The question has been asked, celebrations have been had, and now that you are officially an engaged couple, what happens next? Planning the wedding is one of the most important things, of course. But there’s still a lot of work to do before you walk down the aisle, and Zola is here to offer the best advice. Before you spend the rest of your life together, there are lots of steps as you start planning.
Many couples crave relationship advice for engaged couples to help them before starting to figure out the little things, such as color schemes and themes. Seeking pre-marriage advice is smart and can really help your relationship in the long term. It’s important to enjoy your engagement season before you say I do and become newlyweds.
These pieces of advice will help ease the stress of being engaged and help relieve any engagement anxiety. After all, this is a time for you to enjoy that shouldn’t cause extra stress in your already busy lives. Here are Zola’s tips on pre-wedding advice to set your engagement period up for the highest success.
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 a happy 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.
Location: Will it be a destination wedding or something local? Finding a place that embodies both of you will be key in finding a wedding venue you agree on.
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 marry, so your engagement should be about being in love and gearing up to start a new journey together. Set aside time when 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 schedule a date night with your sweetie before it happens.
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, or 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. Farmer says that part of the pre-marital counseling process should be continuing the conversation about big life-changing moments, including where to live, financial expectations, and expanding your family with kids and pets. She says the keys to healthy communication with your future spouse include:
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.
Once you get an engagement ring, everyone from your wedding planner to your family members and future in-laws will want to weigh in with their planning tips. And while that’s ok, you don’t need to stress over pleasing everyone. While you’re bridesmaids and best friends may want to accompany you to select a wedding dress, at the end of the day, it may be too many opinions for you to handle. Only take advice that aligns with what you truly envision for yourself, your partner, and your big day.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to remember the moment in time by having engagement photos. While you can get pictures taken during the proposal as the engagement ring is slipped on, don’t stress if that isn’t possible. You have your entire engagement period to work with a photographer to schedule a different time. You can use the images to make a wedding guest book that your loved ones can sign on your big day. Or you can simply display them in your home. Either way, celebrate your engagement season with photos of just the two of you.
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. Zola has the answers whether you need a destination wedding venue in New York City or are trying to figure out who to put on your guest list. Our expert advice section is here for you 24/7, so you can start planning immediately.
Also, don’t forget to create your registry and sign up for a free wedding website. Zola truly is a one-stop shop that has everything you need to prepare for your special day and beyond. For more tips on how to get started on wedding planning, click here.