New Year...New Ring...Now What?
Here's what you can expect during the first weeks of engagement:
If you’re among the nearly one million brides-to-be who received an engagement ring over the holidays, you’ll be ringing in more than a new year as the clock strikes midnight on the end of 2006. You’ll be ringing in a new life and signifying the ceremonial end to your single self.
Unfortunately, for many newly engaged women, the euphoria of finding “the one” is slightly dampened by a dose of anxiety. Engagement is one of the most significant transitions in our lives. And let’s face it, most brides-to-be have never faced such a milestone and are unsure what to expect from those first few weeks.
Well now you can relax. You can fully enjoy your newly engaged status if you’re mentally prepared to address what’s to come during those first few weeks.
Bask and Reflect
Long before the craziness of wedding planning ensues, you should take some personal time to reflect on the significance of this milestone and mentally prepare for what’s ahead. Now’s the time to bask in the glow of newly engaged bliss, and it’s also the time to ponder any personal or emotional anxieties you may have about shedding your single self and embracing your new life as an engaged and eventually a married woman.
Prepare for the Onslaught of Questions
He just popped the question – and you’re still on "engagement high." But the questions will start to trickle in, usually beginning with the moms. They’ll want to know dates, times, color schemes, seating charts…all while your tongue’s still tripping over the word “fiancé.”
Don’t let others stress you out just yet. When the questions begin, just let the inquiring know that you’re going to enjoy your engagement for awhile before you begin making plans. Take this time to adjust to your new status, and relish these last few weeks free from the pressures of wedding planning. You'll know when the time is right to start planning. (just don't wait too long - some venues book over a year in advance)
Make it a Family Affair
If your parents haven’t met yet, they should meet or at least talk soon after the engagement. Tradition dictates that the groom's family calls and introduces themselves to the bride's family and arranges a meeting. If the groom's parents do not make the first introduction, then the bride's parents should. Nowadays, who makes the first call is irrelevant; all that really matters is that the parents meet. If meeting face to face is impossible, a letter or phone call will suffice.
Now’s also the time to address any potential family issues or concerns (i.e. your family doesn’t like him, his mother and step-mom can’t stand to be in the same room…). Handle any misgivings or bad blood early on, and avert potential planning – and relationship - disasters down the road.
Above all - enjoy the first few weeks of engagement, while mentally and emotionally preparing for the exciting, albeit a bit nervewracking, roller coaster that lies ahead.
Happy New Year!