Mar 8, 2016

Engagement Q & A: How To Continue To Develop Your Relationship During Engagement


Yesterday, I switched gears for the In Every Season series from posts on singleness (see those posts HERE) to engagement and wedding Q & A. Yesterday, we talked about how Not to be a bridezilla (see the post HERE). Today, several awesome Christian bloggers are going to answer another question:

 How do you continue to develop your relationship with your fiancé during the engagement season when wedding planning can take up so much time?

“I knew that the wedding day was only one day of many that we will spend together so I made a decision to keep our relationship as the primary focus.  He wasn't into all the details anyway, so for us it wasn't an issue. “
- Kimberly Bradley, married 7 years. Blogs at The Narrow Lens (www.thenarrowlens.com)


“Keeping your eyes on the big picture will keep you focused on what matters most. Keep saying, “This is just one day.” Choose to make your relationship the priority.”
- Anrita Elmore, married 22 years. TheMamaZone.com, Twitter.com/Anitra,  Facebook.com/TheMamaZone


This was fun!  We loved planning the wedding together, and the two of us handled every major and minor decision together.  Look at it as a team-building activity. You’ll learn about how you each negotiate, how you each handle stress, how to support each other when you’re both exhausted (it WILL come up again in your marriage!), and you’ll continue to build that “united front” where you may discuss differences between yourselves, but present a consensus to vendors, family members, and anyone else who may have an opinion ;-)
- Katie Hodge, married 6.5 years; Blog: www.alwayskatie.com


We would have date nights where talk of the wedding wasn’t allowed. We tried to do this at least once a week in order to continue to invest in each other and to not get consumed in the wedding planning. We would always try to make them fun and interactive dates-like Dave and Buster’s-to help us to have fun with one another.
- Kylie Paulsen, married 3 years , blogs at www.fellowshipandlattes.com


Wedding planning can make you a super dull person. Really. You may be totally wrapped up in ribbon colors and centerpieces, but talking about it incessantly makes you a boring person.
 It’s so time consuming, though! There’s so much stuff to figure out! You don’t really have time for anything else!! Well, that’s not entirely true. It’s easy to feel that way, but when you stick with four main important things about your wedding, it’s much simpler to let the rest go. It seems counter-intuitive, but the first thing to do to keep your relationship with that man you’re planning on marrying is to focus on yourself (not on the wedding). You need to make sure that you’re not becoming a mannequin in a white dress. Connect with God in deep, meaningful ways. Take a break. Do things you enjoy. Have some stinkin’ fun! When you’re in the right place with God and with the people around you, you’re a better, more well-rounded person.
Finally, don’t forget your fella. Show him you love him, go out of your way to serve him. Try a couples’ devotional. And for the love of everything, girl, don’t talk his ear off about the wedding every time you see him. He cares, he really does, but he doesn’t want to marry “Bride of the Year.” He wants to marry you. Don’t lose “you” in the midst of wedding planning.
(side note: Ally's post, Tips for Planning a Not-Out-Of-A-Magazine Wedding is awesome!)
- Ally of The Speckled Goat Blog (www.thespeckledgoatblog.com); married 4 years


This is definitely a great point, and depending on the length of your engagement could be made easier or harder. We were only engaged 6 months, so it was definitely like having a full time job! Include your fiancé in the planning process. Take the time for premarital counseling. Enjoy a few weekends doing the things you’ve always enjoyed to take a break from the chaos. It’s important to remember that the ceremony takes anywhere from 30min to an hour, and the reception usually is 3-5 hours. Don’t lose sight that the whole point of a wedding is for the 60+ years after, not the 6 hours of that day!
- Alicia Murphy, married 4.5 years,  blogs at www.theamgrindonline.com


Trust me, I know wedding planning is no small task! The one thing I remind all of my clients of is this: you are getting married to have a marriage, not to have a wedding. Too many people get so caught up in the glitz and glamour of the wedding industry that they forget about the roots of a wedding, and that is love. You have to learn to make your partner your first priority so you can continue to develop that relationship and so you can continue to let your love grow.
- Mandy Billings, Owner/Head Coordinator of Timeless Wedding Designs
Website: www.TimelessWeddingDesigns.com
Facebook: www.Facebook.com/TimelessWeddingDesigns
Instagram: www.Instagram.com/TimelessWeddingDesigns


My advice would be to not talk about the wedding everyday, plan at least a day a week that is for the two of you with no wedding talk. I promise you, you're going to have a “one track mind” for the next few months about this wedding, and he is going to get over that real fast! Decide up front what you want him to be involved in, maybe tell him to pick 3 things he cares about and will plan with you, and 3 things he could care less about. That way you get an idea of what to ask his opinion on, and what not to. You're going to continue developing your relationship as you always have, your just adding in a new way of working together towards your wedding day, growing your trust, understanding, and bonding over it. You can learn things about each other you may not have known before in the process. Lastly, make the planning fun, don't stress each other out in the present, because of planning a future together. 
- Jennifer Panehal- Pelayo, 11 years together with husband (5 years married). Blog: www.flowertowncharm.com


It can be easy to spend all of your time together planning details for the wedding, but it's important to have time together that is wedding-free! Set aside a night every week when you can spend time together, go on a date and have fun like you did before the wedding planning began. In addition to that, set aside a certain amount of time at the end of every day, whether you're together, talking on the phone or having a video chat, and don't talk about the wedding during that time. Your wedding day is important, but the marriage that you have after that day is much more important. Don't let the wedding planning and preparation overshadow your relationship with each other because after your big day passes, your relationship is what matters most.
- Amberly Lambersen, married 4.5 years, blog: www.aprioritizedmarriage.com




"I recommend being very intentional to spend some time each week preparing for your marriage and setting the wedding planning aside. Get a great book to read together and discuss like “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” by Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott."
-Tiffany Brooks Currie, blogs at www.pinkfaithtoday.blogspot.com 



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In a nutshell, here's a summary of some of the practical things these wise ladies mentioned helped them continue to develop their relationship with their fiancés during the chaos of wedding planning:

>>  Stay focused on the goal: You are marrying the  man of your dreams. Don't let the little details outweigh the lifetime after the wedding day

>> Look at wedding planning as a "team-building activity" that can help you two work together and learn more about each other (though he may not be interested in every single tiny detail, so try to respect that).

>>  Remember to have fun together. Go on dates where wedding talk is not allowed. Read a devotional or marriage book together and hear his thoughts.

>>  Make time with God a priority. "When you’re in the right place with God and with the people around you, you’re a better, more well-rounded person." (Ally). Check out this great post on 13 Verses For The Soon-To-Be Married Couple.

>>  Remember, even though there are so many details to plan, the wedding is ONE day. Putting that in perspective can help prioritize time with your man over small details.

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Stay tuned for more wedding/engagement questions all week! 

6 comments:

  1. Aw I love this! Sharing this with my sister who is engaged

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    1. Aw, great Mandi! Be sure to come back for more posts about engagement! I've been posting them the past few weeks :)

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  2. This is so great, seriously thank you!! Sharing with my bf :).

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    1. Yay, glad it was helpful! Be sure to check out the other posts on engagement as well :)

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  3. This is such a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing my post! What a beautiful read!

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