If you’re anything like me, I used to (literally) dream about the day that the love of my life would take a knee, spout off some poetry, and say those four long-awaited words that made up the question that would change my life forever: “Will you marry me?”

When that day came, it really was as wonderful and magical as I had dreamed! We were both so ecstatic to finally be on the path toward marriage, and I could not wait to get started in planning our dream wedding!

But soon after that fun day, the excitement of the engagement turned into an almost painful countdown of days until we say, “I do.” After 4 years of dating, we just want to be married already! What’s with this whole engagement thing, anyway?

Not to mention all the family, friends, and strangers who have some sort of input on how the day should function, who needs to be there, or whether you should or should not have table numbers (who would have thought assigning a number to a table would be such a big deal??).

Even more than that, when you think about it for a second, engagement is actually no different than dating, besides the fact that one of you wears a ring and you’re both stressing about this big day that seems like it will never come.

When you and your fiancé’s focus is on your marriage and not just the wedding, these annoying parts of the engagement season will seem easier. Here are a few ways you can help your marriage be the focus of your engagement season so you can both fully enjoy it!

  • Do some sort of premarital counseling, but make sure that it’s something you and your fiancé both agree to do. Whether that’s through a faith community or something like Preparing for Marriage, it’s SO important to go through that before you commit your life to your partner!
  • Set aside regular time to catch up with your soon-to-be spouse. During this time, make a rule not to talk about the wedding, family drama, work/school, or anything involving plans. Just focus on your honey and how you can love them best.
  • Remember that the wedding isn’t actually about you, and that’s okay. This one was hard for me to swallow. We’re told that the wedding day is “your day,” but that’s not fully true. Yes, you’re the focus, but the wedding is more about giving time and space for your family and friends to celebrate you and your spouse’s recent union, which is why it’s okay if they have ideas on how the day should go!
  • Give yourself a break. Regardless of whether or not you’re a natural-born planner, weddings are stressful for pretty much everyone involved. Take time to bring yourself out of the depths of planning and take a breath!
  • Never stop growing and learning with your partner. It can be so easy to slip into this idea that now you’re engaged, you know your fiancé as well as you can and you’ve learned all you need to know. But this couldn’t be further from the truth! As you plan for your wedding, plan for your marriage too. Take the time and the energy to keep pursuing your partner, learning their quirks, and growing through the difficult moments. Never let yourself get tunnel vision on the big day! Your relationship is so much more important.

Whether you’ve enjoyed the engagement season or are like me and are ready for it to be over, these five tips can help you and your fiancé start your marriage off to be even better than your wedding day!

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