I'm Joelle, an international Lifestyle and Wedding Photographer based in St. Joseph, MI. I'm also an educator and Photo Editor for photographers interested in growing their business and living life more.
Photo by: Christine Skari Photography
I’ve learned a few lessons while being engaged. The past 7 months have been quite the experience, pointing out areas that I needed growth in and grace. My idea of being engaged before getting engaged was something like: we’re-gonna-get-married-and-live-happily-ever-after-and-everything-in-between-will-resolve-itself. However, as you could imagine, it’s not always a walk in a park. Planning a wedding is actually quite a big responsibility!
You may be newly engaged, or maybe you’ve been engaged for awhile now. But, either way, these are some lessons I’ve learned and wanted to pass on to you. I hope that this advice helps as you plan your life out with your best friend.
Marriage doesn’t revolve around one person; it revolves around the two of you together. When it comes to wedding planning, men often get pushed into a corner, told to sit down, and keep their mouth shut. Weddings are all about the bride, to a lot of people. Personally, I don’t agree with that mentality at all. Not to be blunt, but I honestly believe if you want to take steps towards a healthy marriage now, you need to be intentional about including him in discussions and decisions. Your marriage (and soon-to-be-husband) will thank you for it.
Lyndon and I only had a 7-month long engagement, but that was intentional. It was something we took the time to discuss beforehand because we wanted to be prepared. I didn’t want a long engagement, because I had no desire to wait any longer than I needed to, to spend the rest of my life with this amazing man. But, we still wanted enough time to plan out the details. In the beginning, we still took our time with the planning process, which isn’t always a bad thing. But, get as much done as you can in the beginning so that you don’t have to worry about much later. Trust me, you’ll be glad that you did!
Please tell your bridal party ahead of time everything they are expected to do, where they are expected to be, and the timeline of your weekend! At least a month beforehand if that’s possible. They may need to adjust their work schedules, and knowing when you need them and where, will make travel plans easier for them. And, don’t forget to let them know what their responsibilities will be for your weekend. Are any of them doing a reading? Who’s giving speeches? Nail down those details ahead of time and things will run much more smoothly than if it’s last-minute.
In the beginning stages of our engagement, I didn’t want to ask anyone for help – or let anyone. I felt like we should be doing everything together and, #realtalk, I have control issues. So, if anyone suggested something for the day or asked if they could help, I’d say no in the nicest way possible. But, now? If people want to help, by all means they can help! I’ve realized that it’s okay to let family and friends take the reigns on some things. It makes them feel good and it gives you less to work on. And, believe me, the closer you get to your wedding day the more time you’ll want to do anything but wedding planning.
Marrying the love of your life is one of the most exciting things. It’s an adventure, filled with high’s and low’s, but it should still be fun. Hopefully, these words of advice will bring you more joy as you experience your newest adventure together. Your day will be beautiful, no matter what! One last thing – Make sure you take a night off from wedding planning every once in awhile, to simply be you. Go on a date, or enjoy a night of television together. Giving yourself chances to unwind can be so helpful during this busy season. 🙂
Haven’t booked your wedding photographer yet? I’d love to celebrate with you both! Email me at JoelleElizabethPhotography@gmail.com for my free wedding guide, and to talk about the details!