This bride worked with me for 6 months. She wrote this blog 3 months after her wedding.
Dear Newly Engaged Me:
First, slow down. Enjoy getting engaged. Let it really sink in. Float on Cloud 9 for a while.
Do not listen to everyone who says you must run out and pick a venue a year in advance. It’s simply not true.
Enjoy ring shopping.
It’s the best part of the wedding-planning process, because you’re the only one involved.
Your opinion is the only one you’re hearing. It won’t always be like that.
Everyone will have an opinion — simply. everyone. Your boss, co-workers, cashiers at the grocery store, every sales person in the wedding industry. Everyone seems to have opinions about everything.
Educate yourself about what’s normal — but not talked about.
Your engagement will be a wild ride, emotionally.
You will be exhausted, emotionally, early on. Be nice to yourself, take a step back, don’t think about the wedding for a while. Take a break, you will need it.
Read and re-read Allison’s book, Emotionally Engaged: A Bride’s Guide to Surviving the “Happiest” Time of Your Life again and again and watch the Happy Bride’s Secret Toolkit videos. Educate yourself on what’s normal for brides-to-be to feel, but not talked about.
Let go of any expectations you may have. You won’t be able to anticipate what happens next.
The budget will scare the pants off you.
Everything will cost more than you anticipate.
Your fiancé will have no idea where all the money went … you won’t either.
The ups and downs will come early and often — often from the people who mean the most to you: your family.
Your wedding isn’t just about you and your fiance; it’s a big day — and a big deal — for your family too.
They are seeing it as losing a daughter, their daughter is all grown up, and that their family is changing.
It’s hard for them after 28 years to make this shift. Be patient. Be kind.
Understand that their hurtful words are the way your family deals with sadness. It’s easier for them to be mean than feel vulnerable and sad.
In their own dysfunctional way, what your family’s really saying: “We love you. Please don’t go.”
The comments they make about your fiancé: don’t let them hold water. They aren’t, at the core of it, directed toward him. Again, it’s their way to express their sadness through anger.
Unconsciously, they’re hoping that by saying lots of mean things, they can change your mind about getting married. That way, they don’t have to make room for a new son, and the family doesn’t have to change from it’s current state of just parents-and-adult-kids.
Do not let your family influence how you feel about your fiancé.
He could not be more perfect for you.
He would jump through a ring of fire for you if it would bring a smile to your face.
Try not to let your family’s negative comments get to you. But they probably will, I’m sorry to say. At some point, you will be so confused that you will panic a bit when anyone mentions him or you think about him, you will even just look at him and cry.
(That’s when you contact Allison and then sob during the entire free Skype consultation. You were afraid to get therapy. Don’t be. It’s not scary, and it doesn’t mean that anything is necessarily wrong.)
What you have with your fiance is very special. You know this, but momentarily, as you have lost your marbles, you will forget this and be worried he isn’t right for you.
You will question again, and again, and again whether he is right for you. This is scary, but OK and even normal.
Remember: your relationship is in a vacuum. Everyday life will be just the two of you. Much of this family drama will not be an issue in your day-to-day routine, which is great to know. Remember this, please!
You CAN make a decision!
Deep down in the back of your mind, you know you won’t call off this wedding. You just know you won’t.
You know what you want. You know what is right for you — marrying him is right for you.
You’re getting caught up in anxiety because, in deciding to marry someone, you can’t review every single option out there.
It’s not like making honeymoon reservations in Hawaii, where you can spend hours reading reviews on TripAdvisor. This is a decision you have to make without exploring all your options.
It’s just who you are and how you like to make decision. But with this one, you just can’t know the unknown. (There’s no HusbandAdvisor.com). You’ll just have to try to find patience with how you process things. You’ll try to explore every option in your imagination. But you’ll only to go back to what you knew you wanted in the beginning anyway: him.
That’s OK. It’s just who you are and how you process. It’s good info to learn about yourself.
OK, the wedding itself:
My advice is to go to work the week of the wedding for a few days. It’s a controlled environment where you can stay calm.
The fact that you are really getting married arrives the day of the rehearsal dinner. Like a ton of bricks.
And by then, there will be NO jitters, NO cold feet, NO anxiety, NO what-ifs…..
Just excitement and anticipation. Congratulations, you’re getting married!