It's that time of year again... It's what I like to call "engagement season". Yup! 'Tis the season when several million happy couples take the next glorious step in their relationship, and decide to tie the knot, take the plunge, buy the cow, get hitched, plight one's troth (I think this is probably my fave), walk down the aisle, become husband and wife, lead to the altar, etc., I really could go on and on, but I'm pretty sure you get the point! No matter what you call it, you've decided to get married, and that's fantastic... But, the thing is, most of you are embarking on a completely new and somewhat scary endeavor together. I mean, what should be amongst the greatest time and experience in your life is also one in which you're about to spend a ton of money, fight about stupid shit (um, like linens and flowers), and open many of pandora's boxes. Sounds fun, right? So how do you keep your sanity and preserve the sanctity of your relationship before falling down the wedding planning rabbit hole? Try these five steps:
1. Enjoy being engaged! Live it up! Right? It seems so obvious, and yet so many brides (and grooms) rush into the wedding planning with hopeless abandon! Bridey, don't rush it... Take some time to show off your beautiful ring and simply be engaged. You don't have to know the details right away. Seriously, there's no trophy for who can plan their wedding the fastest. So, chill the fuck out. Take this time to really be with your fiancé and embrace why you want to get married to him (or her)! Because marriage is much more than just a wedding, right? It literally symbolizes the first day of the rest of your lives together. And, if that's not what it means to you, then run away... Fast, and NOW!
2. Get the BIG discussions out of the way before you even think about planning your wedding. Look beyond your wedding day, and discuss your life after the honeymoon. Bridey, have you talked about having kids? Have you talked about what each of you want out of your career(s)? What do your finances look like? The sooner you tackle these big talks and determine if you two are on the same page, the better. I've seen couples deteriorate shortly after they get married simply because they got so wrapped up planning one fucking day, that they forgot to plan the rest of their lives! Focus on what matters, and remember that 99% of the time, people don't change. For example, if one of you wants kids and the other doesn't, then put the planning on hold... Probably forever...
3. The wedding budget! AHHHHHH!!! Bridey, set your budget early, and then fight like a lunatic to stick to it. Oh, and add 20% in miscellaneous bullshit to that total. YUP! 20 fucking percent! I really can't explain it, I just need you to do it! Listen, the budget has the potential to ruin everything; even your relationship. So, start doing your homework to get a feel for what wedding-y things cost where you live, and prioritize. How? What do I mean? See number four.
4. Determine what is most important to you two as a couple, and incorporate it into your wedding. For some of you, it is an open bar and music, and for others it is impeccable décor and food. Whatever it is, own it and filter out the rest... Spend your money and your time planning the things that will make your wedding day awesome, and then politely decline free advice from those eager to give it. Remember that this is the one day in your life where you get to call the shots, and make it all about who you are as a couple. So, fuck the peanut gallery and focus on what you want!
5. Take a vacation. Have a lot vacation sex (But, use protection... Nothing speeds up wedding planning like an impending birth!). Have fun! Enjoy each other! Come home strong and unified before the reality of wedding planning sinks in, and times get a bit strenuous.
Some advice as you make your way through the planning? Make a pact and limit the wedding conversation to once or twice a week. Talk about other stuff... Like you used to before you got engaged. Don't make every conversation and date night a planning session. Got it? Good! Then bitch less!!!