Oh, the flutters of being in love. Actually, let me start this way. Let me tell you a story. You met your person, maybe you’ve known each other for years and it finally just ‘fit’ and you knew it would be forever. Maybe you had no plans on falling in love, you were happily living your life, you looked up and then all of a sudden you couldn’t imagine your life without him. Whatever happened, you really, truly love spending time with this person. But then there is life, you’re finishing school and working on establishing yourself in your profession. You are both working hard, a lot. BUT you still have fun and love spending every second you can together.
THEN. Then, he proposes, and you’re both over the moon excited. You’re planning a wedding and so happy and even more importantly, your mother is THRILLED. This is all wonderful and beautiful, except, you’re planning a wedding. What starts as exciting and fulfilling can pretty quickly become overwhelming and stressful. The very little time you had together to laugh and play before is now almost non-existent. What do you do? How do you make it to your wedding day as stress free as possible? Or at least help you not lose your mind?
I’m here to pitch you. Or if you prefer, encourage you, remind you, maybe even beg you…. to take some time for the two of you. At some point in your wedding planning, there is a danger that you can slip into that all-encompassing Twilight Zone of wedding planning where there is so much to do that any spare moment you have to breathe you’re thinking seating arrangements and where the band is going to be set up at the reception.
What I’m about to say will probably seem counter-intuitive because in all honesty, you have the rest of your lives together, right? You have a fixed date for this thing called your wedding day and things MUST be done. But here is the thing, here is my pitch. I’ve seen a lot of weddings. I’ve walked with a number of brides through what can be some of the most fantastic months and years of their lives. In that time, I’ve seen the wear and tear on them. I’ve seen the tired eyes and the excited but exhausted looks on their faces.
Which is why I feel so strongly that you MUST date your fiance while you’re wedding planning… to be clear, I’m not talking about spontaneous let’s wander in for dinner kinda romantic moments. Why? Because you’re probably too tired for that in all honesty. What I’m talking about is on the calendar, ‘making room for YOU so that no amount of planning can crush that time’ kinda dates. You’ll end up being more efficient at planning when you’re emotionally recharged. Fact. Put it on the calendar.
I promise, it’s more romantic than it sounds. I’ve been married for almost 18 years as I write this. I own a photography company, my husband has an incredibly busy schedule for his work. We have two busy children with appointments, school activities, sports and music lessons. We HAVE to plan our dates. They don’t magically happen, they’re calendared in and treated with all the weight of a work appointment. Because we value our time together, we plan for it.
So all that said, I’m hoping I’ve convinced you to take the time to plan for dates during your wedding planning season. As in get your calendar out and make sure you have a date AT LEAST once a month until you’re married. The last thing I’ll leave you with is my top 3 favorite dates and hopefully that will serve as a little inspiration for your own dating adventures.
- Coffee + Wander
The reality is that sometimes we don’t have a ton of time to take hours and hours to do something really huge. One of Ed and my favorite things to do is head to one of our favorite locally owned coffee shops. We usually grab coffees and sit for a while and just talk. Eye contact and space can do wonders for the soul. Once we’re tired of sitting we take our coffees and wander around the city. Hand in hand, popping in and out of shops. No goals, no plans, just together.
- Dinner + a Show
I know this is a bit of a classic but I thought it was worth mentioning in here. It’s a classic for a reason. It’s such a great opportunity to try a new restaurant or visit a favorite you haven’t seen in a while. But then go to a concert, the symphony, the theatre, even just a movie. Something out of the ordinary that you can experience together.
- A Weekend Away
If you have any opportunity to do this one, it’s probably one of the BEST things I would recommend while you’re wedding planning. TIME is so important and having a weekend to remind you why you’re getting married in the first place is nothing short of a gift. It doesn’t even really matter where you go or what you do. There is something about being away together that is super healthy for bringing your stress level down. The only rule for this one is there is absolutely, unequivocally NO wedding planning on your weekend away. Just enjoy each other.
Finding someone that you want to spend the rest of your life with is a gift that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I wake up nearly every day thankful that I’m married to my husband. Cherish the gift you’ve been given and invest in yourself, it’s okay to take the time. I promise it’ll be worth the time.