Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Letter to Bride-to-Be's About The Engagement Emotions

Long before I got engaged, I made myself a promise that I wouldn't be a bridezilla.

I'd been through some other weddings and seen how much brides could freak out over what seemed the smallest things - or nothing at all. I wasn't going to do that. I was going to be simple and straightforwards and everything would be good.

And guys, in the long scheme of things, I was pretty good. I could go into the full details but it would really just be praising myself. Y'all saw how the wedding looked, and my parents attest to the reasonable bill, and my fiance still wanted to marry me, migraine and all, so obviously pre-wedding emotions didn't scare him off.


I did freak out. I freaked out about things I didn't understand. I wailed to my mom "I don't understand! I don't want to be the picky stressed out bride!"

My mom was calm and loving and said "it's normal."

"I'm not like this!" I told my fiance. "Thank you for sticking with me because I'm a total mess right now."

"It's okay," he said, holding me and wiping away my tears. "My understanding is that brides are supposed to be like this."

"Weddings bring up emotions," our doctor told my sister. "Even if you're not the one getting married, they stir up all kinds of things."

So what I'm saying here is... hold yourself to a high standard. Your family will thank you for it. But don't blame yourself when you fall short, because you will, and they will understand. Your man will too, if he's a keeper.

Our society puts emphasis on a perfect wedding. Your wedding probably won't be perfect. Mine was perfect, apart from my migraine. Seriously, take the migraine away and it was pretty much a perfect wedding. Only the migraine was a big thing and it put a lot of other things into perspective.

Decide what battles are really worth fighting, and what to just let Mom have her way on. Be okay with inviting all the family and "old must have friends" and know that they won't all come and you'll be able to send out a second round of invites. Maybe there are people it would be a social problem to invite or not invite - maybe you'll choose to bless someone by inviting them, or choose to protect someone by not inviting someone else.

Be okay with having good food, but maybe not your dream favorite (chances are you won't eat much anyhow and end up ordering a pizza later). Do your best with the seating chart, but know that in the end everyone will mix and mingle. Get the dress that makes you feel amazing, but get one that is comfortable both for your body and your pocketbook. Pick the bridesmaids that you want to honor, but know that they maybe all wont' be able to participate at the same level and be okay with that.

But most importantly, remember that it's not about the wedding, it's about the marriage. Yes your memories and your photos are very special things that you will treasure forever, but the time of engagement is about preparing for joining your life to one person, in the sight of God. It's about preparing to leave your family and changing your interactions with them in a new way. If you find yourself snapping, ask "is getting my way here more important than building this relationship?"

You'll snap. It'll happen. There's too much emotion and change going on for anyone to remain emotionally calm the entire time. Allow yourself to feel those emotions and express them in a healthy way. Allow others to support you. Allow yourself not to be perfect, but to let God shape you.

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