Thursday, August 05, 2010

wifercize wednesdays: la fiancée

Other than having a fancy French title to call each other by, many couples discover that engagement has few frills.  While congratulations, gifts, and parties are plentiful they usually find themselves overwhelmed and under-rested; at some point at least one of them will grab their beloved and, with a look of crazed enthusiasm in their eyes, whisper: "LET'S JUST ELOPE."

The list of duties cascade like endless confetti, celebratory and chaotic, all while the betrothed are required to juggle family traditions, budgeting, premarital counseling, sleep deprivation, and losing (or gaining) a dress size or two.  Sadly, romance threatens be squeezed out of what should otherwise be a very romantic season.

Andrew and I survived engagement fairly well, thanks to the best family and bridal party two people could have, but it was not without its hiccups.  If you or someone you know have recently shed a tear over reception seating arrangements, here are a few guidelines to help you keep perspective:
  1. Learn to delegate.  Even the Martha Stewarts of us need to learn to give jobs away to those who are eager to help.  Moms, sisters, aunts, cousins, bridesmaids, friends...they might be hesitant to inquire (remember when you gave them a seven page printout of detailed instructions regarding the last time they asked?) but, trust me, they want to support and help you.  Let them.

  2. Don't sweat (literally) the small stuff.  Almost every blushing bride is nervous about their appearance in one way or another.  I must grow my hair longer, I must lose pounds, I must stop losing pounds, I must tone my arms/butt/stomach, I must be more tanned, I must whiten my teeth, I must improve my complexion...  Think about it: by now (hopefully), your fiancé has seen you weeping mascara all over your face, lying on a couch with the flu, red in the face during a fight, and after a PMS induced ice cream binge.  He has still thought it wise to invest a lot of thought and money into purchasing a ring to adorn your untanned finger.  To him, you are beauty.

  3. Keep perspective.  Your wedding might be the biggest event of your life so far, but what lies just beyond it is far superior to it in terms of importance, enjoyment, and length.  Make sure your hopes for a special day don't land you with a mountain of arguments and debt to sort out in your first year of marriage.  In the wise words of my mother: "This too shall pass."

  4. Take a look at him.  This crazy man has begun a process that will end in him promising to love, protect, protect, challenge, encourage, support, and sex you up for as long as you both shall live.  Don't let him get lost in the yards of tulle.  Make time to have a regular, weekly date night where wedding details are off the agenda (this will have to be your initiative, since it's usually us who casually bring them up...all...the...time) and you can spend time remembering why you're doing this in the first place.  Because you've found your man.
It's only a blip in the spectrum of your life but engagement is loaded with lots of opportunities to enjoy yourself, your future husband, and your prenatal marriage. 

Freddy was at his wittiest, referring to Cecil as the "Fiasco"--family honoured pun on fiance.
- A Room With a View (E.M. Forester)

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