Exchanging rings with my fiancé was one of the happiest moments of my life.
I showed off my new bauble to family and friends, which often brought up their own engagement stories. Before long, marital advice started pouring in and not all of it put me at ease. The unsolicited commentary made me realize that I needed to evaluate if I was ready for such a big step.
Due to personnel changes in her company, my best friend got transferred to a satellite office across the country for a year-long assignment – two months after she got married. Though she and her husband made it work, my friend was quick to tell me how lonely she’d been and hinted that the same thing could happen to me. Wondering if my soon-to-be marriage could survive a similar strain, my fiancé and I looked at our work schedules over the next several months. Though it’s impossible to be prepared for everything, we were able to talk about upcoming events we knew about. At least now we knew when we’d be apart for training or conferences. As a precaution, I started paying attention to the cost of plane tickets and we each set aside a little extra money each paycheck to specifically cover the cost of travel. In the event of a transfer, we wouldn’t have to panic that we couldn’t see each other due to lack of funds.
Defend your position
I also dealt with negative feedback when I let my friends know that my fiancé and I had decided to wait to live together until after the ceremony. Wanting to incorporate some traditional elements into our future felt very romantic, but several people flat out told me that I was making a mistake. Waiting, they said, would cause unnecessary marital strife. Even though I didn’t believe the naysayers, I had little I could say in return. On the recommendation of my mother, who had lived with her parents until she got married to my father, my fiancé and I made sure we had rooms of our own in our new home. That little step ensured we would be able to take time for ourselves, whether or not we’d had a fight.
Save a little
As I hashed out issues that made me feel unprepared for marriage, concerns about money kept coming up. Though my fiancé and I would soon be running a double-income household, the cost of the wedding could’ve easily spiraled out of control. All I knew is that I had fallen in love with someone, he had fallen in love with me, and I wanted to celebrate that feeling without going bankrupt. I knew I wasn’t a bad bride-to-be for wanting to cut some corners. I didn’t need to hire the most expensive photographer, dine on lobster at the reception, or honeymoon in France. My fiancé and I were able to plan a beautiful wedding without emptying our savings accounts. Now, we can begin saving for a special celebration, whether that’s an anniversary party or an eventual trip overseas.
Having a plan of action made me feel much more prepared for marriage. Rather than rushing headlong into living together or panicking over a cross-country move that might never happen, my fiancé and I developed an idea of what our life as a married couple would be like. My mother also reminded me that our special day was just that: ours. If we wanted to serve cold cuts at the reception and then honeymoon at home, it was our prerogative. Our focus was on love and clear communication and not some list of could-be’s and that made me feel much more ready to say, “I do.”
About the writer: Danielle’s life passions include pursuing a green lifestyle and helping others. She strives to maintain a positive outlook on life and considers mother nature in all decisions. When not blogging or sharing advice, she enjoys running nature trails and spending time with her Chihuahua.