It seems as though couples get engaged over the holidays more than any other time of year, and why not? There are already great parties planned, family gatherings, delicious food, great decor, and special reasons to celebrate. What could possibly go wrong? Unfortunately, quite a few things can, but if you and your fiancé know how to plan around the stressful trappings, your engagement can be the “cherry on top” of an amazing holiday season. In fact, there is a really good chance that you and your new fiancé can actually put some habits in place that will strengthen your connection as a couple for your lifetime.
The Do’s and Do Not’s For Getting Engaged Over The Holidays:
Do schedule some one on one time with one another.
Let’s face it, the holidays are a bit crazy. Everyone seems hurried, busier, and sometimes even a bit on edge with one another. It’s all but certain that you’ll be pulled in different directions during the holiday season, so be intentional about scheduling time for one another. Whether it is sipping coffee together in prep for a long day, or relaxing around a cozy fire with a few holiday s’mores, it is so important to spend time being the solace for one another during a busy season. Schedule a time where you both can just sit in the happiness of your new engagement. Commit to one another and work hard to be each other’s comfort and you’ll find yourselves a stronger couple in the days ahead.
Do embrace each other’s family and holiday traditions.
Face it, we all have some crazy family traditions and crazy family members. During our family Christmas gathering, we all gather together around the family piano and sing “Happy Birthday Jesus” to a ceramic manger scene followed by a spirited off-key version of “Feliz Navidad” in ridiculously poor Spanish. It’s a crazy combo I know but, it is a tradition that my husband has embraced too.
Maybe you have that “Cousin Eddie” figure in your family that shows up during the holidays. You know, the one that at any second is going to say that something that makes you want to hide under the table cloth. Be mindful that the holidays are special for everyone, even the “Cousin Eddie” figure in your family. It’s time to whole heartedly embrace the different traditions and members of your new family (albeit a little bit weird sometimes). After all, you will soon be part of that family too! These traditions are what makes you and your family special. (By the way, if you can’t identify your “Cousin Eddie” figure…it might just be you!)
Don’t expect everyone to change their plans for you
Many times, holiday plans are set way before people knew you were engaged! So although all your friends and family are excited for this wonderful season in your life, don’t expect them to change all the plans of the season for you. Because the holidays are so busy for so many, maybe it is not the best time to schedule your engagement party. Maybe your friends and family won’t immediately text or call you back with a hearty congrats. Remember for many, it really is the busiest time of year. So don’t take it personally or be discouraged. Instead, let this season be about celebrating your relationship with your new family and friends in their current holiday schedules. After the holidays will be a better time to throw that party and you can just about bet on all your new and old friends a like will be there celebrating with you.
Don’t try to start planning everything at once
If you just got engaged over the holidays, don’t let all the questions from family members pressure you to start planning. You don’t have to have the wedding date planned yet. Don’t worry about who will be your maid of honor. Will Cousin Eddie pressure to be a groomsmen? Take this time to enjoy your current and upcoming new family with your fiancé. There is plenty of new to embrace during the holiday season already. Enjoy it. Take it all in. This is supposed to be your one and only time celebrating your engagement to one another. Embrace the season you are in without stressing about the next. Soon enough the time to plan all the intricacies of your big day will be upon the both of you.
Don’t forget to prepare for the marriage
Remember the wedding day is just that; a day. Embracing each other as family for a lifetime is really the focus. In the midst of wedding planning, it’s important to remember that your marriage is for a lifetime. The wedding will be fantastic, and hopefully everything you’ve ever dreamt of…but don’t lose focus of the big picture.
It’s important to put more time, energy and effort into being ready for marriage than it is to plan a wedding. One of the ways you can best prepare for marriage is to complete premarital counseling, or a premarital education course. There is significant research that explains why taking a premarital course can help increase your chance of having a healthy satisfying marriage.
I would encourage you to complete my online premarital course. In Florida, you can waive the three day waiting period to marry, and save money on your marriage license. Several other states offer discounts on your marriage license if you complete my course as well (more details available here). But beyond saving money, the course can help you and your soon-to-be spouse discover and discuss the most important topics that will help you succeed in your relationship for years to come.
Here’s to a happy, enjoyable holiday season as a newly engaged couple! Cheers! 🥂