I’m getting married! Now what? Truly Engaged is a new blog series written by Rachel, our *newly engaged* staff writer. As she wades her way through the wedding planning process, she’ll be sharing some of the emotions, inspiration, and insight she uncovers along the way.
Meeting with vendors. Finalizing the guest list. Ping-ponging emails back and forth with my wedding party…. With so much to plan, pick out, decide, and do, I’ve realized that it’s far too easy to make “wedding planning” the starring role in my life–and more importantly, my relationship. Laughing and lounging get replaced with planning, prioritizing…and let’s not forget pinning!
Once I even caught myself zoned out at the computer, “pinning” my way into zombie-like state while my fiance–the love of my life–is merely yards away, fast asleep in our bed because he grew tired of waiting up for me. (Not a high point for me.)
I’ve realized that I have to stop being a “bride” and start being a better partner. That means regularly “disconnecting” from the wedding planning in order to reconnect with the whole reason my wedding even exists: my my partner, my lover, my best friend for life.
Below are a few ways we’ve been able to take regular “time-outs” from the wedding in order to stay connected and close with each other.
You’ve Got Mail
Sure, there are texts, tweets, and emails–but to me, nothing beats a little love note sent by hand from the heart. There’s something very romantic and intimate about a hand-crafted note.
My fiance and I bought these adorable little mailboxes from Target around Valentine’s Day–we have them displayed on our end table in the living room. Whether it’s a poem, a piece of candy, or a motivational pick-me-up after a bad day, Tim’s little love gifts never fail to make me smile. My heart goes aflutter whenever I see flag flipped up! We’ve even gotten a little creative with what we can fit inside the miniature mailboxes. (My proudest achievement: a tiny puppy stuffed animal that barks “I WOOF you!” when squeezed. Success!) Life gets busy, but these little gifts are a way to say I love you, I’m thinking of you, and you are important to me.
It’s a Date!
I value fitness, so I try not to miss my weekly Pilates class. Awhile back I realized: Why not dedicate that same regularity and commitment to my relationship? I figure, if we’re about to embark on a lifetime of commitment, the least we can do is commit ourselves to a couple “mini dates” per week. That’s why we have developed Pizza Wednesdays and Sunday Strolls.
Pizza Wednesdays includes a take-and-bake pizza from Whole Foods (spinach feta, preferably) and either a movie, a board game, or just some casual conversation (no wedding talk!). No matter how busy the week gets, I know I can count on Pizza Wednesdays to keep me connected with my love.
Our second weekly tradition, Sunday Strolls, entails a sunset stroll around the nearby lake. If the weather is bad, then we walk around the track at the gym. Getting outside the house (and couch/computer/TV) really helps us focus on each other and touch base with the non-wedding aspects of our lives. Whether we’re talking about career goals, a current event, or something totally silly, it’s great to just engage in a conversation that doesn’t include “the W word”.
Seize the Moment
In addition to weekly “mini dates”, my fiance and I have learned to seize the moment whenever we find ourselves with a free couple of hours. I’m a bit of a “planner”, but with our lives getting busier and busier, I’ve learned to embrace–and even enjoy–these spontaneous dates that spawn from our rare moments of free time.
For example, if we find ourselves free on a Saturday afternoon, we might simply walk out the door and go browse the consignment shops near our place. Or, we might drive to the global market nearby to check out a new ethnic eatery. Often times, these “unplanned dates” turn out to be the most relaxing, fun, and enjoyable dates of all. To quote John Lennon: “Life happens while you’re busy making other plans.” For us, love happens while we’re busy planning a wedding!
Are you engaged or recently married? How do (or did) you “disconnect” from your wedding planning in order to stay connected and close? I’d love to hear your ideas!
Rachel for MagnetStreet Weddings
Mini mailboxes photo courtesy of Me and Him