Things No One Tells You About Getting Engaged

No matter how long you and your fiance’ dated or how many times you’ve
been a bridesmaid in your friends’ weddings, there are some truths you just
don’t find out about until you get engaged.

1. You’ll
have a big zit on your chin the day he proposes.

Okay, maybe you won’t (or didn’t). But the point is that whatever
fantasy proposal you had dreamed up (at the most romantic place in the world,
wearing the most perfect dress, with the best hair and complexion you’ve ever
had) isn’t reality.

Your proposal story – whether it happened on the couch in your
PJs with no makeup on, or in the middle of the Caribbean in a hot swimsuit – is
more important (and special) than that fantasy proposal you might have had in
your head. Why? Because it’s your story and no one else’s.

You won’t be able to stop staring at your hand.

Maybe you went ring shopping together and picked it out yourself, or
maybe it was a total surprise. Either way, there’s a big difference between
imagining it on your hand and actually seeing that brand-new shiny ring on your

Everyone is going to want to see the ring, so get a manicure
(and be careful gawking at your hand while driving or crossing busy

You’ll have to tell your proposal story a million times.

As soon as you get engaged, one of the first questions people will ask
is how he proposed. Get used to it. Telling and retelling the story is part of
the fun of being engaged.

To make it easier on yourselves, write down your proposal story
(put it on your wedding website and in your online wedding planner) and send
friends and family the link so that they can get the full details.

People will ask you about a wedding date and location before you’ve had a chance
to even think about it.

You know how it goes: Everyone is excited. But before you’ve even had
time to start your checklist, your family and friends are already asking for

If you have no idea where and when the wedding will be, come up
with a blanket statement you can use whenever someone asks. Say something like,
“We’re so excited just being engaged right now. I’m sure there will be plenty of
time to figure out the logistics in the coming months.” They’ll take the

5. There
might be a few sours…

There’s usually at least one friend or family member who may not come
off quite as supportive or elated as the rest of them. If this doesn’t happen to
you, be thankful, because you’re in the minority.

A not-so-positive reaction to your good news is a reflection of
that person (not you). Don’t dwell on negative feedback. Focus on the positive –
you’re getting married!

…But your best friends will be there for you.

You’ll know the people you can count on. They’re the ones who post
five-exclamation-point messages to your Facebook wall the minute you announce
your engagement; they’re the ones who take you out for drinks the day after you
get engaged to celebrate; they’re the ones who tell you they’re ready to help
you with whatever you need.

Lean on the friends who express excitement for you (and
celebrate your newly engaged status often!).

Recently married friends will suddenly become wedding planning experts and give
you (oftentimes unsolicited) advice.

There are plenty of reasons this happens. Some friends may be going
through the “post-wedding blues” and miss the excitement of planning their own
weddings. Others may just think they’re doing you a favor.

If a friend offers wedding planning advice (say, “You shouldn’t
invite kids to your wedding,” or anything else that starts with, “You
should/shouldn’t…”), take it in stride. Graciously accept it as a sign of
their friendship (there’s no need to get defensive). If you agree with the
advice, take it; if not, thank them and move on with your plans.

You’ll watch wedding movies and TV shows differently.

Whether you’ve seen dozens of Say Yes to the Dress episodes, or you
wouldn’t be caught dead watching a “cheesy wedding show,” you might now find
yourself a little (or a lot) more interested in wedding movies and

Rent Father
of the Bride
, My
Best Friend’s Wedding
and Rachel Getting
– and don’t feel bad about sitting through and enjoying a
TLC wedding special or two. This is one of those guilty wedding pleasures that
you’re totally allowed to indulge in while you’re engaged.

You’ll have a hard time not jumping into wedding planning right away and will
find it difficult to “just enjoy being engaged.”

Sure, you recognize there’s a long road ahead of you and there’s plenty
of time to plan out a wedding. But after the shock wears off, the next natural
step is to start working out wedding plans.

It’s okay (and good!) to get started early – just be sensitive
to him. He more than likely just spent a lot of money and time planning out the
proposal. So give him a little time to relax if he needs it. A few things you
can get started on right away: planning out the guest list (at least your family
and friends) and documenting your proposal story.

Your relationship will feel different (even if you’ve been living together for

A marriage proposal is exciting, but it’s also serious. You’ve just
agreed to commit to one another – for forever.

Work out the nitty-gritty details you may have only touched
upon when you were dating. Decide what you’ll do for holidays every year,
whether you want kids, where you want to live long term. Make actual plans. Even
if they change, it’s good to know where you both stand on the big topics. If
you’re not required to through your church or temple, consider signing up for
pre-wedding counseling, where you’ll be led through the process by a pro. Having
worked out hard-to-make decisions together will make the wedding ceremony that
much more meaningful.

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