With an engagement ring on your finger, you may be fooled into thinking the hard work is done. You’ve found each other, agreed to be wed and are looking forward to a lifetime of happiness together. But wait, there’s still one thing to do - the wedding.
Wedding planning is stressful, and all too often couples put romance on the back burner to concentrate on organising their upcoming celebration. With two families to please, a budget to stick to, a guest list to refine, caterers to choose, suits to try on, dresses to buy, flowers to select, and venues to view, the planning of a wedding very swiftly takes over your relationship.
When planning a wedding, it might feel like wedding planning has turned into your job. But it’s vital you make time for each other as a couple. Put down the wedding folder and hold each other’s hand. If you don’t, you could start wondering why you agreed to marry in the first place.
14 ways to keep the romance alive while planning your wedding
1. Set a date night
Date nights offer little glimpses into your future and help jog the memory of why you first fell in love. Date night isn’t meeting your friends at the pub, it isn’t going to the folks for dinner and it isn’t discussing wedding plans. On date night, wedding talk is strictly off limits.
2. Take a “mini-moon”
Who says you have to wait until the honeymoon to relax into each other's arms on the beach? The next long weekend you have, jump in the car and head somewhere new. Visit your nearest wine region, take a trip to the country, or head to the ocean for a weekend of long walks and beautiful sunsets.
3. Work out together
Chances are you both want to look your best for the wedding, and working out together will help you achieve your goals faster. Hire a personal trainer, join the local gym or get active by jogging or hiking together.
4. Delegate some wedding stuff to others
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the planning, don’t let it get you down. Get support from your friends and family and ask for help arranging certain elements. Rope in a friend with great handwriting to tackle the invitations and assign the bridesmaids to put together the bonbonnieres.
5. Give token gifts
Surprising each other with token gifts that don’t cost the world is a great way to remind your significant other how much you love them. Buy a truffle from their favourite chocolate store, make a scrapbook, frame a picture, bake some brownies or burn a CD.
6. Be affectionate
Holding hands, hugging, kissing - it all helps strengthen your relationship. Being really present with each other builds a strong connection that’s hard to lose.
7. Create a slideshow
A slideshow is a really lovely part of a wedding and is something you can create together. Choose a piece of music that’s meaningful to you both and then start flicking through your old photographs. As you look at your life so far with your partner, talk about your favourite events of the past.
8. Continue learning about each other
Just because you’re engaged, doesn’t mean you know everything about your partner. As you discuss guests for the wedding, learn about family members you might not know so well and share your stories from childhood.
9. Text frequently
Texting meaningful messages keeps the flow of communication going. Send a message that says Thinking of you or Thanks for a fun time last night. You can also send links to articles or videos you think would interest your partner, showing them how well you know them.
10. Take dance lessons
You’re about to take your first dance in front of your closest friends and family, so you might as well do it in style! Dancing is a really fun activity, as long as you don’t take it too seriously. It involves a lot of touch, laughter and the learning of a new skill - three things you will need in your marriage.
11. Focus on the honeymoon
The honeymoon will need planning just as the wedding will, but there’s a big difference between the two - the honeymoon is only about you as a couple. There are no parents and grandparents to please, no colleagues to leave out and no dreaded seating chart. Just you two and a couple of glasses of champagne.
12. Give each other space
If you’re getting on each other’s nerves a little, take some time out and give each other a bit of space. Absence can make the heart grow fonder, and when you’re back together the excitement will have returned.
13. Explore nature
The simplicities in life need to be celebrated, and there’s nothing more simple than a stroll through the bush, a walk over the fields or a roam around the park. Look for shells on the beach, find crabs in the rockpools or collect wood for the fire.
14. Don’t forget to say “I love you”
Even in the midst of the busiest planning session, a quick pause to say “I love you” will bring you back to why you are sitting with endless samples of napkins.
Wedding planning can be lots of fun
Wedding planning can feel like a burden sometimes, but it can also be a lot of fun. Just remember to take time out from it and really just enjoy life as a couple that’s about to be wed!