How to Mentally Prepare for Marriage

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I recently posted about the things that I didn’t realize about marriage once I got the ring. There is so much that you don’t know when entering this new season of your life, and that’s part of the fun. If you’re serious with your boyfriend, newly engaged, or newly married, here are some tips to help set you up for success. With anything in life, success is likely going to be a result of your attitude and commitment. Here is how you can mentally prepare to be a lifelong spouse:

Remember that future decisions will need to go from an I to a We. You are now part of a two-piece puzzle and it’s crucial that you keep in mind the other piece. While it might not change specific outcomes, at least you are in it together.

While you are both part of a two-for-one, don’t lose sight of your individual self worth or independence. Becoming a “wife” or a “husband” will be a new label in your identity, but it is not all that you are. Continue with your own self-care and choose to spend time doing the things that feed your soul.

Marriage is a marathon and not a sprint. Pace yourself with your expectations, how you adapt to living with one another, and what the rest of your lives together will look like. You have time to get to know each other and create norms that you’re both comfortable with.

As my sister/Matron of Honor shared in her wedding toast: “Always remember that you’re on the same team.” There will be times that it feels like the world is against you. No matter what, know that you’re backed into a corner with your spouse. They aren’t the ones that are on a different team, they are on your team. Try to show that to one another in your words and actions.

The engagement season is a unique time in your relationship where you can look forward and plan your life together. Once that life begins, do everything you can to ENJOY and be PRESENT. You have chosen one another and that’s the best part.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Tips for Engagement Season and My Personal Story

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Just one of the reasons that I love the holiday season are the incredible engagement photos that fill my social media feed! It’s a time of year where sentiment and romance are at an all-time high.

I was a girl that grew up dreaming of becoming a wife. I would say dream about our life together, our wedding day, and our proposal story.

I kissed a few frogs and then when I met my hubby-to-be, I knew there was something special about him. It was pretty early on that I fell in love and shortly after began to recognize that he might be ‘the one.’ We talked about marriage and I knew that it was far from what he had dreamed of but that he’d be open to it when the time was right.

About three years into our relationship I was ready to move to the next step, but he wasn’t. At almost four years together, we took a trip overseas to spend Christmas and New Years with my family. We explored my hometown, saw some incredible places, and were in many romantic settings. I knew this would be it.(What most around us had not realized is that not only had we talked about marriage, we had previously talked about an engagement taking place that year.)

It didn’t happen. And yes, I cried over that…the second the clock went past midnight and it was January 1 with no ring. We returned back to the States and it was a week later that he got down on one knee. We went out to a nice dinner. Came back to my house and played with our rescue-bulldog and then he grabbed me and started to dance (to ‘silent’ music, which is something we would do at times.) He then started to say sweet things and got down on one knee. We both cried and called our loved ones before sharing the news via social media. 

Our proposal story (truncated to fit into this blog) is not what I envisioned it would be. However, it reminded me of a few key things.

  1. Your love story will play out at a pace that allows you to both be ready. One of you may be ready to move forward earlier than the other, and that’s ok, but give it time.
  2. While it’s important for your future-spouse to know your desires, don’t be surprised if their proposal reflects more of their personality than of yours. Remember that they are likely going out of their comfort zone with the planning, the ring purchase, and all of the details, so it’s even if it ‘feels’ more low-key than you’d like just remind yourself that it’s not.
  3. Don’t compare your relationship, proposal, or wedding planning process to other couples that you know or to strangers that you see in Hallmark channel movies or on social media feeds. Your relationship is unique in its very own ways and that alone is worth celebrating!
  4. It really isn’t about the proposal or the wedding planning. Almost 5-years into marriage, I can truly say that the shiny ring is just scratching the surface. There is so much more to your future together and this step will simply allow you to move forward.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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‘Til Death Do Us Part

It’s been a while since I have blogged because my family is going through a hard time right now and I’ve had to reprioritize my free time. My dad is dying from cancer and will be leaving this earth to step in to eternity soon. It’s been incredibly difficult but my family is holding hands firmly every step of the way as we move through this hard season. Our bonds are strong and our faith in Christ is even stronger, so I know we’re going to be OK.

As we have been dealing with this, I have thought often about the true meaning of life, family, and marriage.

My parents celebrated their 33rd wedding anniversary this summer and we knew it would be their last together here on earth. When we say “’til death do us part”, do we truly mean it? I know my parents did when they said “I do.” They meant the words of their vows with every depth of their beings and have clung to one another through every life season.

Can you say the same? Don’t let the stresses of wedding planning overshadow that special promise that you will make to one another. And when the confetti is thrown away and flowers have shriveled, will you vow to make that promise to love and care for one another over and over again?

Marriage is a gift. If you are blessed with a special someone in your life, hold them tight. Don’t forget to share your gratitude with them. And relish in each moment of your relationship, even when it’s not the most glamorous of seasons. Being married gives you the ability to have a life partner. There will be times of sickness and health, and like in my parents case this very moment, you might be given the opportunity to be with the one you love until the very end of life.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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How To Have Realistic Expectations for The Big Day

cropped-7-18-2017-5-30-31-pm1.jpgAs I look back on my own wedding day, I think about all of the expectations I had for the big day as I went through the planning process. Think about it. You date your beloved for (what is often) years, to then get engaged. And then you spend months on wedding planning. All planning for ONE day. You will sit and day dream about the details. You will have borderline- panic attacks over the growing to do list. And you will second guess yourself while making (what feels like) a million decisions.

All of this leads to high expectations for your day, and hopes of “perfection.” While we know that perfection is impossible, it’s ok to have high expectations. However, make sure to add some flexibility in your mind so you can more easily go with the flow when things don’t go your way. Here are a few thoughts on expectations for the big day.

  • During the planning process, take some time to talk to other newlyweds. Ask them about their wedding expectations, what they might have changed, and what they wouldn’t have done differently. Their insights will likely be extremely valuable!
  • The day will go by incredibly fast. It’s not going to be worth having expectations that won’t ever be met because you’re going to miss out on some of the best parts of your big day by being too wrapped up in the details.
  • Your guests might not appreciate or recognize your effort put into every single detail, but they will remember the holistic wedding experience and cherish those memories. Some of the smallest details are more for you and not for them.
  • Things will go wrong, but they will likely add to some of the memories that you and your spouse make together.
  • No matter what, it is likely not going to end up being the “dream wedding” that you have had in your mind. It will be different, probably not as grand as what you’ve been dreaming of, but more magnificent and heart-felt in ways you couldn’t imagine ahead of time.

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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Staying Close During Added Relationship Pressures

My husband and I had one of our biggest fights (ever) on Valentines Day on the year that we were engaged. It came as a surprise to me and was tied up into a ball of multiple complexities. We barely ever fight outside of tiffs here and there so this was a rare moment, especially on (what’s supposed to be) the most romantic time of the year.

While I wish the fight didn’t happen, it allowed us to move into the next stage of our commitment and reminded us of how important it is to treat each other with the utmost care. The argument wasn’t over any of the wedding details in particular, it was magnified because of the amount of pressure around us at the time. There were likely also some unspoken fears and nerves that were brewing under the surface about the upcoming changes.

The time of your engagement will likely come with a lot of stress and quick decisions to be made. You’ll both be working through your own individual emotions and stresses and they can come out in different ways at unique times. Stay close to one another and be open about how you’re feeling. Most importantly, start to take steps towards viewing life as a “we” instead of a “me.” By beginning to transition to this new mindset prior to your wedding day, it will set you both up for success in the long run.

Oh and the good news? All Valentines since have been wonderful! No fights here!

With love,

Girl with a Diamond Ring

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