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Thursday, July 22, 2010

#52: The "All we talk about is the wedding" Trap

Every weeknight I pick up my fiance from the train station after a long day of work. The car ride home is all business: I tell him that the J. Crew 3-piece suit he wants isn't available for online purchase; I remind him which down payments are due the following week; and I ask him things like "Do you want the piggy cupcakes to have marshmallow or fondant eyes? The caterer needs to know."

But being engaged is not just about wedding to-do lists. LIFE is not about to-do lists.

One thing I'm trying to get better at is staying focused on my relationship with my fiance as opposed to my relationship with the wedding. It's very easy for me to obsess over the fun details and the logistical drama of the event, then go to bed and realize that Brian and I had not spent any quality time together. 

Once in a while Brian will jokingly (well, half-jokingly) ask, "Do you hate me?". And when I nonchalantly answer "no" before turning on my laptop to update our wedding to-do list, he says, "Oh, okay. Good bye. See you never." (This is our standard way of saying Hey, look at me! I need more attention!) And that's when I know to shut off the part of my brain that loves the wedding prep stuff, and instead, pay more attention to that cute boy on the couch who is willingly signing up to be my roommate for life.

So. To avoid the "All we ever talk about is the wedding" trap, consider reflecting on the following questions with your partner:
  • What percentage of the time do you and your fiance discuss wedding-related stuff when you are together?
  • Who usually initiates conversations about the wedding? How does the other person *emotionally* respond? (Does he or she act excited? Reluctant? Uninterested? Stressed? Giddy?)
  • How has your relationship changed since getting engaged?
  • Are you satisfied with the amount and type of quality time you currently spend together?
  • What fun activities haven't you done since you got engaged?
Having said all this, engagement can't all be fun and games. Let's be real - certain things need to get done in preparation for the wedding. So on those weekends during which a major wedding task must be completed, I suggest balancing work with pleasure by making a day out of it: 

Start early and have breakfast together (Hooray for IHOP's giant slabs of french toast!), go do your wedding task (register for gifts, visit possible venues, etc.), and then plan for a fun or relaxing activity to enjoy when the work is done (put on matching exercise outfits and go for a power walk in the mall. Or whatever.).

When you're planning your wedding, don't forget what the whole sha-bang is for: it's a celebration of your relationship. So don't leave the relationship part out of the planning!

And remember: engagement is like the part in a roller coaster ride when you're slowly creeping up a steep incline. You know- the one that comes just before the heart-pounding drop. It is a time of thrilling anticipation. It is an opportunity to fully experience the holy-crap-I'm-excited-and-scared-and-emotionally-hyperventilating-and-dear-God-I-LOVE-this-person feeling that comes on the eve of marriage. And you feel it, breathe it, and take it all in alongside your partner. It will be the one and only time in your life when you two are on this particular roller coaster. So enjoy it. Together.


  1. When my closest friends got engaged (several sets of them), I always made sure to buy a Transformer and stick it in with their engagement gift. My theory was that way when the wedding talk became too much, they had something to play with and was sort of code for 'hey, too much wedding!'

    In one instance, I was told that the transformer was their favourite gift.

    I think even outside of the core two getting married there is a real trap to fall into with just speaking weddings. It can really monopolise relationships.

  2. YES. THIS. Sometimes we put a "no wedding talk" rule on dinner and I always come out of those conversations refreshed and reminded of why I'm marrying this guy in the first place.

  3. LOL I remember this very well! It's funny too cause Ben and I did wind up making a day of it on a couple occasions . I remember for Marriage counseling I had to miss a day of work. The cousneling session was in the morning and we were done by around 1pm. Suddenly we looked up and realized "YAY we both have the same day off!!!" and went to play mini-golf and catch a movie :) Ben also made up a symbolic "get out of jail free re: wedding talk" and said that if either of us were stressed we would pick a weekend and just get away and not talk about the wedding AT ALL. I don't think we ever needed to use it, but just knowing it was there helped a lot.

  4. @ Moz - Brian and I spend too much time talking about the wedding...can you send us a transformer, too? One each, perhaps?? ;)

    @ Sharon - Good idea! Hey, whatever keeps ya sane, right?

    @ Steph - "Get out of jail free re: wedding talk" - HA!!! ;)

  5. all too true... i'm curious to see what our life will be like w/o a wedding to-do list.

    worse than our to-do "list" (because it's no longer a list it's a wall of craziness full of listS) is the blogging. way too much time on blogs. i'll peek up at him from behind my laptop and he just gives me this uber-disappointed look. then i get all "sorry, baby...." and close the compy.

    balance ain't easy!


Babbling about weddings is so much more fun when people babble back. :)

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