MoJo Engagement – Photo Courtesy: Monica D.
Congratulations on your engagement! The ups and the downs of courtship have taken you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions, and you have come to a complete stop at the station a little jittery but awfully happy. Loyalties have been tested, vulnerabilities have been uncovered, and your mutual sensuality has been celebrated. You feel that you have found the right life partner. You may choose a romantic elopement trip or you may carefully plan a traditional church or synagogue ceremony. You may decide to exchange vows on a sun-drenched tropical beach, or you may get in line at the Las Vegas drive-through chapel window.
The way that you get to the altar varies from one couple to another, but there are some common pitfalls as you announce your engagement to family, friends and passersby. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes to avoid:
It is simple to say “slow down and enjoy the engagement phase of your relationship”. Take “the rocking chair test.” Will you be able to savor and remember this time of your life so that you can share the story with your grandchildren?
You may have one opinion and your fiancé and his/her family may have another. Don’t assume that everyone feels the same. Ask others how they would do things even though you might have the final say. Traditionally, the bride will take care of the details of the wedding and the parents of the bride will pay the expenses.
If you are getting married for the second time, or if you are an older couple, the costs may be yours to shoulder. There are many new and innovative ways of planning a wedding. Your engagement and wedding may be as unique as you are.
You and your love have gotten this far together. But now there are more people involved who have a stake in your relationship. The issue may be the online wedding registry, the plan for the wedding day itself, or the bridal shower and bachelor’s party. Try to include people in your vision of the marriage celebration.
There may be children from a previous relationship who can be included in some decisions. Children and young adults can perceive your upcoming union as a scary and unsettling event. Asking them how they feel can be more important than giving them a gift or asking them to be in the ceremony.
You are probably feeling full of joy and stress at the same time. But uncomfortable stress can be channeled into excitement if you focus on your long-term priorities. What will be left after the vows are spoken, the toasts are made, and you and your spouse drive away? Try to focus on what will make you satisfied as you remember this time of your life. Be proud of your choices and the maturity that you will show. If you have access to a spiritual advisor or a secular counselor, take advantage of a few talk-therapy sessions to iron-out any conflicts or issues.
Love and passion have propelled you to this moment and you are on the precipice of a new life. Don’t forget to talk with your love about your finances or any unresolved emotional issues. If you have not lived together, you don’t want any surprises when you apply for a home mortgage. Intimacy can be sensual, emotional and financial. If you have large student loans outstanding or a lackluster credit score, you are certainly not alone.
If there any issues left from past romantic relationships, or your childhood, now is the time to work them out. Preparing for the marriage is at least as important as preparing for the wedding.
Your drive on the road to the altar will go over fewer potholes if you know where they are and you try to avoid them. A toast to the happy couple!