This post means a lot to me because my engagement wasn’t peaceful.
I hate to say that because it was such a fun, wonderful season. But when I look back, I remember a lot of anxiety and turmoil. I learned a lot about myself, as I’m sure you will also. I’ve also learned from reflecting on that time that all of that anxiety and turmoil I experienced was self-induced, as I now believe all unrest is. I chose to allow greed, jealousy, and fear to capture my heart and rule over me. And I don’t believe it has to be this way. I believe you can be a steady, calm, kind bride to be. Bye, bye bridezilla!
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1. Focus on your marriage
Don’t get too caught up in the details. To be honest, they don’t matter. It seems like such a huge deal when you’re planning it and trying to make it your dream day. Let me tell you: big picture, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth the stress or the arguments. Focus on the end result: your marriage. Put your time and effort into preparing for that.
2. Be the leaders
This role is kind of a shoe-in because the focus is on you and what you want. Since everyone is looking to you for direction, it is the perfect time to lead your friends and family members in a joyful time full of peaceful celebration, no matter how dysfunctional your family may be. You set the tone for how this season is going to go.
Have an intentional conversation with your fiance about what attitude you want to mirror through these upcoming months and into your marriage. This is so great for promoting unity between the two of you. This is one you should practice well into marriage. It keeps you on the same page and creates a stronger marriage, which is something that we learned in pre-marital counseling. (shameless segue)
3. Pre-martial counseling
I cannot say this enough. Preparing for marriage is crucial to how the next years of your relationship will look. Have trusted, relationally successful, wise people pour into you. Soak up as much knowledge as you can. Lay it all out there. Be vulnerable. Love unconditionally.
We read several books before getting married. Some of our favorites are:
This book is the book that we read and worked through and has honestly, changed everything. There has been so much freedom found in doing this study. We have never been in more unity and more in love. This book is redemptive and healing on both a personal and relational level. Don’t get me wrong, it’s HARD. But all worth it. I tear up every time I think of what a treasure this resource has been for us.
We are blessed to be doing this study with the authors, Danny and Amy DeWalt, our dear friends. I realize that isn’t an option for most of you but even if you have to do it alone it is worth it. We did a few sessions with just Danny and Amy then we joined a group of other couples also reading through it. Bold honesty and vulnerability is something I thought I had nailed down until this group. LOL.
We are so excited to go through the book again and again and hope to someday lead other couples in doing the same thing.
We read this book a few years back and it is so good for getting a big picture perspective on life and marriage. You can also download the ebook and audiobook for free in the You and Me Forever app.
4. Think big picture
Marriage is so much greater than this one day so make time to dream about the future together. It can be so fun and sweet thinking about all the future might hold. Talk about what you want to do in the next year, what your kids are going to look like, how cute the other will be when they’re eighty years old, what vacations you want to take, all of it!
5. Have a verse
This season can come with lots of feelings. Some true, some untrue. Having a verse memorized to have when you need peace or to combat feelings that aren’t helpful or true is essential to being successful.
Here are a few that helped me…I made these into phone lock screens so you can download them and have them with you at all times!
I don’t have to say too much about this one because you already know. Exercise reduces stress and balances your hormones. Go get your Soul Cycle on with some of your bridesmaids or go on a peaceful hike with your momma. Whatever it is, try to do it at least once a day!
7. Have fun bonding and making decisions together
This season is SO FUN. Exercise your joint decision-making skills and pick out centerpieces together. Decide what gifts you want to get your bridal party as thank yous. Don’t make all the decisions alone. This is both of y’alls day so make it uniquely yours. You only do it once after all.
You’re likely already pampering quite a bit to get ready for your big day and while that’s a great form of self-care, I want to highlight the importance of emotional, mental, and spiritual self-care as well. This is probably the most important of all of the suggestions in this list.
Taking care of your heart and mind is crucial.
Marriage is so important to God. Two are better than one. And Satan wants to do everything in his power to destroy any sense of peace and unity. I noticed spiritual attacks more than I ever have in my entire life during our engagement months. Nagging, jealousy, greed, and fear, I hate to say, took up all nine months of our engagement because I was oblivious to the spiritual. Unfortunately, Jacob and my mom received the brunt end of that. It is *so* important that you are aware of this and always on your guard.
Take time to read the Bible every day. Memorize your verse and be ready to use it. Relax and unwind with calming music.
Confide your feelings in your future spouse. Lay it all out there. When things are brought to the light it is easier to see what is a lie and what is true.
9. Give grace
Give it out. To your fiance. To yourself. To your parents. To your soon-to-be family. To your bridesmaids. To everyone. It will make you feel so much better after you relinquish your need to fight for what’s right or fair. Stop fighting. God will do that for you. Give grace knowing everyone is fighting their own battles. It’s only then that you will find peace.
“The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still” Exodus 14:14
When we got engaged in December, serving other people was probably somewhere last on my list of things to do. Looking back, there isn’t a better time to serve the people around you. Everyone you love is all in one place for one glorious few hours. It can be magical for you and your groom but it can be stressful for everyone else. Blending families come with lots of anxiety and nervousness for everyone not just the bride and groom. Family dynamics change. Friend relationships are going to be different. It can be a lot all at one time so I encourage you to be aware and help out when you see the opportunity. Be there to listen to peoples fears (who typically wont want to burden you with them) about the future.
Also, play your role as bride well. What I mean is to be gracious. Send thank you cards in a timely manner. Be genuinely kind to people who might rub you the wrong way. Go into this season with this attitude and I swear, it will make it so much more joyous.
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If there’s anything you would add to the list comment them down below! Let’s support our engaged ladies however we can.