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The Bride’s Guide to a Stress-Free Engagement

Many couples are so eager to jump to the finish line after they get engaged that they forget to actually enjoy being engaged. It’s an exciting time, a journey, and one that can be savored with little to no stress if you know how.

As a bride-to-be, you are no doubt feeling some pretty exciting emotions. There’s wedding planning and picking out cake designs and finding the dream venue, but hold on a minute. There’s also the engagement, which is the first step on the road to your wedding day and one that should be cherished.

Many couples are so eager to jump to the finish line after they get engaged that they forget to actually enjoy being engaged. It’s an exciting time, a journey, and one that can be savored with little to no stress if you know how. So before you start bookmarking every wedding website and picking out bridesmaids dresses, sit back, relax, and enjoy your engagement.

Here are a few tips on how to do just that.

First of all, you must take the word “perfect” out of your vocabulary, as in, “Everything has to be perfect!”

Because the reality is that everything won’t be perfect, and that’s okay. One way to really enjoy being engaged is to go with the flow. Relax your expectations of everything related to wedding planning. That doesn’t mean you can’t dream big and plan according to those dreams, but keep a realistic vision in mind knowing that some things won’t happen the way you want them to.

Being open and flexible will keep your stress levels low and allow you to enjoy the moments leading up to your wedding day.

Another way to nix wedding planning stress and enjoy being engaged is to make it yours.

By that I mean adding personal touches to everything from your engagement announcements to your wedding favors. Weddings don’t have to be mired in tradition and you don’t have to follow in the footsteps of Great Aunt Betty.

This is you and your fiance’s wedding and the ultimate decision on how things should be is yours. Of course you can take advice from your parents and listen to suggestions from friends, but in the end, do what’s right for you and your fiance.

Take ring selfies and post them to Facebook, choose creative thank-you gifts and personalize them with colors and monograms, choose a theme that’s unique to you and your fiance, or skip everything and elope. The real takeaway here is, do your thang!

Spill your guts.

Not literally, of course, but jotting down your thoughts in a notebook is a great way to document your engagement and the wedding planning process. Feel free to rave about becoming a bride or rant about vendor hunting. Stuff it with photos and ideas and feelings. Maybe even a secret love letter to your fiance that you’ll gift him/her on the wedding day.

Journaling is super therapeutic and your notebook will become a lovely memento. Look for journals that catch your attention at your local book/stationery stores or peruse Etsy for an assortment of wedding notebooks.

It’s easy to get wrapped up in planning, so it’s important to remember to take a few wedding-free days.

Take a few solo days where you do whatever makes your heart sing, whether that’s yoga in the park or zen-ing out with a box of Crayola and some adult coloring pages. You’ll also want to take a few wedding-free days with your fiance.

Vow to stay in on a Sunday and do nothing but watch Netflix and snuggle. Or have a date night, visit the museum, or hike through the woods. Reconnecting with each other, sans wedding talk, will make for a strong relationship and stress-free engagement.

Finally, don’t let the little things get you down.

The time between saying “Yes,” and “I do,” is a precious time and one that you won’t want to forget. Getting bogged down in the details and rushing to get everything done will only lead to regrets later on. Time moves quickly and the wedding bells will be ringing before you know it, so relish the moments you have between now and then. We’re only promised this moment, after all, so juice it for all it’s worth.

Cheers to a happy engagement and wedded bliss!

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By Cassandra Key

Cassandra Key is a freelance writer and native Texan based in the Philippines. She’s written about everything from real weddings and bachelorette parties to bridal showers and wedding fashion​, and is the creator of Bridal Magic – a blog for brides with a fairy tale heart. ​When she’s not blogging, you can find her beach bumming, reading Francesca Lia Block novels, dancing up a sweat, and trying to incorporate a daily meditation practice. Connect with her on Twitter: @cassandra_key.

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