I often tell people that even if I got paid, I wouldn’t relive the year my husband and I were engaged. We dealt with everything from family feuds, to jobs quit, and beyond. I probably cried more in that year than the rest of my life put together. Everyone talked about what a beautiful time it was, and all I could think about was how overwhelmed I felt.
That year was more of a struggle than our first year of marriage, but I learned a lot through it. Here are 4 pieces of advice I would give to engaged couples:
1. Trust God―You don’t need to have everything figured out.
We didn’t buy a house when we got married. We didn’t have a huge savings account. We weren’t even finished with college. We had a plan set out for the following few years, and we trusted God with the rest. Turns out, God had different plans anyways. My husband went from firefighting to web coding, and I went from nursing to marketing. Our plans have changed so many times, but God has remained faithful. We’re so blessed by what he has already brought us through, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us. Don’t worry about planning out every step of the way. You can cross each bridge as you come to it, and God will guide you through the unknowns. When you feel overwhelmed or worried, pray about it!
2. Ask for advice―You’re surrounded by experienced couples.
Many wives are more than willing to pour into your marriage, they just aren’t sure if you want the advice. I sat with a group of women at my bridal shower and asked questions. They were thrilled that I wanted their advice, and I am still using the insight I received on that day. When you’re looking to improve your knowledge of any field, you look to those with more experience. The same should be with marriage. Learn from other wives’ successes and failures and apply them to your own.
3. Talk about your expectations―You probably have more of them than you realize.
The single most valuable session in our premarital counseling was the day we discussed our expectations for each other. Many of my expectations were based on my parents’ marriage, and Kyle was completely unaware of many of these desires I had for our marriage. A lot of the vision you have for your marriage is probably based on other marriages you’ve watched. Your fiancé’s version is probably much different. Of course, talking about it doesn’t mean you have to live up to every expectation. Talk about which ones are most important, and study which ones are biblical.
4. Stay calm―Don’t let the stress of your big day cause tension.
Looking back, I can’t believe how much I stressed over our wedding. It wasn’t worth it, looking back at how quickly the day went by! That time I spent worrying would have been better spent praying for our marriage, getting to know each other better, or studying God’s Word for marital insight. Remember that you’re planning for a marriage―not just a wedding. Your day will be beautiful because you’re marrying your best friend, and I promise you, nothing else will matter when the day comes.
Whether you have a short or long engagement period, take that time to draw nearer to your fiancé and to God. It can be an overwhelmingly stressful time, but you are so blessed to have found your lifelong partner. I hope that this advice for engaged couples helps you!
We would love to celebrate your engagement with you! Tell us when your big day is! If you are married, please leave more advice for the engaged couples in the comments below!