I walked into my studio one day in May after listening to the new Bethel song "Take Courage" on repeat in my car. It was shortly before I got engaged to Caleb and right in the thick of us talking and praying about timing. As I walked from the door over to my desk, I felt something stir in my spirit.
"Getting engaged is going to be the hardest thing you've ever done."
Uff da. Not usually what people think or talk about surrounding the topic of engagement, planning a wedding, and marrying the love of your life. Yet I felt deep within me that this was going to be a challenging transition despite it being the best decision I've ever made.
Well, we got engaged and everything was awesome. I doubted what I had felt + heard in my spirit and thought, nah... this wasn't that hard! I was totally overdramatizing things! Then around ten days after we got engaged, it started clicking that Caleb's internship was not going to be turning into a full-time or even sustainable part-time job. That's when we realized that this being engaged thing was going to be a whole lot harder than we anticipated.
The last few weeks have been overwhelming - Caleb has been job hunting ferociously (during the slowest time of year for graphic design), I've been working weddings every single weekend, my brother got married in Poland so I snuck a 10 day international trip in the mix, and we're planning a wedding with a short engagement. It's been challenging to plan or prep for life because of not knowing what our budget will be depending on job situations. There are so many options floating around in the air, but no concrete plan or direction. Honestly, we've been really tired.
Caleb processes internally. I process externally. Already, that's our number one area of growth and challenge with our communication. We've grown by leaps and bounds over the last few months and have a full life ahead of us of improving on talking when needed, giving space when needed, allowing silence when needed, and loving continually. Even in these seasons of hard transition and unknown, the growth and deepened connection is totally worth the fight against fear, anxiety, and insecurity.
So why am I writing this on my business blog?
I work with couples who are getting married.
We are a couple who is getting married.
There are a million blog posts out there telling you how to plan a wedding, stick to a budget, prioritize, and all the other things revolving around your wedding day. There is much less real and honest talk about the transition that takes place during this season and the work of the RELATIONSHIP that takes place.
Honestly, I don't care if you have a first look (even though it makes my job easier). I don't care if you have tons of details. I don't care if you have cool locations for your photos. In the end, what matters the most is that you have a healthy relationship. Yes, your photos are for life and they are valuable, but your relationship with your spouse-to-be really matters. Your spouse is going to be the one who holds you when family members pass away or hurt you, they will be the one to still say "I'm proud of you" and "I believe in you" when you have setbacks in your career, they will be the one to be by your side on your wildest adventures.
Wedding planning has its place. It should be a beautiful and fun process. I'll be the first person to encourage you to include meaningful pieces of yourself in the celebration and cherish every moment. But please, please, please - don't sacrifice the life planning. Don't stop dreaming together of all the somedays you will share. Don't forget to work through the nitty gritty little parts of your relationship. Don't lose sight of the point, that you love each other a whole lot, enough to promise until death do we part.
Caleb and I are still figuring out a lot of things.
Okay, honesty time: we still haven't finalized our guest list. We still haven't sat down for coffee with any vendors or wedding coordinator. We still haven't gotten our first counseling appointment scheduled (oops! sending a text to our pastor... now!). We still don't know what jobs are going to look like during the first year of marriage. We still don't know where we're going to live.
But we are figuring it out together. We are growing through this time of unknowns. We are learning how to communicate our thoughts, feelings, dreams, fears, insecurities, and ideas. We are praying more and more together and alone. We are learning perseverance and building strength. We are laying a foundation for how we handle hard things. We are figuring out how to say yes to God and to each other. We are establishing a history of trust.
That's what matters. That's what will set us up for success more than having the perfectly decorated autumn woodland forest wedding. The things of the heart are more important than a perfect budget, cute and trendy apartment, or successful careers.
Now, we know that things will get figured out by our wedding day. By October 14th, we'll have jobs solidified, a place to live, a beautiful wedding day, and my dream of a KitchenAid mixer come true (PRAISE!). Right now is just the process. It's messy and wild, but deeply beautiful.
So to any couples out there who are any in the process, don't fear - you aren't alone. No matter if you read this now or you stumble upon this years down the road. Engagement is a weird season of life - beautiful, but really hard sometimes. We're in this thing together.