His knee hit the ground at exactly 8:12pm, the moment the Sun began to set. My knees, on the other hand, felt weak and my heart full of joyful disbelief. After so many years, so many prayers- this sweet moment was actually happening!! Ryan was proposing!
Something shifted after that beautiful evening of loud yays, constant staring at my ring & close community with our friends and family. Something in our spirits shifted, almost like we were drawn closer together in a way only God could move. It was beautiful in every way. We were Engaged! A season of dating had ended and HERE WE WERE, about to embark on one of our biggest dreams yet- becoming husband and wife!
Check out our Full Engagement Story! :)
But let’s get real. HOW MANY stories have we all heard about stressed out Brides?! You know, “those” women. Clearly not us. I mean this is the most important time of our lives, its beautiful, magical, full of celebration- “we will NOT GET stressed!!” right?
And while I could give you tons of resources for finding good deals on Wedding Vendors or a timeline of items you should accomplish (spoiler alert: I will give you a few of my fav resources below, because their too good not to share!)- there is something a little more special that I want to chat with you about.
This season of being Engaged is full of so many FUN moments; but it is also, if you’ll let it be, full of moments that will prepare you to be a wife and not just a Bride, hidden treasured moments to fully embrace and opportunities to choose wisely and NOT lose your mind!
As one of my sweet friends told me at one of my Bridal Showers, “You were born to be a Bride.” We were made for this!
When we got Engaged on August 10th, 2015 (my 22nd birthday) I told myself that I would NOT become a stressed out Bride. I literally spoke it over myself. I knew that my Wedding Day would come, and then it would go- and I would be a wife. Nothing was going to stop us from getting married- and the only thing standing in my way of enjoying every moment, every celebration, every detail to be planned would be me. And I wasn’t going to let that happen.
Friend, your Engaged Season will probably look quite different from mine. Or those girl’s pages we stalk on Instagram. And that is a good thing. Here me again- that is a g o o d t h i n g. Our personalities are different, our families different, our design styles and our relationships with our soon-to-be-hubbys. All different.
But here is the truth: You were created to fully love and enjoy this season- and you CAN! Without, and I mean it, losing your sanity.
Truths that saved my heart while being Engaged:
- Do not, I repeat, do not compare your Engaged Season to someone else’s.
I have been stuck in this rut before: ooing and ahhing at a friend’s Wedding Details and pictures, and “perfect” relationships. And while there is a place for that, where it gets dangerous is when we choose to hold on so tightly to what their season looks like that we lose sight of what God actually has in store for our own season.
Choose details for your wedding that express YOUR personality, don’t be afraid to take risks in design, embrace the craziness of your family dynamics and remember- this is a joyous season. And it’s your season. NOT someone else’s. Embrace it’s uniqueness- that’s the beauty of it all anyways.
2. God has approved of this Marriage, and is on our side!
This one seriously makes all the difference. Throughout Ryan and I’s 4 years of dating, there were moments where the Lord spoke to our hearts and continued to tell us “yes”. There has to be these sorts of moments- moments where in the midst of waiting, confusion, frustration and even long distance, your heart can hold onto the hope that God has given you.
During our Engaged Season, we kept on getting confirmation that the Lord was approving of our soon to be marriage. Things flowed easily, budgets were met, decisions easily made and even two totally different families… came together. I am tearing up just writing this.
Friend, if the Lord has approved of you and your Fiance being together then you can have peace. He’s got you, in the safety of His arms. He will work out those family dynamics, bring together all of the details and give you peace along the way. He’s orchestrating the whole thing- you two becoming One is His plan. And nothing will stand in His way- so don’t stress out and let it. It’s all going to be okay (remember this when your trying to cut down your Guest List ;) ).
3. Surrender your relationship to the Lord, daily. And go to Pre-Marital Counseling.
You were born to be a Bride, yes, but you were also born to be a Wife. And the wife that you want to be, and were created to be is not found in a perfectly created Wedding- it’s found in giving yourself fully to the Lord.
Your relationship with your Finace is safest, when surrendered at the feet of Jesus. He’s got you, girl, remember? He’s working it all together for good. So each day during your Engaged Season, remember, give it to Him.
Part of surrendering for us, was realizing that there was a LOT that we did not know about being Married. Learning how to communicate with each other, Biblical roles of marriage, how to approach sex, and even handle your finances- these are all things that we learned in our Counseling, and that we strongly believe have saved us from years of arguments and frustration. Can someone say, amen?!
Find someone who is a Christian & recommended amongst your people, and schedule yourself for pre-marital counseling. Do it together!
Secrets and Quick Tips:
1. Don’t compromise on things that mean the most to you.
Trust me, I had a vision. Church benches instead of chairs, flowers hanging from the ceilings… thank you Pinterest etc.
There are details that you will really, really want… that most likely wont ALL be able to happen (unless you have an unlimited budget- in that case- can I be invited?!). And it’s okay to let things that don’t make a huge difference to your heart change a bit. Our white plastic chairs actually turned out beautifully in our space- and our Venue made up for that lack of dreamy hanging flowers ;).
You have to become okay with having a balance. Some things will change, and that’s okay. But then there will be other things, that you prioritize for your big day that you CAN make happen. Pick 1-3 things (dress, venue, guest list, food etc.) that you consider your priorities- and stick to those. And some of the other little details, will survive not being exactly how you planned.
2. Get a Coordinator!
Whether its a friend, ours was and was literally our DAY SAVER, or a team of loyal friends- you will need people who can make your Big Day run smoothly. Meet with them, communicate your vision, delegate a leader and LET THEM IN! It’s okay to hand off some responsibilities, and trust me they will love that you trusted them enough to handle it.
3. Capture the moments.
Throughout our Engagement I kept a journal of Big moments, thoughts and emotions- & gave it to Ry as His Wedding Gift. Whether it’s keeping a journal, capturing tons of pictures whenever something special happens or simply taking a moment to take it all in- do it, you’ll thank me later. When you pick your venue, your dress, pick up your Wedding License or survive your first Wedding Argument- take a moment, sit back and take it in.
These moments, are what its all about. There’s beauty in them, as they all come together to create this season where you two slowly Become One.
4. Do your research!
Whatever your budget looks like, there IS a way to have your dream wedding within it. Remember, God’s got you. Give it him, and give your control of details over to Him too! He will show you some Favor even in the little things.
We didn’t compromise on our priorities, and with all the other details that ended up being JUST perfect- we stayed under our budget of $7000- with a guest list of 200 people!
Here are some of my fav resources & tips that gave us our dream Wedding & kept us under budget:
Dress: Alfred Angelo’s under $500 sale (I found my dress which was previously for $1350 and found it in this section of the store for $395! Nothing wrong with it, and literally a gift from Heaven!
DJ: Create a playlist, and enlist one of your fun friends to MC!
Cake: Buy a smaller cake and then a sheet cake for the kitchen to feed about 70% of your guests. Sheet cakes are so much cheaper, but the same exact cake recipe- no one knows the difference when its on their plate!
Timelines: The Knot App- Wedding Schedule
NOW. I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE. We are all in this together- and trust me, we need it! What are some tips and truths you have about your Engaged Season? I would love to get to know you and hear your thoughts about this super fun season of life. Comment below and we will chat back at you! <3
AND! We didn’t get to this Engaged Season over night, it was a result of a lot of faithfulness on the Lord’s part in our Single Season. Subscribe now by email (& get a free devotional) so you don’t miss our next post next week!