Being engaged is no doubt one of the life-changing periods of your life. It’s a transition period to the most precious relationship you are committing to.
Hands down, it’s also the busiest time of your life yet. Your work load will not change much, and social life demands won’t take a pause. If you have pets, they’d still want the same amount of petting and playing. Plus you now have a fiancé who also want every bit of your time (and that’s generally a good sign!).
This period is a mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding season.
What do you actually have to make time for during this period? Well, you have to:
Plan a wedding
Prepare for marriage.
Fulfil your current responsibilities.
That’s a lot, right? But I’m not here to make you feel anxious or overwhelmed! I’m here to help.
I’d like you to feel confident about this season. I’d like you to know that you will not just survive this stage, you will thrive.
You can do it.
But you have to start making adjustments.
And you have to be committed.
Your commitment to use your time well this season will bear fruits as you will have to do the same for the next stages of your life - as a wife, and later on maybe as a mom too.
You want to be refreshed, healthy and strong after planning your wedding. You wouldn’t want to be exhausted for your wedding day and marriage!
Here are some ways to create more time so you can thrive during your engagement season:
1. Make the word of God your daily nourishment.
We are wiser when we read the word of God. It makes sense then that we read the Bible daily. It makes us wiser in making decisions. And you will be making a lot of decisions during this time.
What does this have to do with creating more time? If you make wise decisions, you don’t need to reverse your actions.
During our wedding planning, I couldn’t wait for my then-fiancé-now-husband Michael to edit the content of our to-be-printed programme. There was really no rush. I just wanted to get it done as we still had a lot of things to do. I didn’t consider his thoughts and feelings. Had I made a wiser decision to show him respect by consulting him first (after all, it was both our wedding!), we didn’t have to have the programme recalled from the printer. They were about to print copies before Michael could help me correct grammatical and information errors!
I find it best to read and pray during the start of my day. I’ve adjusted my wake time (therefore, adjusting my sleep time a bit earlier too) to before my two boys wake up. It should be easier to do this at your stage in life. If breakfast fuels the body at the start of the day, so does God’s word our spiritual body.
2. Don’t skip self-care.
What was your last excuse for not pushing through with exercise? I bet you’d say “Because I was so busy!”
It’s time to change our priorities. You’ve heard this before “Health is wealth.” And that is the truth. Yet, we never take action until we have to because of compromised health.
When you sleep right, eat well, and get your exercise in, you have more physical endurance and more mental sharpness to address life’s demands.
It’s tempting to skimp on or totally skip any or all these three when you just can’t seem to fit things into your schedule. Think about this: entering a marriage means you will be one body with your fiancé. You don’t want the body that you are putting into marriage to drag down the health of your beloved partner.
There are loads of research-based articles online that talk about this. Here’s one.
3. Prioritise relationships.
I don’t mean ending relationships. But you definitely can consider putting more focus on a definite number of people that are vital for your season now.
One of the reasons why our social life is the way it is right now is because we had a lot of time for it when we were still single. We decided then to fill up our time with these relationships because we still hadn’t found the one who will be on top of the list eventually.
Once we find the person though, we find it a struggle to make time for him.
That’s the re-prioritisation we’ll have to deal with. Your fiancé can’t have just the crumbs of your time.
Check out my blog post “How to Prioritise Relationships During Your Engagement Season”. Hope it helps you navigate your social life!
4. Be ok to say “No”.
As an engaged woman, you will be in demand. You’ll receive unrelenting requests for your time.
It’s an exciting time to practice your decision-making skills. Remember that there are three things that you need to focus on during this season? Planning your wedding, preparing for marriage, and fulfilling current responsibilities. Anything that doesn’t really fall under those you might need to say “no” to.
On my post “How to Say ‘No’ After You’ve Said ‘Yes’”, I share ways on how you can gracefully tackle those instances.
5. Re-evaluate and adjust your social media habits.
I wanted to say at first “Get off social media.” But the reality is, it’s difficult for most people. Getting rid of it completely just becomes like a crash diet. You’ll eventually come back to it even hungrier than ever before.
Social media, if we admit it, has become a meal between every meal. Our “stomachs” have grown to want it. Though we don’t necessarily need it.
And for many people, they need social media for their work.
So I say, re-evaluate. How much time do you really spend on it? And do you really need to hear about the updates of each of your 1,800 Facebook friends?
An anthropology research says that our brains can only really handle 150 people in our social sphere at a time.
A few years ago, I spent about 4 hours unfollowing people on my Facebook account. I only left about 100 people. I didn’t unfriend the rest. I just chose the content that I wanted to see. And it allowed my feed to bring up updates from friends who I truly care about. From then, my scrolling time naturally was cut down into about a quarter.
6. Give yourself a deadline for every task and stick to it.
Work expands to the time you give it.
So if you say you’ll choose your wedding colour within a month, then you’ll end up spending a month’s time going through Pinterest.
Imagine not putting a deadline to it. Every time you find something on Pinterest that’s “better” than what you’ve already chosen, you’ll end up changing your mind.
Agree on a deadline for each wedding item with your fiancé. Then put those deadlines on your calendar. Commit to sticking to those deadlines. Don’t even think of a second deadline.
What are valid reasons to move deadlines? I can only think of delays by vendors, and when you are at a situation when important relationships and health will be compromised if you don’t give yourself an adjusted deadline. For the former, you can be firm with your vendors too on when you need them to deliver something.
And as for adjusting deadlines to accommodate relationships and health - that’s when you need to make a wise decision on what to choose. So read the Bible and pray.
7. Get help from friends and family.
Your loved ones are excited to support you during this season. While there may be a few who pay lip service, more of them would really mean it.
You will have to be bold yet graceful when asking for help.
Once they say “yes”, provide a brief of what you need that is easiest for them to understand. You wouldn’t want for them to give their all into the task but end up giving you something you didn’t ask for!
I love seeing the beautiful culture of people helping each other in our church community. Almost every wedding of someone from church is a product of the labour of love of the church members.
8. Invest in help.
For many people, asking for help from their family and friends just don’t sit well. Alright, that should be respected.
Doing everything by yourself, even with the help of your fiancé, might get too overwhelming though. You wouldn’t want to be too stressed out to enjoy your wedding day and the days following it.
You will still need some form of help - may it be free or something you have to pay for.
Some of the help you can hire while you’re engaged and needing a bit of delegation are:
A wedding planner - who can help conceptualise your wedding and coordinate with the suppliers.
A house cleaner - who can unload you of the chores at home.
A personal assistant - You can just imagine the massive help this person can provide. You will still have the hand in conceptualising your wedding (which many brides prefer) but this person will do many of the things the planner can do and more but not at a wedding planner’s rate. Why? Because the prices of every standard wedding product or service are inflated! Email me if you’d like to get help in this area and we can chat!
I really really would love to see more brides come out of the wedding planning season healthy, strong, excited, and feeling fresh. And I know you will be. If you want to chat about the real-life application of these tips, please post a comment below.