Congratulations on your engagement! Here’s a list of expectations… Enjoy!

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Yes, I know I’ve skipped forward on you. So let me give you the short¬†version (I have to save something for the book) ūüėČ

We met on Bumble. And only days after I posted my thoughts on the dating app, we went on our first date… lots of awesomeness happened in between, along with¬†some real life lessons, topped with a few relationship learning curves, sprinkled with a big move out of state. And all of that led us here. ¬†Obviously it went very well because now we’re engaged! ūüėć‚̧ԳŹ ūüíć #IsaidYes!

It’s amazing how many people on social media will like your engagement announcement, but completely ignore your posts on fundraising for Alzheimer’s research, and the negative effects of defunding planned parenthood. Simply astonishing how a ring turns you into the most popular girl on the Facebook block. Yay for love! Everyone loves love! “Ooo no, please hide all the feminist posts from my timeline, they make me uncomfortable. Please show me more hilarious Joe Biden memes and dancing cat videos.”

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Credit: WeKnowMemes.com


 

Still,¬†sharing the news¬†about our engagement has been wonderful, we’ve been overwhelmed by the good wishes and likes on facebook. But soon after getting engaged, I realized that there are too¬†many things that happen, when you make this giant commitment, that¬†no one ever tells you about… On the surface it’s all sparkle¬†and pretty, like the beautiful rose gold diamond ring on my finger, but behind all the excitement there is a whole list¬†of activities that “must” take place in preparation for the life-long journey you are about to embark on. And these activities and traditions can drive a couple a little crazy, if they forget why they came together in the first place.

There’s no “right way” to handle an engagement, but there are so many expectations that come with the title of “engaged” that I feel dizzy just a few weeks later. I’m overwhelmed and torn between the excitement of being a #bride2be and the joy of getting to spend the rest of my life with the most amazing person ever. No romantic comedy or life experience has prepared me for this moment. I can only go on what family and friends tell me was their own experience. And the most frequent advice I receive is: “Forget what everyone else wants, it’s your relationship, and your wedding.”

Yet, there are other things that I just have to learn on my own like:

  • How not to¬†annoy my¬†fianc√© with endless wedding inspiration and ideas

  • Be able to tell our¬†proposal story again and again without losing the “sparkle” in my¬†eyes.

  • Be objective when he¬†doesn’t like my¬†awesome new couples hashtag!

  • Not hurt anyone’s feelings when they assume they’ll be invited to the wedding.


And then we¬†realized that we¬†have walked inside¬†the mother load of all industries. The wedding industry. Partly created to make people feel inadequate in their wedding planning, because they don’t have the best designer dress or the best table arrangements. But I’d say it’s mostly a genius business that thrives on selling the idea of a happily ever after. And¬†I’m actually impressed. I never realized how profitable the wedding business is, until now. And I’m fully aware that every time I buy a bridal magazine or read a wedding-related blog post, I sink deeper into the wedding crazy web. Yes, I’ve already tried on too many wedding dresses, which goes against the advice I’ve also read online. But I’m not ashamed, I’ve only dipped my toes into the bride to be role and I’m already hooked! So many pretty dresses, so many interesting accessories! A little¬†sparkle here, some glitz and glamour there. Flowers, champagne, a fabulous dress, and great dancing music… does a girl deserve anything less? ūüėČ

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Trying on dresses at B.Loved Bridal 

The truth is I love throwing parties, and this happens to be the biggest party I’ve ever thrown, so yes, it’s very exciting. What’s not to love about planning a wedding? It’s got all the makings of a good novel. Love, fashion, beautiful sceneries, romance, delicious food, intrigue, drama and family. I’m willing to bet that most people get into at least two heated arguments over bridesmaids dresses and flowers. It’s the only time when this sort of ridiculous shit¬†would actually happen and have any serious side effects.


But what about the expectations?

That’s been the tough part for D and I as we started planning our wedding. We each have different visions, but in the long run our families also have to play a role. There are so many opinions and ideas, everyone has their own advice to share with us and frankly, it’s confusing.

To begin, the guest list is always a source of stress. Trying to make sure we¬†invite every person who we¬†are close with and their significant other, plus the family and our¬†parent’s friends. I¬†started wondering if maybe we¬†have too many friends. ūüėČ We¬†want everyone to join in, but at the same time we¬†want to give our¬†guests an enjoyable experience and spend time with them without feeling like we¬†can’t take experience¬†our¬†own party. So once that reality sinks in, the guest list starts to shrink. But how do we pick? And those who we can’t invite, will they hate us¬†or will they be understanding?

Then there’s wedding etiquette which seems to change every day depending on whose blog you’re reading. Martha Stewart says you must buy a wedding present for the couple even if you can’t make it. Other folks say you don’t have to give every¬†guest¬†a plus one, if you don’t know them. And there’s a very mixed feeling out there about digital vs. paper invitations. Doesn’t anyone care about saving trees? Some people think not inviting kids is rude, and to those people I say: Would you like to pay for our¬†wedding? Even if money was no impediment, why would we want our guests to have to leave our party early so they could put their kids to bed? A daytime wedding can be fun with little ones, but a fabulous¬†adult party is best enjoyed when people can relax and not have to worry about making sure their children¬†don’t eat all the wedding cake.

All these rules and expectations are exhausting. Nevertheless,¬†I started on full blast and hired a wedding planner, but now I’ve hit a wall. Thankfully, my level-headed fianc√© and my awesome girls keep¬†reminding me that we have plenty of time to plan, which is good because¬†if I continue moving in so many directions I will burn out before we¬†say I do. So I’ve decided to take a step back, stop reading about weddings (as often), and start reading about marriage instead. My biggest fear is that I will get so caught up in the wedding planning, I will annoy my fianc√© and forget about fostering our relationship. After all, the most important part about a wedding, is the marriage. That’s why we’re here in the first place.


 

So what’s your advice on how to enjoy the engagement experience? I’d love to read¬†it in the comments below…

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