for as long as possible
How to prolong it?
Easy: do not – we repeat – do not get into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning right away. Why? Because as soon as you start making real, actual plans, you’ll face the pressures of sticker shock and other people’s opinions. We want to help you postpone these complicating realities, since you’ll be living in them for many months to come. Just sayin’.
Don’t get stuck in the weeds of wedding planning. Do these 3 fun things to prolong the sweetness of this time:
1. Tell everyone, together.
Don’t text your engagement news or post it on Facebook.
Instead, you and your fiancé meet with important family and friends to share your news.
Or at least make a phone call with both of you on the line.
Contrast how different you’ll feel by getting a lot of Facebook “likes,” “OMG!” and “Congrats” responses versus hearing friends’ excited screams at your announcement, feeling their happy hugs, accepting their heartfelt congratulations, drinking their celebratory Champagne, and sharing your joy.
The latter sure sounds like a lot more fun and will create a lasting lifelong memory, marking the beginning of your engagement. Now that, we “like”!
2. Fantasize about your wedding.
From "fetal position" to the happiest wedding day: One bride's very successful bridal counseling experience
Here's the very successful story of Erin, a 27-year-old bride-to-be, who I helped get married this summer.
Do you see yourself in her story?
Before meeting with Allison, I felt terrified, isolated, and confused.
I was so scared that what I was feeling wasn't "normal."
Scared that seeing Allison meant I had somehow failed at being a bride-to-be.
Scared that I was making the wrong decision in choosing to marry my fiancé.
I'm happy to share today's post from Brides.com!
You've known your partner's family for a while now. Love 'em or leave 'em, becoming a part of his or her family requires a different, more flexible and more patient mindset. For all the brides-to-be who are about to become daughter-in-laws, here are some tips and things to remember to seamlessly becoming a part of your new family.
1. You are a stranger in a strange land.
Think of your time with your new in-laws as if you're traveling to a foreign country. His family's traditions and customs will be different from your family's. Have respect and remember that they've functioned perfectly well for generations their way. Don't go in guns-blazing to try to make them more like yours.
2. They speak a foreign language.
You may all be speaking English, but as a newcomer, you can't know the subtext of what's going on in a conversation: the meaning, intent, and history behind the words spoken are unknown to you. Don't assume you understand the deep meaning of your father-in-law's "Hmmm, that's interesting."
3. They have different body language, too. When your mom looks at you askance, you know exactly what she's getting across. Your MIL? You haven't a clue what her raised eyebrow means. Don't assume it's the same message as your mom's raised eyebrow.
4. Let your spouse be your tour guide.
After a lifetime of living with them, your partner can read the situation, the mood, and the nuance far better than you'll ever be able to. For example if your partner says, "Hey, let's not push this point right now," or if he or she lets you know that showing up even just 15 minutes late to dinner with your in-laws is not cool, take the advice and adjust your behavior. If you're in doubt about what is going on, ask your partner to explain.
5. Let your partner take the lead.
It's best to have your fiancé make the plans with your in-laws and lead the difficult or delicate conversations with his parents. Weekly phone calls to say hello can be a great way to encourage a relationship (and all you have to do is just pop on for a quick "hi"). Conversely, you can take the lead with your family, so that it feels equal and balanced.
Allison Moir-Smith is an author and bridal counselor who specializes in engagement anxiety and cold feet.