I Said Yes, So Now What?

It’s a little known fact that once an engagement ring is placed on a woman’s finger she is diagnosed with a chronic case of the freak outs. I am convinced now that bouts of freak outs are an added on feature all fiancés pay for when they buy an engagement ring. Or it could be a transfer of the anxiety he had leading up to the proposal immediately transferring from him to you as soon as he put the ring on your finger. He can now go about his life carefree while you have to carry around a fifty pound weight on your chest . A wonderful happy weight , but a weight nonetheless.

So what’s a girl to do with a ring on her hand and a weight on her chest? She gets to planning, that’s what she does. Some of us would hit the ground running, dusting off the wedding planning binder we already started right after the end of the first date. Others on the other hand, need a little more encouragement or a kick in the pants. Just to let you know “others” is me; I am “others”. I’m fourteen months into this wedding planning thang and 5 months away from the big day so I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I decided to dedicate this post to the ones who feel like they don’t know where to begin or what to do now that their finger is weighed down by a new ring.

***Disclaimer: I am going to outline this process in wedding talk but I feel like the main ideas can be applied to any area of your life where you are embarking on a new journey wether it be starting your own business , going back to school, or starting your weight loss journey. Whatever it is, make this plan your own and let me know about it so we can celebrate your success together!

So Step One of this process begins with the most important step: Prayer. Prayer changes EVERYTHING. Can I say it again? PRAYER CHANGES EVERYTHING. The Bible starts off with “In the beginning God….” If the greatest book on earth started with God and our very existence started with Him how can we not speak with Him first? We have plans but of course God has already laid out the ultimate plan. I feel like prayer is a tool that helps these two plans meet and line up. When Raymond and I were in our home buying process and looking at houses we looked at a few and even put an offer on one but it didn’t go through. While we were driving to view the last place something inside of me said “Pray”. So while driving, Raymond and I prayed for God to have His way and to insert Himself into this whole process. When I tell you He showed up and showed out, He showed up and showed out. The house we viewed that day had exactly everything we needed and wanted. We were able to put an offer in 15k below asking price with no problems or a bidding war. We have been happy homeowners for almost a year now. So when we first got engaged we were mindful to pray to God and invite Him into our future marriage and the whole planning process helping us remain on the same page and operating towards one common goal: to have a successful marriage. Our prayer everyday is for God to prepare us to be the best husband and wife team we can be and to show love to each other the way God designed us to receive love.

Step Two: Talk It Out. After praying together I found it extremely helpful to set aside some time for me and Raymond to have a heart to heart about what we both desired to happen on that day and ultimately all the days after that. I only learned this after some headbutts and arguments between us in the early planning stages because I assumed that what I wanted was what he wanted. This was sadly not the complete truth. This was not a bad thing at all but it was an eye opening experience and caused us to sit down and have an honest and open conversation with one another because this day sets the tone for all the other days. And before people start inserting their own opinions about how the day should go, it’s best for you and your fiancé to get on the same page so you both can stand your ground. You’ll easily make decisions together because you have already talked about the vision together. Discuss what type of ceremony you want, who you want there, when you want to have it, and how much you are willing to spend on it. If you aren’t planning a wedding this step is still important. Instead of talking to a fiance you would talk it over with yourself, just not in the earshot of others mmkay.

Step Three: Get Yourself a Support System. This has to be someone who is your ride or die and is genuinely happy for you and your upcoming marriage. This person should respect you and your partner above anything else because it is important that they do not try to impose their own agenda on your big day. They should be there to offer advice but know in the end they need to live by the motto: My day, my way. I’m so blessed to have two awesome and supportive people helping me through this process: My best friend Audrey and brother Maliek. Without them I don’t know what, or if if anything decent, would be going down on November 9th.

Step Four: Tap Into Your Resources. Surrounding yourself with people who model what you want your marriage to look like. Pick their brains and take note of what they have to say. Seek pre-martial counseling through your pastor or a licensed professional. As a kid I was always fascinated with learning from others, more so of what not to do, but also appreciating getting reassurance and best practice tips from people who had already walked the steps I was about to take. Why try to figure out everything on your own when you have people who are more than happy to share pages from their playbook? Why not set your marriage up for success? If you are planning to embark on a different goal other than marriage, still seek to connect with people who have accomplished or are doing what you have set out to do. This is the year of working smarter, not harder.

And finally we come to Step Five: Take No Prisoners and Don’t Settle! Like I mentioned before: Your day, your way! This doesn’t mean go out and be a Bridezilla but it does mean that you shouldn’t settle or compromise on what you and your finance want. Your wedding takes top priority right now. Pick and choose the things you like and invite the people who put a smile on your face there. You only get one first wedding so live it up. This is your time to be Selfish :)