When Eric and I were dating, I knew a proposal was coming; I just did not know when to expect it. He asked me to keep my ring finger “free” so he would not have to remove a ring when it came time to put the engagement ring on my finger.
For the most part, I complied with his wishes; however, when we went home for Thanksgiving, I put my college ring back on so my parents could see me wearing it. It was a gift from them and I wanted them to know I liked it! When Eric noticed it, he questioned why my ring finger was “taken.” Perhaps I thought he was a bit silly for caring – especially since he was not going to propose soon.
Well, I was wrong. He surprised me and proposed the next day! The day before Thanksgiving, in fact! He thought I’d want to show my ring to my family the next day at our Thanksgiving celebrations. ~smile~
Answer Him! ~smile~
Proposals are powerful moments. Though I’ve never been on the guy side, I am pretty sure they experience a feeling of horror, or at least stressful anticipation, when they pop the question. If it takes the girl a while to answer, those seconds seem like decades!
Obviously, the first task you hold, dear one, is to respond to the proposal. If you have already thought it through and you know you want to marry him, blurt out a giant “Yes!” and then cry, scream, or hug him until he’s blue – whichever reaction you feel. He’ll be so happy you are happy.
If you have not thought about it and you are not sure, it is okay to say, “Can you please give me a little time to think and pray about it?” Some think that talking about getting married before the proposal takes some of the magic out of proposing, but I would strongly differ. It was so nice resolving that I was going to marry him before he proposed. There was no wondering. No turmoil. We had been preparing beforehand. So, when he asked the question, I was ready to say, “YES!” And, as Eric recalls, I excitedly said “Yes!” twice! ~smile~
Additionally, if you and your sweetie have not gone through a quality pre-engagement program, now is the time to do it. Once the ring is on the finger, emotions and planning often push aside concerns a person may have about their future spouse. It is best to learn about yourself, about each other and about your long-term dynamics together as a couple before the question is popped! We would love to serve you both in the process of pre-engagement counseling!
If you do not want to marry him, it is extremely hard, but you need to be honest. Will it hurt him? Absolutely. But, accepting his proposal and then backing out later will hurt more. If you are dating someone and you know the relationship is not going anywhere, it is better to break it off before having to put him through the heartache of a rejected proposal.
Drink It In
For the sake of argument, let’s assume you said “YES!” After you answer, your next step is to drink it in! I’m engaged! Wahoo! Look at my ring! Time to change my Facebook status! I have to call everyone! It’s so shiny!!!
It may be tempting to immediately start wedding planning, but aside from a few details such as “When are we getting married?” and “Where are we getting married?” it is good to have a few weeks to just enjoy being engaged. Unless you are planning to get married almost immediately, there is no reason to start stressing over the details just yet. Breathe in, look at your left hand, and smile a goofy smile. After the engagement sinks in, then you and your fella can start tasting cake, checking out reception venues, and agreeing on invitations. ~smile~
Outline Your Priorities
Okay, we are engaged, the news has sunk it, and we are ready to get down to wedding planning business! Before jumping into the planning process, and hopefully before too many people have bombarded you with their opinions, sit down together and outline your priorities. Start by making a list of every wedding detail you can think of, right down to having bubbles or bird seed at the reception.
After making your list, go through and prioritize the details that are the most important to you, and have your fiancé do the same. You may not care about having a sit down dinner at the reception, but it may be a “10” for him. He may not care if the flowers are real or silk, but you may care immensely. By prioritizing aspects of the wedding, you both can have a say on what is important to you. Pick out your top five most important wedding details (e.g., dress, cake, guest list, venue, flowers, photographer, videographer, etc.), and work together to make those wishes come to fruition.
Meet with a Wedding Planner or Director
Now that you both have a basic understanding of what you want, you can begin meeting with a wedding planner – or, at least, with the person who is going to help you with the planning details. When it comes to weddings, there are so many little details the average person does not think about unless they have considerable wedding experience. ~smile~
One time, I showed up to a wedding rehearsal because I was asked to sing and, as it turned out, their ducks were not in a row; so, I turned into the wedding director. The father of the bride came to me twice and said, “What am I supposed to say when the pastor asks, ‘Who gives this girl to this man?’” In that wedding, I also became soundman and soloist (that was a challenge). It was an unexpected dive into the world of weddings, but at least it gave me some experience.
When choosing someone to help you plan and execute your dream day, it is important to ask someone who has your best interest at heart. If your planner is pushing ideas which you don’t like, you don’t have to accept them – and you can fire her (even if that person is unpaid, a family friend, or doing it as a favor). ~smile~ You don’t want to look back on your wedding day and say, “I really wanted xyz, but I was too afraid to speak up” or “I really wanted xyz, but the director ended up working against me/us and implemented her vision for the wedding instead.”
If you hire a wedding planner, there will most likely be a fee to pay. A benefit about this is that it is a professional relationship and she has no vested interest in making the wedding about her; the cost about this is, of course, the cost. If you end up having a friend direct your wedding, make sure you show your appreciation with a gift or a bit of cash. Directing a wedding is a big job, so be sure to thank your director appropriately!
Okay, the proposal has happened! You have said “Yes!” You have taken the time to breathe it in! You and your sweetie have prioritized your top wedding wants! You know who is going to help you plan and execute the big day! Much ground has been covered!
In our next post, I’ll be talking about twelve wedding priorities I recommend focusing on before jumping into the tiny details. If the smaller details are forgotten, the wedding will still go on and probably be just as beautiful. However, if the bigger details are not nailed down early, it could cause you unnecessary stress.
Not only do we want you to have a fairytale wedding. We want you to have a stress-free wedding planning experience. ~smile~
Do you already know who will be directing your wedding?
(Photo Credit: Surachai, FreeDigitalPhotos.net)