9 Tips for Surviving the Stress of Engagement & Dealing with Cold Feet

Whether or not anyone wants to admit it, a couple’s engagement can
definitely be a stressful time. Sure, at the beginning, it’s all about showing
off your shiny new ring, but as the wedding gets closer, many couples start to
feel the pressure of planning the wedding and ultimately what comes after.
Problems associated with planning _(and often paying for)_ that one day can
create stress you’re not used to having, which ultimately might make you begin
to fight more frequently and start questioning the entire situation. Beyond
that stress, you’re both making a huge life change, which can cause one or
both of you to experience some doubts. **But don’t call off the wedding yet!**
You’re not the only couple feeling these feelings and experiencing these
doubts. In fact, I will wholly admit that both Michael and I thought of
calling off our engagement before we made it to the altar (something we’re
both happy we didn’t do). That’s why I decided to take my own personal
experiences, in addition to some expert advice to gather some tips on not only
surviving the engagement period, but also making it memorable (in a good way)!

### 1. Take Time to Enjoy the Engagement

As [Zlata Faerman](http://www.IHaveZlataThoughts.com), PR pro and recent bride
suggests, after you get engaged, don’t make the next 6-18 months 100% about
your wedding. After all, the wedding is just one day; your marriage is a
lifetime. Don’t let the stress of the wedding stress your relationship.
Instead, enjoy doing other things together, take weekend trips if you can, or
spend the weekend doing something you both love that doesn’t involve wedding
planning. Honestly, I wish Michael and I had taken a solid 1-2 months to enjoy
our engagement before even setting a date!

### 2. Set Aside Time to Talk

Even when you’re deep into the wedding planning process, set aside a time each
week to talk about how your relationship is going, says Professional Counselor
[Nathan Gehlert](http://www.therapydc.com/). You’ll be spending a lot of time
focusing on the wedding, and it’s important to have this time to be able to
check in with each other about your connection.

### 3. Know Stress and Doubt are Normal

Getting cold feet is incredibly normal. No matter how in love you are, there’s
a good chance one of you is going to have some symptoms of cold feet. Getting
married is a big step, and life changes greatly after the wedding day, so it’s
understandable you’re questioning your decisions. After you set the wedding
date, you might start to notice (and worry about) your differences more than
before he popped the question. Conflicts now seem worse than they did before,
but take a step back and realize that no one is perfect. Every couple fights;
it’s normal. It’s how you’re able to work through problems that matters. Don’t
call off the wedding just because life’s not perfect all the time.

### 4. Do Premarital Counseling

I wrote a blog post about [premarital counseling](http://theplungeproject.com
/premarital-counseling) back when Michael and I were planning our big day, so
this is something I highly suggest. As Professional Counselor [Nathan
Gehlert](http://www.therapydc.com/) explains, “No one ever really teaches us
about how to be in a relationship with another person, yet your marriage has
the potential to be either the biggest source of happiness or distress in your
life. A little investment in premarital counseling can go a long way in
establishing healthy relationship habits right from the start.”

### 5. Stick to Your Budget

The cost of a wedding is definitely a huge source of stress during the
engagement. That’s why it’s essential to [decide on a budget, and stick to
it](http://theplungeproject.com/nailing-down-a-budget-and-sticking-to-it)! As
[Summer Gray](http://Handbago.com), fashion writer, publicist and fellow
newlywed suggests, there are lots of do-it-yourself ways to save a few bucks,
so do your homework. The more personalized the wedding, the better! People are
there because they love you, so big or small, the only thing that matters, is
that you’re happy with the results.

### 6. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

As wedding photographer [Tiffany
Babinsack](http://www.whatwillyouremember.net/) says, “As cliché as it may
sound, it’s a solid piece of advice. Things will happen. Plans will change. At
the end of the day, it is important to be thankful for what you have and
remember why this all started – because there is a great person out there that
wants to spend the rest of their life with you!”

### 7. Take Your Fiancee’s Opinion into Consideration

I know, I know, you’ve been planning this day in your mind for your entire
life, but remember, you’re not the only one getting married. This is your
hubby-to-be’s big day too. As wedding planner [Annette
Hoegner](http://www.classictouchevents.com) notes, even if he acts like he
doesn’t care, it is nice to bounce ideas off of him and take his suggestions
when he offers them. It’s essential that he feels valued during the process!

### 8. Delegate

“Brides often dream about planning their wedding, without actually having an
understanding about the amount of time involved to coordinate, select
suppliers, review contracts, etc. As a result, it’s easy for one to become
irritable and unreasonable without really knowing it. To this end, delegate.
Perhaps hire a professional to assist with various components of the wedding,”
says event planner, [Greg Jenkins](http://www.bravoevents-online.com).

### 9. Keep In Mind What’s Important

Ultimately, be the best team you can with your husband-to-be through the time
leading up to the wedding, as [Sharon
Gilchrest](http://www.ashortguidetoahappymarriage.com), licensed marriage
& family therapist and author says. Talk often about what life will be
after the wedding and about expectations and life goals for the future. Keep
in mind that the wedding is an entry into the rest of your life, and the rest
of your life is much more important. **Being married is work. Life includes
problems. But if you put the effort into making it work, the reward is a
happy, healthy marriage. What other problems did you experience during the
engagement period? How did you make it through?** _{Image by [Five Senses
Orkney Scotland](http://www.flickr.com/photos/fivesenses/). Used under
Creative Commons.}_

You may also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *