Friday, June 20, 2014

{five on friday}: advice for the engaged lady

This past weekend I had a lot of wedding excitement- between one of my very best friends getting engaged and helping host a wedding shower for my cousin, all the excitement of our season of engagement came rushing back to me. As I was talking to my cousin about honeymoon plans over punch and cookies at her shower, I had a pang of sadness, remembering how much fun Andrew and I had on our honeymoon, and wishing I could rewind a little bit back to that time.

As more and more engagement announcements are popping up on social media, I couldn't help but think of my time as an engaged lady, and a few words of advice for all the engaged-and-going-on-married ladies out there who are preparing for their wedding, and even more importantly, their marriage! Today's "Five on Friday" link-up is a little different than my normal randomness, but I'm so excited to share...

{one} enjoy this time. 
I had lots of people tell me this when I was engaged, and I mostly just laughed it off. Of course, I loved the wedding planning process, but balancing that while finishing senior year and beginning a job search was stressful. Looking back, though, it was such a sweet time. It was a time of anticipation, preparation and excitement. Some days I wanted to pull my hair out in frustration, but looking back, I truly cherish that time. 

{two} invest in your future marriage.
For Andrew and I, marriage counseling was a given. My RUF minister from Wofford did our ceremony, and part of this process was doing counseling sessions with he and his wife once a month for a few months. It was so wonderful to not only learn the Biblical basis of marriage and how the Lord uses it to draw us closer to Him, but to learn it from wonderful role models of a Christian marriage. During our engagement, Andrew and I also read through Timothy Keller's "The Meaning of Marriage," and would talk through each chapter whenever we visited each other on the weekends senior year. It's a great read for all -- ladies who are single, engaged and married. 

{three} be intentional in your friendships. 
As a new wife, it's easy to get comfortable in your new daily routine with your husband and live in la-la-newlywed-land, just the two of you. But -- it's still essential to be intentional in spending time with your girlfriends. If I'm being completely honest, I still struggle with this. I've never been the one who wants to "go out" on the weekends -- I'd much rather cozy up and just stick to my normal routine of evening Netflix, reading, or crafting and hanging out with Andrew. Yes, your relationship with your husband is the most important one in your life, but carving out "girl time" is SO essential. Whether that's initiating a coffee date, organizing a double date (that counts!) or regularly catching up with friends over the phone -- just do it. Its therapeutic, it's fulfilling, and so necessary.

{four} speak. and listen.
Give yourself grace, and give your future husband grace, too. Just like you're not sure how this wife thing works exactly, chances are your guy isn't too sure how it works just yet, either. Talk about things. Don't expect your husband to intuitively know when you're frustrated, or stressed, or sad, or whatever. Share with him. Share with him your goals, your needs, and what you're feeling. And remember, this goes the other way around, too. At times Andrew can be a man of few words, but I can't stress how much taking turns speaking and listening is absolutely essential for a fulfilling marriage and a happy home.

{five} pray for your fiancee. then your husband. then your family.
Growing up, I had this idealized image of marriage -- I thought I would get married, travel a bit, have babies, then be happy as all my friends went through the same process, and that by some miracle we would all end up together in one place and our kids would be BFFs, too. Didn't we all want that? (Still sounds pretty peachy to me, to be honest!) Throughout our season of engagement, however, I learned that marriage is so much more -- a partnership in the Gospel, and a lifelong commitment that requires prayerful preparation. I try each day to pray for Andrew in some way, even if it's as small as praying he has a good day at work. Sometimes I pray for his happiness and purpose in life after grad school, sometimes I pray for our family, and sometimes I pray for our future home. I would encourage you to pray over your relationship, continually, and through all stages of life.

We're coming up on ONE YEAR of marriage next week (crazy!),  and I by no means claim to be a marriage expert, but I feel like I could add a gazillion more things to this list. Wives out there -- do you agree? What would you add?

For you engaged ladies that actually made it to the end of this post... you're the best. Like I mentioned, enjoy this time. It's so sweet, so exciting. Stare at your sparkly ring, pin like it's your job, and relish in the newness and excitement in creating this new life together. But, in all of this, remember you're preparing for not just a wedding, but also a marriage. And it will be so very wonderful. 

Thank you Darci, April, Christina and Natasha for a wonderful opportunity to link up! 



  1. This is such a great post, Ryann! Some days I am so ready for this season of engagement to be over, but at the same time it has been so sweet to prepare to be a wife and to celebrate with family and friends before being married.

  2. Love this post and happy [almost] anniversary!!