Got engaged and there is still time left for your wedding? Wondering how to grow closer to your would-be spouse during this time? Well, the time after engagement and before marriage can be quite tricky given that now your dating days are over and you’re now knee-deep in the “planning a wedding” phase.
On one hand, it’s a magical feeling like thousand butterflies flying in your stomach. On the other, the very thought of making this life-altering decision might give you the jitters. Even if you are not worried about the “being a spouse” part, the worries about what if something goes wrong before or during the wedding may put you through many sleepless nights.
If that’s your key concern, we have some great suggestions up our sleeve to make sure your romance after engagement doesn’t take a hit. This phase can be used effectively to get to know your future partner and develop a comfort zone with him/her before marriage. No matter how long you may have known your fiancé, marriage is a different ball game altogether and the time after engagement and before marriage can give you a better perspective of your future together.
Things To Do After Engagement and Before Marriage
Newly-wed Lisa from Long Island shares her freshly brewed experience with us, “The period after engagement and before marriage gives the necessary foundation and strength to your relationship with your fiancé. Even though I met Mike at college, I have realized how important it is to make the time between engagement and marriage count. Now that you are destined to be together for life, you discover your partner in a new light.”
Lisa told us how she was excited about the wedding and their married life. She was reliving all the emotions she felt when she first fell in love with Mike but she also had her doubts regarding some financial matters. Her pearl of wisdom for our readers is to talk before marriage and after engagement regarding anything and everything you have on your mind about your upcoming future. Obviously, you will look for chances to bond and build a lasting relationship with your future spouse. Make good use of these 10 clever and practical ways to strengthen your relationship after the engagement:
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1. Discuss things other than your wedding day
It is natural to want to talk to your partner about the big day that is fast approaching. Life after engagement is mostly about making wedding plans, deciding which vendors would be the best, how sitting arrangements should be done, which band you want, and so on and so forth. While all that is absolutely necessary, there is another way to use this time between engagement and marriage more fruitfully.
Don’t tire yourselves out with the typical newly engaged couple talks and add some variety to your conversations. How about creating a 5-year couples wish list to fulfill with your spouse? You could pitch in ideas for the honeymoon destination. Or just keep it casual like it was before you got engaged. Plus, discussing things apart from the big day might help reduce the stress and allow both of you to spend more quality time with each other.
2. Talk about your future plans: short-term and long term
Everyone has dreams and goals they’ve wanted to pursue long before their partner entered their life. It is always advisable to share your goals with your partner in order to align your future long-term and short-term plans. This will ensure that none of you has to give up on your dreams and that you can work together toward these goals and aspirations by respecting each other’s wishes and desires.
My friend Alice always wanted to go to Cambridge for her postdoctoral degree while for her fiancé it was important to stay close to his parents because of their health issues. This became a major point of contention in their relationship and they ultimately called off the wedding. You see how misaligned goals can turn into relationship problems after engagement before marriage? You do not want all these to become a cause of conflict in your married life. Putting all your cards on the table from the start will help both of you in the long run.
3. Get to know each other well
After getting engaged, you should genuinely make efforts to get to know your partner better because, without it, you cannot hope to create a strong, sustainable bond. You are about to spend the rest of your life with this person. It’s only natural that you try to get to know them as much as possible before the wedding, especially if it was an impulsive engagement. In that case, we can assume that you weren’t acquainted for very long.
Try to know your fiancé’s likes or dislikes as this will help you understand them better. Get more information about your partner, their personality, their relationship with their family, their goals and aspirations, etc. Besides, your spouse is going to be a top priority in your life going forward, it helps if you make an effort to carve out that special place for them well before walking down the aisle and saying “I do”.
4. Be honest with each other
Remember marriages are built on the foundation of honesty and trust. And it’s just as important to be honest with yourself to understand your relationship better. Many a time people agree to get married on an impulse without thinking their decision through. By the time they realize marriage is not the right move for their relationship, it’s too late to take a step back without hurting feelings of the many people involved in the process.
Trust me, we don’t want you to be another runaway bride or someone who leaves a white-clad woman at the altar. That’s why, we cannot emphasize enough the importance of reflecting on your decision before you start planning the wedding. Are you getting married because of love or are there some other reasons influencing your decision? Be absolutely sure of your feelings regarding this marriage before you go forward with the wedding plans.
If you’re bothered by any doubts or unpleasant thoughts, share them with your fiancé after getting engaged with an open heart and mind. Communicate things that you are uncomfortable with or which do not seem feasible to you so you can build a stronger understanding.
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5. Try to talk about finances
Carla, a 26-year-old editorial assistant from New Jersey, says, “If you are wondering about things to talk about before marriage after the engagement, count finances as a must-discuss topic. In the modern era, new-age couples prefer to share their expenses equally. But then how do you decide your share if there is a huge difference in your wages? Money shouldn’t be a deal breaker when there is love but it can still be a big factor determining the quality of your relationship. Think about it!”
It is important to discuss financial matters such as whether your partner wants to take full financial responsibility in the marriage or wants you to share the financial burden equally. Talk about this beforehand so that an acceptable arrangement can be made. Financial matters can create hurdles in the path to successful marriages and therefore discussing these matters is of utmost importance.
6. Be committed to your relationship
While you spend time between engagement and marriage, try to get a sense of how committed your partner is to the idea of “till death do us part”. After all, commitment is a key aspect in making a marriage work. Are they hundred percent into it? Do they talk about the things you might do together after retirement? Can they talk about your life together without hesitation or inhibitions?
This is essential because marriage is a big decision and you do not want to regret it later. At the same time, show your partner how true and committed you are to them and to this relationship. Try to share in each other’s responsibilities and be there for them to create a space for healthy interdependence in your marriage. After the engagement, before marriage, you should evaluate your commitment to each other as pragmatically as possible.
7. Get to know their family members
You may be marrying the man/woman of your dreams and imagining a picture-perfect life with them. But in the process, don’t overlook a crucial factor – that their family is going to be your extended family too. For you to have a happy, long marriage, it’s important to maintain a congenial relationship with them. After all, they are an important part of your fiancé’s life. In fact, you should both make an effort to get along with each other’s families.
So, you need to know a lot more about them to easily gel with them after marriage and be comfortable around them. Try to know what kind of bond or relationship your partner shares with their family members to win their hearts. Perhaps you could arrange a few dinners at your place to get to know your partner’s family better or plan a day out with both families.
8. You can even use this time to discuss family planning
Consider this to be one of the most important newly engaged couple conversation topics and you shouldn’t skip it unless you have already covered these details. Say, you see yourself as donning the role of a soccer mom at some point, and it turns out your partner is not a big fan of children. Or maybe they don’t want biological children and want to adopt but you want to go through the whole nine yards of pregnancy and childbirth. How do you come to a middle ground? Discuss. Make sure you both are on the same page to avoid any conflict later on.
Life after engagement is not all about fancy dinners and panicking about the wedding. Don’t turn a blind eye to the practical real-life issues that can crop up in a marriage. Sure, you cannot predict what your future holds, but then you can make efforts to ensure that your to-be spouse is on the same page as you, come what may.
9. Talk about your past, if you have any
Relationship problems after engagement before marriage often arise if the partners have intentionally or unintentionally hidden something about their past that might affect the present relationship. Any information from your past life that has the potential to jeopardize the marriage should be on the table.
After college, Meredith developed a drug habit. So much so that she had to spend a few years in rehab and even served time for forgery. However, she had the willpower to drag herself out of that rabbit hole and get completely clean. She managed to create a respectable life for herself and eventually met Harry. They decided to get married. But it was only after the engagement that Harry found out about her history and felt betrayed.
Keeping such a big secret from her fiancé cost Meredith almost a marriage. That’s why, this is the best time to discuss your past with each other to eliminate any element of surprise after marriage and give yourself a fresh start. If sharing a shameful past with your partner makes you uncomfortable, at least give them a broad picture without going into the minute details.
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10. Above all, spend time together
All your efforts to build your relationship after getting engaged will go to waste if you both do not make time for each other. Ensure that both of you spend more and more quality time together to keep up the romance after engagement. You could revisit the places you used to go to when you first started seeing each other or sign up for a marriage prep course. Even better, how about you decorate the house that you are about to move into together?
Plan more dates with your spouse-to-be even if it is a home date night that entails a romantic dinner spread or watching movies together. Taking care of yourselves should be a top priority during this period after engagement and before marriage. Go for couples spa weekends or pamper yourselves with a mani-pedi. All this will help you get used to the idea of having someone in your life and make your life after marriage smooth and comfortable.
- Talk about the future but don’t let all your conversations revolve around the wedding
- Try to know your fiancé better and stay honest
- Discuss family planning, finances, and other important marriage stuff
- If there is anything from your past they should know about, reveal it now
- Get acquainted with each other’s families
This period between engagement and marriage is vital. You should put this time to good use to not only know each other and each other’s family better but you should make future plans in terms of finances, career, and family. Don’t just talk about the clothes you will wear on D-Day, slip in the important topics too. These discussions will make you feel more confident when you ultimately take your vows and know that you have made a wise, informed choice.