By Anja Winikka for TheKnot.com
No matter how long you and your fiancé dated or how many times you’ve been a bridesmaid in your friends’ weddings, there are some truths you just don’t find out about until you get engaged.
1. You’ll have a big zit on your chin the day he proposes.
Okay, maybe you won’t (or didn’t). But the point is that whatever fantasy proposal you had dreamed up (at the most romantic place in the world, wearing the most perfect dress, with the best hair and complexion you’ve ever had) isn’t reality.
Our Advice: Your proposal story — whether it happened on the couch in your PJs with no makeup on or in the middle of the Caribbean in a hot swimsuit — is more important (and special) than that fantasy proposal you might have had in your head. Why? Because it’s your story and no one else’s.
2. You won’t be able to stop staring at your hand.
Maybe you went ring shopping together and picked it out yourself, or maybe it was a total surprise. Either way, there’s a big difference between imagining it on your hand and actually seeing that brand-new shiny ring on your finger.
Our Advice: Everyone is going to want to see the ring, so get a manicure (and be careful gawking at your hand while driving or crossing busy intersections!).
3. You’ll have to tell your proposal story a million times.
As soon as you get engaged, one of the first questions people will ask is how he proposed. Get used to it. Telling and retelling the story is part of the fun of being engaged.
Our Advice: To make it easier on yourselves, write down your proposal story (put it on your wedding website and in your online wedding planner) and send friends and family the link so that they can get the full details.
4. People will ask you about a wedding date and location before you’ve had a chance to even think about it.
You know how it goes: Everyone is excited. But before you’ve even had time to sign up on TheKnot.com and start your checklist, your family and friends are already asking for details.
Our Advice: If you have no idea where and when the wedding will be, come up with a blanket statement you can use whenever someone asks. Say something like, “We’re so excited just being engaged right now. I’m sure there will be plenty of time to figure out the logistics in the coming months.” They’ll take the hint.
More from The Knot: Marriage Proposals Gone Wrong
5. There might be a few sours…
There’s usually at least one friend or family member who may not come off quite as supportive or elated as the rest of them. If this doesn’t happen to you, be thankful, because you’re in the minority.
Our Advice: A not-so-positive reaction to your good news is a reflection of that person (not you). Don’t dwell on negative feedback. Focus on the positive — you’re getting married!
6. …But your best friends will be there for you.
You’ll know the people you can count on. They’re the ones who post five-exclamation-point messages to your Facebook wall the minute you announce your engagement; they’re the ones who take you out for drinks the day after you get engaged to celebrate; they’re the ones who tell you they’re ready to help you with whatever you need.
Our Advice: Lean on the friends who express excitement for you (and celebrate your newly engaged status often!).
7. Recently married friends will suddenly become wedding planning experts and give you (oftentimes unsolicited) advice.
There are plenty of reasons this happens. Some friends may be going through the post-wedding blues and miss the excitement of planning their own weddings. Others may just think they’re doing you a favor.
Our Advice: If a friend offers wedding planning advice (like, “you shouldn’t invite kids to your wedding,” or anything else that starts with, “you should/shouldn’t…”), take it in stride. Graciously accept it as a sign of their friendship — there’s no need to get defensive. If you agree with the advice, take it; if not, thank them and move on with your plans.
8. You’ll watch wedding movies and TV shows differently.
Whether you’ve seen dozens of “Say Yes to the Dress” episodes, or you wouldn’t be caught dead watching a cheesy wedding show, you might now find yourself a little (or a lot) more interested in wedding movies and shows.
Our Advice: Rent “Father of the Bride”, “My Best Friend’s Wedding” and “Rachel Getting Married” — and don’t feel bad about sitting through and enjoying a TLC wedding special or two. This is one of those guilty wedding pleasures that you’re totally allowed to indulge in while you’re engaged.
9. You’ll have a hard time not jumping into wedding planning right away and will find it difficult to just enjoy being engaged.
Sure, you recognize there’s a long road ahead of you and there’s plenty of time to plan a wedding. But after the shock wears off, the next natural step is to start working out wedding plans.
Our Advice: It’s okay (and good!) to get started early — just be sensitive to him. He more than likely just spent a lot of money and time planning out the proposal. So give him a little time to relax if he needs it. A few things you can get started on right away: planning out the guest list (at least your family and friends) and documenting your proposal story.
10. Your relationship will feel different (even if you’ve been living together for years).
A marriage proposal is exciting, but it’s also serious. You’ve just agreed to commit to one another — for forever.
Our Advice: Work out the nitty-gritty details you may have only touched upon when you were dating. Decide what you’ll do for holidays every year, whether you want kids, where you want to live long term. Make actual plans. Even if they change, it’s good to know where you both stand on the big topics. If you’re not required to through your church or temple, consider signing up for pre-wedding counseling, where you’ll be led through the process by a pro. Having worked out hard-to-make decisions together will make the wedding ceremony that much more meaningful.