the moments where our love gained the most strength were those tough times that I wouldn’t imagine going through with anyone else.
For years now, Honeymoons have been the vacation that engaged couples are focused on. More often than not, couples take off the morning after their wedding day for someplace warm and tropical. While I am all for a relaxing beach vacation following a long year of wedding planning, I have a feeling that “Engagementmoons” are going to become the next big thing for newly engaged couples.
This past weekend I was talking with a friend of mine. She had gotten engaged to her fiance the month prior to Mike and I, and they will be getting married later this summer Side note: I can’t WAIT to be their day of wedding planner 🙂 It was her thirtieth birthday this past month, so the both of them planned a nice long vacation to Mexico to celebrate. Ironically it was about the same time that Mike and I took our 2 week trip to Europe. We talked about how we were going to postpone our Honeymoons until next year due to our vacations, and how we wouldn’t want it any other way. That conversation sparked this week’s blog post.
1. Slow down this wonderful time in your life.
I can’t wait to look back years from now and remember how Mike proposed, the adventure of a lifetime we had in Europe, the ultimate New Year’s Eve wedding spent with our closest family and friends, and THEN a delayed vacation celebrating married life and looking forward to the future.
I hear from brides all the time that they are so bummed out when the wedding and the Honeymoon is over. Think about it: you dedicate 1-2 years of your life thinking about NOTHING but wedding vendors, decorations, Honeymoon plans, and any other tiny details you may be forgetting. Once the time comes to finally get married and go on your Honeymoon, it is over in the blink of an eye and you are back to your every day life. Why not give yourself something to look forward to DURING the wedding planning process, and why not give yourself something to look forward to AFTER the wedding and Newlywed life have died down?
Now I’m not saying that you have to plan a big, elaborate trip as an Engagementmoon. Mike and I happened to already have our trip to Europe planned when he proposed last October. Good planning by him, seriously! The best part? Nearly everyone we knew thought that he was going to propose to me in Europe. It was the perfect set up to surprise a girl, because I definitely wasn’t expecting it. An Engagementmoon can be as simple as a week-long camping trip or a long weekend spa escape.
2. Wedding planning can be stressful, take a moment to get away from it all.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Planning a wedding with your significant other is far from easy. You are taking in to consideration a lot of people’s feelings and opinions. While the day is supposed to be about the both of you, there are times that it will feel like it’s not. The beginning of the planning process is the most stressful time because that is the time when you are both setting expectations and you will most likely find out that they are not the same. So begins the practice of married life- COMPROMISE, lots of compromise!
Take some time to book a trip and make a promise that you won’t discuss wedding plans during it. We were gone for an entire 2 weeks and didn’t discuss the wedding until the very end of the trip. Even then, it was talking about what we were most looking forward to, and how the trip reinvigorated our excitement for the event. Taking some time to NOT think about the wedding and how to personalize it to fit your relationship will surprisingly give you MORE ideas. Our trip inspired many decorations, wedding vow thoughts, and even our engagement pictures. It’s amazing what comes to mind once you aren’t feeling the pressure to be creative.
3. Take an adventure, and fall in love all over again.
Our relationship is far from perfect, and I would be lying if I said we were in a great mood our entire trip. But looking back at it, my love for my soon to be husband is stronger than ever, and that is saying something considering the tiny hotel rooms we were staying in during our trip! Our favorite line to tell people when they ask how our trip to Europe was is “Well, we still love each other!
On the surface, we had the trip of a lifetime and saw some of the most incredible landmarks that have been on our bucket lists since we were kiddos. We took the most breathtaking hot air balloon ride in Spain, explored the entire Colosseum in Rome, toured the picturesque Tuscan wine country outside of Florence, took a gondola ride in Venice, and ate dinner with the most surreal view of the twinkling Eiffel Tower in Paris. Who does that?! It was incredible and memorable and still feels like a dream.
Full disclosure? We ran through the Barcelona airport and almost missed our flight to Rome, took a sketchy car ride from the Rome airport with a man that started taking us down gravel roads with metal gates, I got deathly ill (Influenza status) in Venice and visited a number of “Farmacias” in tears, and then we were held up in the Atlanta airport in customs because the machines didn’t recognize Mike’s passport photo.
The best part? We wouldn’t have done the trip any other way. Life is hard, and bad stuff happens! Of course we idealized a long, relaxing and romantic vacation. Pieces of the trip absolutely were, but the moments where our love gained the most strength were those tough times that I wouldn’t imagine going through with anyone else. They tell you to marry your best friend, and I never knew what that was supposed to feel like until I met Mike. He influences my strength, and makes me enjoy the little moments in life. Even if it’s helping me feel comfortable on an evening gondola ride after I’d been up all night with a fever and a terrible head ache.
4. There is always something more to learn about each other.
Whether it’s tough times, drunken times, or times where you are in tears from laughing so hard, there is always something more to learn about your partner. It can be hard to do that during your day to day work and home life! It’s only when you take a vacation or some time away together that you learn these new things.
What’s your person like when they are under stress? Frustrated? Excited? In awe? Relaxed? Take the time to not only remember why you fell in love with them in the first place, but to analyze the person they are becoming and the changes you see. Maybe it’s the nerdy Communication major in me, but I am so intrigued by those things. I love watching people grow and change for the better, and supporting Mike as we go through new stages in our life as well as learning from him when I need the help or the support.
Lastly, take a moment to talk about your dreams. Map them out and get excited for your future. What will married life look like? Is a move in your future? New job? Kids? There is nothing better than bonding over the life you have started to build together and the feeling of anticipation for what’s to come.
To all engaged couples out there, take an Engagementmoon, and fall in love all over again… ♥
To all married couples, think back on this time in your life and reflect on how far your love has come.
“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” -Emily Bronte
To my future husband, best friend, and confidant, I am so very thankful for you.