The day you get engaged is one of the most eagerly anticipated days of your life, and when it finally comes, hopefully it was all you could have hoped for and more. But once the excitement wears off and the dust settles, you’re hit with the reality of wedding planning and life as an engaged couple. Here are 7 “secrets” that you might not have considered when thinking about what comes after you say “I do”.
You have to think about how to share the news.
Back in the day before social media and the internet, newly engaged couples didn’t have to think much about how they were going to share their big news. They called their close family members and friends to let them know, and everyone else heard through the grapevine or when a save the date showed up in their mailbox. Nowadays, making an announcement on social media is practically considered part of the engagement experience as a whole. You have to think about when, how, and maybe even if you want to share the news with your social media friends at all. But first, you’ll want to makes sure you contact any close family or friends that deserve to know via the phone or in person. The last thing you want is for your mom or best friend to find out from an Instagram post along with everyone else. Next, it’s time to figure out how you want to share it with the world. A simple social media announcement? An elaborate and clever photo shoot post? Nothing at all? Don’t stress about it, and do what feels right for you and your future spouse.
It’s hard to remember to call them your fiancé/fiancée
Up until now, your significant other has most likely been your “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. But suddenly, in an instant, they have become your “Fiancé/Fiancée”. It feels weird and fancy to suddenly be introducing them as this, and while you may have been eagerly awaiting the day you’d be engaged, it’s totally normal if it takes you a few days/weeks/months to remember to refer to your future spouse as your Fiancé moving forward.
You’ll be forced to tell the story of your proposal 5 million times
Everyone loves a good proposal story, and once you are engaged you won’t be able to escape the barrage of people wanting to know every little detail of yours. Sure, at first it’s fun to relive the moment, but you may find that reliving it over and over and over again can cause the memory to lose some of its excitement. Additionally, you may find that you feel the need to make the story live up to someone’s expectation of an impressive, perfectly romantic proposal. It’s okay to keep some of the most special details, such as exactly what was said, between you and your future spouse. And don’t worry about what others might think of your proposal story - it’s special because it’s yours!
Everyone has an opinion
Unsolicited advice comes in abundance once you are engaged. It seems like everyone has an opinion about all things wedding related, and many will tell you whether you ask for it or not. Dress style, reception music, food, what to splurge on, what to save on, ceremony details, color palette – everyone from your best friend to your coworker to the lady in line next to you at the grocery store will have ideas and thoughts on the right way to do things, and they’ll all be different! Just remember, this engagement and wedding are about you. So take all these opinions in stride, but remember that there’s one opinion that matters most: your own!
You may see a whole new side to your in-laws
Speaking of unsolicited opinions – you’ll likely be hearing them from your future in-laws. Maybe you love your in-laws. Maybe you can’t stand them. Or maybe your feelings towards your new parents-to-be are somewhere in between. Wherever they stand, there’s a good chance they will find a new way to annoy the ever-living-crap out of you during this engagement phase of your life. Not only do you have to keep your own parents unsolicited opinions at bay, now you have your fiancé’s parents to appease as well. When it’s your own parents, you already know how to deal with their annoyingness, but if it’s your future in-laws, you may have to suck it up and smile through the pain. Maybe your mother-in-law subtly inserts comments, in what feels like every conversation, about how she really doesn’t like when brides wear their hair down (and she has no idea that that’s exactly how you were planning to wear yours). Maybe your father-in-law hands you his list of 150 people he wants to invite before you’ve even put together your own, and it includes his co-worker’s sister’s best friend’s grandma’s nephew, that he hasn’t spoken to in years. Maybe they corner you at every family get together and cry about how happy they are that their child actually found someone to marry. They probably mean well, but that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. Putting up with new irritating behavior by your future in-laws is a rite of passage into marriage for every engaged couple.
It’s okay to feel stressed
The day of your engagement will probably go down as being one of the best days of your life. However, once the post-engagement glow wears off, it’s okay if you find yourself feeling a little anxious or stressed about the whole thing. First of all, wedding planning is not for the faint of heart, and you’re about to embark on maybe the biggest planning venture of your life up to that point. Secondly, this is one of the biggest decisions and life moments that one makes. When you marry someone, you are making a huge commitment and it’s only natural to freak out a little on the inside. If you don’t experience any stress or anxiety, good for you! But if you do, don’t worry – it’s normal. And it isn’t something you need to worry about as long as you know deep down that it’s something you’re ready for and excited about.
Time goes by fast
Immediately after you get engaged, you will be overwhelmed with general feelings of excitement and thoughts of wedding planning. While it’s definitely important to take a breath, relax, and take some time to bask in the post-engagement celebration, you’ll be surprised at how fast time goes after the proposal. Unless you’re one of those couples who set a wedding date 6 months or less from their engagement, once you’ve picked a date, many will find themselves thinking “we have a whole year before we walk down the aisle, so we can chill out”. But please beware - time goes by fast. And there’s nothing fun about waiting to choose your main vendors, thinking you have plenty of time, only to find that all of the good ones are booked when you finally get around to it.