Getting engaged is a joyous and celebratory time in your life. However, like most things in today’s society, people often do not bring to light the reality of planning a marriage and wedding. Before you were engaged, marriage and the thought of “forever” was all dreams and future ideas. After you’re engaged, it’s time for these ideas to actually come into play.
Planning a marriage and planning a wedding are two different things. Planning a wedding is all about one single day, or the party/ceremony/celebration itself. For many couples, being thrown into wedding planning can be tough. This is likely the first large party you’ve ever hosted or planned (unless you’re a party planner!) and it comes with high stakes. In contrast, planning a marriage is for the future (after the wedding day). Planning a marriage is more about focusing on nurturing your relationship, joining forces, and considering how you and your partner view and approach your marriage.
Although it can be easy to get too caught up in wedding planning, your wedding is one day of your life. While it is certainly one of the most important and most exciting, it’s also a short blip in time compared to the rest of your time with your partner. As such, it’s important to equally balance wedding and marriage planning, giving them both the attention they deserve.
Feeling overwhelmed with everything? You’re not alone. Planning a marriage and a wedding at the same can be a lot. With a few handy tips and tricks, you’ll be better prepared to stay sane when planning your marriage and wedding. Keep reading to learn helpful tips to guide your planning process.
Focus On Priorities
The first, and the most important, thing you can do is start with a list of priorities. Wedding planning and marriage planning can contain endless ideas, however, implementing all of them is simply not possible. As such, starting with a list of priorities can help you stay on track, organized, and focused on the things that have the most value to you. This applies to both wedding and marriage planning.
For example, when it comes to wedding planning, what does your dream vision look like? Is it more important for you to have the dress of your dreams or to have the perfect choreographed first dance with your partner? Even for couples who have the money to have every wedding detail planned exactly as they wish, there’s only so much time for everything. Weigh your priorities and create a wedding-day timeline to see how much time you have to work with.
As for marriage planning, you’re sure to hear advice from every married couple you know. It can begin to sound like “do this, do that” in your head. Every married couple wants to share what works for them, and it comes from a good place. However, it’s simply impossible to put into place every suggestion and idea that comes from loved ones. Therefore, creating a list with your partner about the things you want to implement in your marriage can help you focus on the ones that hold the most value to you.
Quality Time without Wedding Conversations
Depending on the length of time between your engagement and wedding, it can feel like your whole world is consumed by wedding planning. The last thing you want to do during the engagement period is to make the entire focus of conversation wedding planning. Not only does this get frustrating for other people, such as your family and friends, but it can cause issues even without your own relationship. Any topic, when discussed too much, can simply get boring and unexciting.
Another thing to consider is that the wedding day will pass quickly. If you spend over a year discussing only the wedding planning process, a void will be felt after the wedding. The whole point of the wedding is to begin your “forever” with your new partner. Therefore, the engagement period should be focused on continually growing and improving your relationship. It is important to keep “dating” each other, even when you’re married or engaged.
Not sure how to shift focus in a time where so much needs to get done? One idea is to schedule a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly date night. Having something different to shift your efforts to can help keep things in check. During the date night, refrain from wedding planning conversations. Invest time in the “present” rather than thinking about the future. You and your partner can use these date nights to reconnect, separate from your wedding or marriage planning conversations. Looking for some date night ideas? Check out these fun game nights for inspiration.
Feeling overwhelmed when planning a wedding and a marriage at once is normal. It’s a lot to tackle! Setting expectations can help you keep things in check. Before your upcoming marriage, getting on the same page with your partner can get your marriage off to a good start. For example, spend time thinking about how you both want the future to look and what goals you want to achieve as a couple. Additionally, what are each of your expectations for each other, in terms of support and help from one another?
You may also wish to use this engagement period to voice concerns to your partner. What are you worried about? What are they worried about? Openly discussing this paves the way to a marriage with a solid foundation for open communication. Before you even get married, you and your partner are setting the tone for a marriage where both parties feel comfortable discussing both positive and negative aspects of the relationship.
While it is not possible to prepare in advance for every adversity your marriage will face, setting expectations helps you stay in tune with reality. Having these types of marriage discussions before you marry can help bring couples closer together as a team. Not to mention, habits take a while to form. Therefore, it’s a great idea to get into a habit of open, clear communication so you can keep this habit throughout the marriage.
Lastly, open conversations are a great time to begin discussing the 5 love languages. Here, your partner can learn about how you wish to give and receive love, and vice versa. This can open a whole new world of possibilities! Furthermore, deep discussions with your partner may be also a good time to discuss prenuptial agreements. If one or both of you want a prenup, setting expectations is a great place to start. A prenup can help protect both of you in the event of a divorce.
Of course we have to mention that getting a prenup can take a lot of potential stress of your hands later down the road and by using HelloPrenup, drafting a prenup can be as easy and quick as you’d like!
Planning a marriage and a wedding at the same time is a lot! However, keeping in mind these tips can help you stay organized, sane, and focused. You might feel like you have a lot on your plate, but try to keep positive and cherish the moments as they pass by.
Julia Rodgers is HelloPrenup’s CEO and Co-Founder. She is a Massachusetts family law attorney and true believer in the value of prenuptial agreements. HelloPrenup was created with the goal of automating the prenup process, making it more collaborative, time efficient and cost effective. Julia believes that a healthy marriage is one in which couples can openly communicate about finances and life goals. You can read more about us here Questions? Reach out to Julia directly at [email protected].