The question has been asked, celebrations have been had, and now that you are officially an engaged couple what happens next? Planning the wedding, of course. But there’s still a lot of work to do before you walk down the aisle, and Zola is here to help.
Here, some of the top relationship advice for engaged couples to help you before you start figuring out color schemes and themes. These tips will help ease the stress of being engaged and help relieve any engagement anxiety.
Planning a wedding can be exciting and wanting to jump on social media to shout, “I’m engaged!” is understandable, but hold off. Enjoy being engaged for a little bit, because this is such a special time—you’ll want to remember and cherish every moment. It may also be one of the most challenging times that you face as a couple. Give yourselves time to dream and bask in the glow of taking that next step to engagement.
It’s time for the tough conversations of what you want the wedding to look like before you jump feet first into planning. It won’t be the easiest conversation, but you’ll want to discuss the following as the foundation for wedding planning.
Creating a Budget: How much can you comfortably afford to spend? Money can be a tension trigger, and Zola is here to help you find practical ways to save money and create a wedding budget. “Plan with a firm budget in mind, and have real conversations about what the wedding looks like for the two of you,” says Sharea Farmer, LCSW, owner of RS Counseling and Wellness. Creating a budget also gives you a long-term vision. “Have an honest discussion surrounding feelings of money and a budget. Make sure it’s a collaborative effort, not just left in the hands of the person who’s ‘better with money.’ This way there’s no room for confusion about what the expectation is for budgeting as a family. Talk about having joint accounts, separate accounts, and even a savings plan. How will you make the final decision on large money purchases like a home, cars, and even the wedding?” says Farmer.
Wedding Size: How many guests are you planning to invite for your big day? This is also the time to figure out who will be at the wedding party. “Ensure that you’re creating the wedding for you and not trying to have a fantasy wedding for family, friends, or social media,” says Farmer.
Being engaged is a magical time in your life, so don’t let it get consumed by wedding talk and stress. You’re preparing to get married, so your engagement should be about being in love and gearing up to start a brand new journey together. Set aside time where no wedding talk is allowed. The only rule is to focus on your relationship and not the wedding. There will be plenty of time to plan with your future spouse, plus you reduce the risk of being stressed and overwhelmed before your wedding day.
While you’re busy preparing for the big day, it’s still important to carve out time to date each other and have some fun. Stress and tension can get the best of you, so before it happens, schedule a date night with your sweetie.
Farmer says even after you do tie the knot, it’s important to keep the spark lit by continuing to date each other. “Always make time for the partnership, even as the family grows and evolves. There will be new responsibilities and new stressors, but the foundation must remain intact and that comes with continuing to date one another and learning who you are at each stage in life,” she explains.
Start practicing the commitment to prioritize dating whether it’s through dinner dates, vacations, and even home dates, says Dr. Curtis D. Jasper, Ph.D., a therapist and couple’s counselor. “Dating helps couples increase and a strong affinity for one another, as well as chemistry for one another,” says Jasper.
Communication is key in any relationship, but especially crucial for engaged couples. Part of the pre-marital counseling process should be continuing the conversation about some big life-changing moments, including where to live, financial expectations, and expanding your family with kids and even pets, says Farmer. She says the keys to healthy communication with your future spouse includes:
It’s exciting to share your engagement news with thousands of your social media friends, but be careful of what you do share as a newly engaged couple. “The intimacy of your relationship should remain private. Keep arguments and disagreements away from social media. Also, have a conversation about boundaries and the expectations of others once your relationship has begun and become public,” advises Farmer. “An obvious rule of thumb is that if one partner has a problem with a post or something else on social media, it's best to remove it or stop it. There are lots more offline challenges waiting to happen with just experiencing and sharing a life with a partner. Don’t allow online disagreements to spill over into the offline relationship. You’re going to need all the energy and resources for offline, real-world challenges,” says Jasper.
Navigating from the initial engagement through the actual wedding can be overwhelming, but Zola is here to help make your wedding dreams become a reality. For more tips on how to get started on wedding planning, click here.