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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Things They Don't Tell You about Engagements

When I got engaged, I totally expected it to be a wonderful, dewy-eyed, chiffon-and-lace type of experience. I mean, after all, I did have the man of my dreams... and how could life be anything but glorious with this thing on my left hand?

Bam! Shiny!
And of course, there was all the excitement and attention and congratulations surrounding getting engaged. I thought it was going to be awesome.

In some ways, it is definitely awesome. (I said some ways.)

But here's what they don't tell you.

1. There are ninety million ways to procrastinate planning your wedding.

Let's be honest, ladies. Pinterest is wonderful, but it sure is a great way to avoid getting stuff done. I spent hours on the internet and looking through magazines "getting ideas for the wedding." Cha, yeah right. All I managed to do was spend the first year of my 18 month engagement wasting time with seventy five thousand different ideas for the wedding.

Seriously, if you took my Pinterest board and turned it into an actual wedding, it would be like a circus. Worse than a circus. It would be a wedding going through an identity crisis.

It was super difficult for me (and still is, even at this stage of the planning process) to narrow down my ideas and get some kind of focus. (My mom calls that "streamlining." She keeps saying it. "Streamline, dear. We've got to streamline!" I never want to hear that word again....)

Which brings us to our next point:

2. You very likely will want to drop-kick your mother at some point in the process.

Now, don't get me wrong here. I love my mom. We're pretty close, and have been all through my college years (and high school, too, if you don't count some PMS-driven rage). My mom is awesome.

But weddings, as I found out, do not always bring out the the best "selves" of mothers and daughters, as much as you may try. My mom has a great, fun-loving, spontaneous personality. Which makes her my nemesis during wedding planning, because I'm a type-A, routine and schedule and To Do list kind of personality.

She's all, "Oh, it'll get done, no worries. Let's dance!" and I'm all, "MOM! Programs were supposed to be done YESTERDAY. No dancing!"

3. Wedding planning nightmares.

If you didn't gather from our discussion of #2, I'm a bit of a high-strung person sometimes. That translates, very often, into my sleep. Instead of the blissful dreams I imagined I'd have during my engagement -Zeke in nothing but shorty-shorts, Zeke rubbing my feet, Zeke and I riding a horse into the sunset- I have had a lot of dreams that result in me waking up in a cold sweat (not at all the kind of sweat that would result from a dream about Zeke in shorty-shorts).

I've had dreams where I got all dressed and realized I was in the wrong church. Dreams where I was in the right church, but the walls were carpeted and red. Or there was one where Zeke's actually happily married parents were divorced and each remarried, we couldn't find his mother, and somehow I just knew that his stepparents were sleeping with each other. Analyze that one.

Lately, though, it hasn't been the dreams- I've just been waking up in a panic late at night and realizing that I have completely forgotten about a "key" part of the wedding.

<GASP!> I don't have my marriage license yet! Isn't there a three month waiting period???? (No, there's not.)

<GASP!> Bows for the pews! We don't have bows!!!

<GASP!> Aisle runner or no aisle runner!?

It's a little ridiculous.

4. You will fight with your beloved.

Like I said, I thought I'd be all lovey-dovey toward my Hunky future Husband during our engagement. That certainly was true for the first six months or so (we had a long engagement, remember).

But, due to my high-strung nature, the fact that I'm living back home with my folks and three teenage sisters, and because Zeke is currently living more than an hour and a half away, things have gotten tense several times. And mostly, to be honest, it's been my fault (just don't tell him I said that).

5. You will worry about things you've never worried about before.

I don't generally consider myself a very high-maintenance person. High-strung, yes, but not high-maintenance. I'm not really into the whole hair and makeup thing most of the time. But with this wedding coming up so quickly, I've suddenly turned into a Kardashian. And I'm stressing about ... my tan lines.

Ridiculous, right? No one will notice anyways! Yes, it's a strapless dress, but those tan lines from last year are not that bad.

But they seem that bad to me.


Honestly, everyone tells you how stressful wedding planning is. There are tons of tips online of how to reduce your stress. Tons. But I didn't think I actually understood how much an engagement stresses a gal out until I was doing it myself. And now that I am... geez oh man.

Heaven help us all for the next two- wait, less than two. Almost one! Oh my gosh! I have to order rocks online! Zeke hasn't finished cutting centerpieces! Did my dad get his tux fitting yet?- months.

For some advice about engagement and wedding planning, and about what I learned about making engagement less stress and more intentional, check out some of these posts... 

Intentional Engagement Series:


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