I woke up on the 23rd of January 2016 feeling sticky and grumpy. It was a hot humid Saturday morning and I had not slept well the previous night. Little did I know that this was the day Mr. T. would propose to me! The engagement period is such a special yet overwhelming time in our lives. It is the time to build the foundation of your future together as husband and wife. It is a time to grow together as a couple and simply to enjoy referring to each other as ‘my fiancé’. Here is what I learnt during my engagement period?
Bask in the euphoric feelings and community spirit swirling around you
I learnt to bask in euphoric feelings! The first month of being engaged is the biggest trip of endless euphoria, love, and celebration. It is the best feeling, being on top of the world and happy and in love. Your love wants to commit to you and the two of you will build your life and future together as a couple. As a team. Note that if at this point you have uncertain feelings about settling down, rather than euphoric happiness, then this is a sure sign that you should not be getting married.
Mr. T and I were overwhelmed by all the good wishes and love that flowed our way from friends and family once they heard about our engagement. It seemed everyone was rooting for us. Our community had advice and tips for a successful marriage and we listened to these graciously. We decided to take the time to relish our love and our engagement before rushing into wedding planning. We hosted an engagement party and this was such a lovely night. We basked in the support from our close community and it really drove home to us the importance of the commitment we were planning on making to each other. It was clear to us that the commitment of marriage should not be taken lightly, but when one does decide to go down this path, you should do it with all your heart, mind and soul.
Wedding planning is hard work
I learnt that wedding planning is hard work. After enjoying the first month of our engagement it was time to get down to business and plan the wedding. It soon became abundantly clear that wedding planning is hard work! Where will you get married? When will you get married? Who will be in the bridal party? How many guests are invited? Who is your photographer? Who is the DJ? What will you serve for dinner? What is your colour scheme?
I soon learnt that there are 50 shades of pink. Seriously!
Things need to be researched, ideas need to be discussed and visualised, decisions need to be made. Then contracts must be analysed and signed as vendors are booked. All the while you are hoping that the vendor you book will deliver the services they have promised! It is quite a stressful time! To get a grip on wedding planning have a read of these two posts; how to plan your dream wedding and questions to ask your vendors.
As you can see wedding planning can take up a vast amount of energy and couples can get sucked into this! But beware your engagement should not only be about wedding planning! Don’t let wedding planning consume you and don’t spend all your time on this! Rather spend time enjoying being with your fiancé and talking about your dreams and wishes for your life together.
Honeymoon planning is more fun
I learnt that honeymoon planning is more fun! When wedding planning gets too overwhelming turn to honeymoon planning as this is more fun. We decided to book a month-long honeymoon adventure and loved planning our honeymoon!
Researching the honeymoon was easy to do considering the amount of tourism websites on the internet. Plus, all flight and accommodation information was also available online so we could easily plot our itinerary. As we looked at all the permutations of things we could do and places we could visit our travel juices spurred up. I found myself daydreaming willing it to the end of the year so I could be relaxing on a tropical beach, sipping a cocktail, snorkeling in the warm sea or visiting a Buddhist temple in an exotic city.
A marriage preparation course is a good idea
I learnt that doing a marriage preparation course is a good idea! A marriage preparation course will help you to learn more about your partner and delve into your compatibilities as a couple. It highlights differences in your thinking and shows areas which could lead to conflict further down the line. Mr. T and I did our marriage preparation course through our church over a 6-week period. Topics discussed ranged from finances to personal leisure time, work, health, and family. We felt this course helped prepare us for married life and would recommend couples do this type of preparation before they tie the knot.
Confirmation that I was marrying a special man
I reaffirmed that I would be marrying a wonderful man and was so looking forward to our future together. Our engagement period spanned over 11-months and during this time we finessed our coupledom. We learnt to work more as a team, we talked more about all aspects of our life, we did little projects together around our home, we enjoyed doing hobbies together and we made more effort in expressing our love for each other.
Our engagement was a time when we solidified our relationship and formed good habits for our future together as husband and wife. It was a truly special period in our lives during which we grew as a couple. By the time we walked down the aisle, we felt confident in our commitment to each other.
What did you learn during your engagement period?