Today marks one year since Chris and I got engaged and it has been an absolute whirlwind. I’ve truly loved every part of the wedding planning process and I can’t believe we’re getting married in just six months! It’s common to hear from brides and grooms how overwhelming the wedding planning process is but can we talk about (and NORMALIZE!) how overwhelming it is to be engaged?!
Let’s back up a bit…
Growing up, I never really pictured myself getting married or having kids. I never had a secret wedding planning Pinterest board, I never dreamed about what kind of ring I wanted, and I sure as heck never pictured myself walking down the aisle in a wedding dress. Don’t get me wrong – I wasn’t against getting married and having kids, it just wasn’t my end goal. My dreams were to travel, live in the city, and have a job I love. I always told myself if I found my person and wanted to get married and have kids, GREAT! But I was also fine with knowing that maybe that wouldn’t happen. Maybe I wouldn’t find my forever person. Maybe I wouldn’t have kids. And that was okay too!
Then came Chris…
Chris and I have been dating for five years now and I’ve known he was “the one” (I hate this saying so much) for a while. Over the years, we’ve had conversations about getting married and even looked at rings together the fall before getting engaged (I knew nothing about rings and had zero clue what I wanted when it came time) but we never felt pressure to get married or make it a priority. Sure, it was sometimes upsetting to see friends and acquaintances that were dating for less time than us get engaged, but I’d remind myself that I shouldn’t compare my relationship to anyone else. Plus, we’ve been living together going on four years now, we have a dog together, I’m on Chris’ health insurance, and so on and so forth. We’re basically already married, so what was the rush?
When he proposed last year, I truly wasn’t expecting it (my dirty nails, lack of makeup, and chocolate-stained leggings proved it) and if we’re being honest, it didn’t really feel real for a week or two. Yes, I cried. I (obviously) said yes (I actually said “shut the fuck up” before saying yes 🤣). But I don’t know… It’s all just felt way different than I thought it would. You see people on Instagram freaking out when their partners propose and that just wasn’t me. Maybe it’s because getting married and starting my family has never been my end all be all, maybe it’s because Chris and I were already living together and literally the only thing that’s changing is that instead of being domestic partners we’ll be husband and wife doing taxes together.
I don’t want to sound like I’m not happy or excited (I am! We are over the moon!), I just think this side of getting engaged or going through any big life change isn’t talked about as much as it should be. And it’s scary. No matter how much you love someone, taking any big step in your relationship can be scary and overwhelming, and guess what? IT’S NORMAL! It’s a big freakin’ deal, no matter how much you love someone, no matter how long you’ve been together, no matter how many kids or animals you have, no matter how long you’ve lived together.
All of this to say, if you’re feeling scared or overwhelmed about taking that next step in your relationship (or maybe you realize the relationship you’re in isn’t serving you!), just remember: you’re not alone. You’re allowed to feel the way you do. What you see on Instagram are just the highlights. Lean into this new chapter of your life, be comfortable doing the uncomfortable, and soak it all in – I’m right there with you!
Photography by Sam Brooks Photos