Congratulations, you’re engaged! …Now what?
It is inevitable that the hours and days following a proposal become a whirlwind of butterflies and excitement. You probably want to shout from the rooftops and tell everyone you’ve ever met about your joyful news. Beyond that, you may feel tempted to immediately update your relationship status on Facebook, or quickly give your sparkling left hand a valencia filter on Instagram. You’ll definitely want to tear into Pinterest and start a wedding board (or, perhaps more accurately, add to the one you’ve been secretly building for months.) Friends and family will soon start asking when your big day is. Your girlfriends will wonder about bridesmaid dress colors. You’ll want to download every wedding app under the sun. All of this is almost unavoidable in today’s generation, but before you do any of those things, there’s one very important thing that you should not forget.
It is the simplest of things that often get overlooked. Take time to celebrate, first and foremost with your future spouse. Mere minutes ago, this person was just someone you were dating; now, they’re your fiancé. Your entire life has switched chapters in the time period that someone else has ordered a latte or waited for a red light to change. There was a concrete before, and an after. You’ll forever look back on this moment as the instant things were solidified, the moment a page was turned. Take a walk afterwards, perhaps a walk that you’ve made several times before. Hold hands. Allow them to tell you how they schemed for months, appreciate the amount of effort that went into surprising you. Talk endlessly about how happy you are. Be selfish together; take as much time as you can to appreciate the present without documenting it.
Then, celebrate with your family and best friends. Allow these people to experience the joy of your good news before the rest of your 965 Facebook friends get a chance to ‘like’ it. Let yourself be the center of attention; show off your left hand. Bask in the glow of anecdotes; enjoy hearing your parents tell you about how your fiancé came to their house under the pretense of afternoon coffee, only to later reveal their intentions to propose. Let your best friend gush to you that they had so much trouble keeping the secret; feel proud when you learn they helped with the ring. Toast champagne glasses with your future in-laws and let them welcome you to their family, admitting that you’ve felt like family for years. Let these warm conversations endure for as long as possible; hold onto these days with an unrelenting grip.
Do all of this before you dive into the details. You’ll soon start hearing questions about setting a date, inquiries about locations, or comments from curious folks who just want to know what you envision for your dress. Respond to these politely, but don’t dwell on them just yet. Pick up the latest wedding magazines if they make you feel giddy, but don’t let yourself be swayed by the printed timetables with the perforated edges. These infographics will tell you that you should be hunting down a venue; you may feel anxiety about peak seasons, or feel an unconscious pressure to start calling florists and caterers. The secret that so many people overlook is that the timetable only begins when you want it to start. It is difficult, if not impossible, to appreciate the present while your mind is so far ahead. Make sure you’ve given yourself enough time to savor the ‘now’ before you plunge into preparing for ‘a year from now.’
Time has a funny way of passing quickly under the worst circumstances, so it flies at lightning speed under the best. The best defense is a strong conscious effort to focus on your life as you’re living it. So, congratulations! You’re engaged. Take time to look, take time to love, take time to celebrate.