4 things that nobody tells you about getting engaged #Wedding 101#WTF!?#engagement#perspective#wedding planning January 15 2014 | Guest post by Moriah Ziese Photo by Rachael Muller I've been told my entire life — by movies, books, and trashy reality shows — that your wedding is just a magical event. It's the pinnacle of your existence. It's the cherry on top of your completely average and mundane life. It's twenty-four hours where all eyes are on you, and you are the princess of your own fairy tale. Well, I'm calling it. I'm calling bull on the entire situation. I've been engaged a few months now, and I'm ready for my magical moments to start happening. There is no "that was easy!" button on your nightstand when you're covered in glitter and sweat. There isn't even an emergency lever at your convenience when you realize you can't pronounce "hors d'oeuvres" at a venue meeting. There is blood. There is sweat. There are so many tears, you should invest in a lifejacket for your sea of hormones. Getting engaged is pretty much like every other adult situation in your life: no one knows what they are doing and most people are faking that they do. So that future generations don't succumb to the same delusional state that I blissfully fell into, I've compiled a list of things that nobody tells you about getting engaged. 1. You are going to get a lot of advice from absolutely everyone "You want to get married in May? Well, my second cousin's friend got married in May, and they got a divorce within six months. I really wouldn't risk it." "Yeah, I just started my own freelance [insert WEDDING INDUSTRY BUSINESS here]." "You're thinking about hyphenating your name? Looks like somebody's pretentious…" "Have I mentioned my son is a photographer? He can do some really cool editing in Microsoft Paint." Take all of this advice with a grain of salt. These people have good intentions. Be kind to them. But you don't have to take their well-intentioned advice. 2. People are going to make loads of assumptions Related Post What to do when an uninvited guest RSVPs for the wedding you didn't invite them to attend So, we've talked about How to tell your guests they don't get a +1. We've gone over 10 blunt-but-loving ways to tell people they're not... Read more I can't tell you how many times people have told me how excited they are to go to my wedding. Most of the time, those people will likely be invited. But some of the time, it's people who you've met maybe three times tops at a company Christmas party, and you're asking yourself "Why am I still friends with them on Facebook?" 3. Your fiancé(e) is the exact same person they always were My biggest fear was that once I got engaged, I became an adult and could no longer participate in non-adult conversations. I had a mental image of my husband and I, sitting around the dinner table discussing taxes and gluten. I'm very glad to say that you're allowed to have the same conversations with your fiancé(e) as you did with your boyfriend/girlfriend, such as "What if we're in the Matrix?" or "Do you think the dog understands what we're saying?" or "Isn't it weird to think that at any given time, thousands of people in the world are pooping?" 4. If you thought you were on budget, think again Remember when you bought stuff? Like, for fun? Those are days of the past. You'll start out optimistically, saying, "We have a good budget! Plus, we can just DIY a ton of stuff." This enthusiastic phase will quickly end, and you will become hard and cynical, saying things like "are Styrofoam plates tacky?" You will tumble further down the hill of pessimism, and you will be left desperately saying, "Well, which are your least favorite cousins?" All of this wedding pressure can make you lose sight of what is truly at the middle of it all. The most important thing, and the only thing, to remember in all of this is that a wedding is just one day of your life. A mere twenty-four hours, gone in an instant. Being married lasts a whole lot longer than that. Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Guest post written by Moriah Ziese Moriah Ziese is a 21 year old student, currently getting her Bachelor's degree in Crippling Indecisiveness in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has many interests, including her retired racer greyhound, Mexican food, and her fiance Bob. She can also lick her elbow. She is planning on getting married at a Kentucky bourbon distillery. http://moriahziese.wordpress.com PREVIOUS A wild and bright DIY circus-themed Canadian wedding complete with streamers and ice cream NEXT Natalie & Tim's green-filled access-a-wedding Show/Hide comments [ 49 ] Ah yes, the "advice" and assumptions. I had complete strangers rambling off divorce statistics to me… really! Example: One time my friend and I were shopping and she picked up a few things for my bridal shower. We were talking to our cashier about it and the cashier at the next lane over jumps in with something like, "Did you know that 20% of all marriages end in divorce after only 5 years?" So I slowly turned to him, looked him in the eyes and said, "Well, we've already been together for that long, so." He looked quite surprised and said, "Oh… oh yeah… you're probably off to a good start then." …What a dick! I know a big part of it is because I look younger than I am. A lot of people assumed I was rushing into marriage when that wasn't the case at all. Being engaged was really fun at times, but really stressful and annoying other times. Being married? Is just awesome. All the time. Even when it's not, it is. Reply Amen to the "looking young" thing. It's amazing how many people are not afraid to raise an eyebrow or outright question the fact that you're getting married based on their assumptions about your age. I've always looked younger than I am, and usually it's kind of nice, because people act bemused and happily surprised to find out my actual age. Until I mentioned I was engaged… then bemused turned to judgey-wudgy. I was publicly embarrassed while dress shopping, getting fitted, and chided by a waiter at a restaurant! But it was worth it to watch people realize they were being assholes when I told them "Actually, I'm 27." Sad but true: If you look young or are young, you WILL get shit for being engaged. http://offbeatbride.com/2010/11/too-young-to-marry Reply So true. People at my retail job often mistake me for high school or early college age, partly just because I'm working retail. I love the look on their faces when I tell them I'm actually 25, I've been married for a year, and I have a master's degree. People who didn't know me would often ask how old I was after finding out I was engaged/am married. Reply I fit into that "are too young" category, and man oh man did I get flak for daring to be engaged/get married! I was 18 when we got engaged and 19 at the wedding (last month! <3) Granted, all of the flak was from well-meaning (or just nosey) strangers, because anyone who knows me or has ever had a conversation with me gets that I am not the same type of 18-year-old girl that pops to mind when you hear the words "18-year-old girl". It doesn't help that I'm baby-faced and don't wear makeup, either… Reply The other side of looking too young is being 'too old' to get married, which is, like, so strange. "Oh, you're 33? Jeez, took you long enough!" "He's 37, really? Why did he get divorced before? How many kids does he have?" Apparently it's impossible for two people in their 30s to be getting married without having done it once (and equally 'wrong,' whatever that means) already. There's such an air of 'What's wrong with you??' if you're even a tiny bit outside the point at which other people think you should get married. I guess because so many people have it figured out … Reply I didn't get married til I was 40, and have never had or wanted kids. I really had no desire to get married at all until I met my husband. Even so, it was the legal/financial benefits of marriage that swayed us more than anything. I know, not so romantic. But after 10 years (7 wedded) together I still love him like there's no tomorrow, and to me that's what marriage should be all about, anyway. My husband is 15 years younger than I am anyway, which probably raised more eyebrows than how old I was when I finally married, LOL. Reply I totally agree with the whole thing. People are shocked to find out I'm only 24, which isn't even that young, and then they ask about my finace, and find out he is 35, and so ask if he has been married before! Or how many ids he has.. Did they even ever consider that he was waiting for the right one?! Some people astound me. Reply Yes – we were both 42 when we got married this year. AND we wanted a small, quiet wedding. So obviously we were on our 2nd or more marriages, had to keep it hush-hush, there was some drama somewhere. Nope. Added to that, we'd already been together 12 years, and there were some really annoying "oh, you got him to do it at last" comments from people – grrrrr! Reply Amen! I'm always getting the "You're way to young to get married." Um, excuse me? I'm old enough to drink, smoke, and fight for this country if I so choose… I don't need you parenting me. The thing that ticks me off the most, though, are the people how gets snarky when they find out I'm waiting until marriage. Once in the super market, I had a fellow class mate (we were in college together) exclaim, "What?! You've never had sex!? You can't get married to a man you've never F*cked!" I was soooooo humiliated. And to top it off, after he saw me blush, he goes, "OH, It's a joke! you're not a virgin!" REALLY? SMH. I'm soooo excited to finally be married so everyone can stop asking me if I'm really a virgin, and if I'm sure I'm old enough to marry. 😛 Reply Yes to all of this. I got so much judgment because people assumed I was younger than I am. "No need to rush!" "You have your whole life ahead of you!" Somehow, finding out I was nearly thirty changed things, as if my age somehow meant I had done enough living (in the eyes of strangers and, sadly, a few friends and family members) to qualify for marriage. Needless to say, any vendors we were considering who said anything about age didn't get to work with us. Reply I have permanent baby-face too! It also doesn't help that I still feel 13 at heart! 😉 Reply A real estate agent told us (we were both sitting there,) that buying a house was a better investment than getting married after we told her we were engaged. We found a new real estate agent. I told her why we found a new one and she seemed shocked. Reply Oh my word, no. 2 has been my entire life ever since we announced our engagement. I've only had maybe four people say things about how excited they are, who are actually going to be invited; however, I've had probably twenty or more people talk about how excited they are to come, and who they want to bring, blah blah, who are people I would never invite – not because they're bad people, of course, but because it's going to be an intimate occasion and these are people who I barely know, or speak to outside of FB posts and whatnot. It drives me crazy, especially given that I've NEVER been the type to just assume someone I hardly know will invite me to their wedding. This is precisely why we've been so hush-hush about the wedding on FB or around people we wouldn't invite. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but if I invited every person in my extended family who thinks they deserve an invite, it would be impossible to stay anywhere near our budget. Reply Maybe it's because I'm in my 30s, maybe it's because I'm gay, maybe because I never bought the fairytale either, but none of this applies to me or my fiancee at all. I mean yeah, we're the same people, but why wouldn't we be? And why would we have people around who are going to be rude (with assumptions or advice)? And why would we get into details of our wedding with people who aren't invited (as for family, most of which weren't invited, we just had an honest conversation and promised pictures and everyone was very chill)? Don't people around you know you well enough to know what you're into and not into? And if not, can't you tell them? Honestly, planning this wedding is nowhere near as stressful as people seem to make it out to be. Do you have a job with responsibilities? Have you ever planned a dinner? It's pretty much the same thing (except a lot is already done for you, especially with the internet). So I guess I'm just trying to say that not all (or even any) of these things is/are "GOING TO" happen, just like the magical fairytale isn't necessarily "GOING TO" happen. I don't know, I mean I feel like this is speaking to a very specific demographic (I'm not quite sure whom), but the wording sounds as if it's meant to be universal and it seems really negative. I don't see why people need to brace for like some terrible time while wedding planning; it is what you make of it. Reply Well yeah, of course this doesn't apply to everyone… isn't that a given? We're not all the same, so nothing posted is going to be relatable to 100% of the readers. Reply My point was, I see it as being a fairly negative and specific perspective on a positive event and the universality of the language is what was confusing. Why would the author describe her specific experiences as those that "you" (the readers) go through? How about "4 Things Nobody Told ME" instead? Or, just read my original comment which says exactly this. Reply Yes, thank you, I understood your point and my response is the same. Any post that "seems" like it's trying to be universal still shouldn't be interpreted that way, because no matter what, we're all different. People can be so nitpicky about the way things are worded, I just personally think it's so obvious that this person is sharing her personal experiences with the assumption that there will be some (just some) people out there that can relate to and benefit from hearing about her personal experiences. And I don't know what to tell you about the negativity… honestly, for some of us, it just wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. You said, "Honestly, planning this wedding is nowhere near as stressful as people seem to make it out to be. " And that's YOUR personal experience, which is really awesome for you! But not how it goes for everyone. Reply I don't think I'm being overly nitpicky about words, considering this is the framing of the entire piece, but even if you feel I am…well, it's a piece of writing. What do we have to go on besides words? Wasn't it read several times before posting, and wasn't it edited? I highly doubt a writer, even an occasional writer, would post a piece on a website of this size without making sure it said exactly what she'd intended. I say this as an experienced English teacher. Words have meaning and word choice is important. You said that a post that "seems" like it is trying to be universal shouldn't be interpreted that way. Why not? Why should I interpret it your way? Why ignore the words of the person who penned (typed) it? Yes, I spoke about my personal experience and framed it as such when I said "THIS WEDDING." Nowhere did I purport to speak for everyone. I'm not asking for everyone to agree that all wedding planning is great; however, the author seems to be asking people to agree that it's NOT. And, for the cherry on top, you're saying I shouldn't disagree either! You've already proved my point (not I hadn't already) in your last sentence. PS My discussion with Megan (below) should answer any further questions/issues you may have. There's no "reply to this comment" on your last comment, so I can only respond to you by replying to my own comment. I just wanted to clarify that I was NOT saying you shouldn't disagree, I was simply defending what I believed to be the author's intentions. (which she basically confirmed, below) I do agree that words are important but I also recognize that a good portion of these guests posts come from people that are not normally writers. You highly doubt that someone submitting a guest post on here would submit it without making sure it said exactly what she intended, but I don't doubt it at all. Because a lot of these people are casually submitting a post and just want to share their experiences. On this site in particular, misinterpreting posts is a common thing, I see it a lot. Because the submitters are not all experienced, or even occasional, writers. I try to take as much as I can out of every guest post on here and what isn't for me… well, I know it isn't for me. Yeah, this post is a bit more "You'll seeeee" than some of our other posts, but we want to have the space to share those types of experiences, too. I, sadly, ran into ALL of these issues when I got engaged, so as an editor I felt like "must. share. the knowledge!" I think you are SUPER lucky to not have run into any of these seemingly-common occurrences. I'm giving yourself, your partner, and all the awesome people around you a big 'ol high five. 😉 Reply Thank you for addressing the "You'll Seeeeee" aspect of the piece. That was my only concern. The rest wasn't meant to earn me or my partner or anyone we know any cookies, just to share another experience. Reply I'm so jealous you never had to deal with any of this nonsense! That seems like it would be ten million times easier! I guess with a huge family and a massive guest list, a lot of people are throwing their two cents in! I truly don't mind, most of those people have well wishes. Planning a wedding isn't entirely stressful; there's actually some parts I love! Like, when else in my life do I get to look at flowers all day and taste test a million different cakes? I didn't mean this to be an ominous, negative post about the "horrors" of engagement. I just hoped there were some other lovely folks out there who had the same experience as me! Getting engaged is awesome– I could write an entire post about all the things I like! Like I said, all the props in the world to you if you managed to have a non-stressful engagement! Thanks for reading! 🙂 Reply Being gay and 30, I didn't get any of the above, but I did get people asking me how we were going to get married, since same-sex marriages aren't legal in Australia. (They're recognised as common-law/de-facto relationships, but that recognition is based on amount of time lived together rather than a ceremony.) Reply #1 was the biggest shock to me. After announcing it to our friends, we spent the next 3 hours listening to their wedding ideas (most of which were great ideas for THEM, but not really US.) As soon as I went back to work, people I barely talked to suddenly see the shiny and have a million plans for me. Somehow being engaged means everyone gets to tell us what we should do ('cause it's always "You must! you have to! You can't have a wedding without ___") I hear this is worse when you are pregnant, I'm not looking forward to that… Reply Ooh, ooh, we have a post coming up next week that's gonna help you with this exact thing. I'm excited about it! (Can you tell?) Reply I dealt with this stuff, but not in quite these situations. Like, the random jerk that told me to never get married when I was ringing him up for $20 in party favours for his wife's 4 year olds birthday…I was single and miserable at the time, and all I could think was, "dude, do you know how lucky you are to have these people in your life?!" As for things changing once we got engaged, that didn't happen, he was already 40 and I was dangerously close to 40, when I popped the question. Nothing about out personalities have changed, we still have ridiculous nerdtastic conversations about heavy metal, cartoons, Disneyland, cats, Pokémon, what colour I should do my hair next… We didn't have a budget, I just tried to keep the spending as minimal as possible. The most expensive thing was my outfit (including alterations, and accessories, some if which I made myself) at $353.27, second most expensive were the wedding cupcakes at $188.49 ($88.49 for the silicone skull cupcake holders, $100 to a friend for baking, designing, decorating and delivering them). Seriously, my grand total for the wedding of awesomeness was $872.91! And as for presumptuous people trying to get an invite…my stepmom trying to beat around the bush to get the scoop for her husband/my birth father aka the a perm donor, in public, on fb. I have no idea why they thought he was going to get an invite, but man! She was trying so hard, "have you picked a date?" "Yep! I had the date picked out before I proposed!" Like I was going to give her any info? Ha! Reply Um, silicone skull cupcake holders? That sounds like the coolest thing I've ever heard of! Reply My first time around, everyone kept their hands off – mainly because nobody really liked the guy and I was too stubborn to be strong-armed about changing my opinions on anything. The only stress was catering it myself. This time around it's so lax, I'm almost invisible to everyone who'd have an opinion on the matter (can't tell if it has to do with my looks or age). One friend ditched us because she wasn't invited (only immediate family are), but that's been it for the drama. No unsolicited advice, no other assumptions about being invited, no weird pod-people personality changes, and no high expectations of budgeting. Being a second time bride is much more awesome in that respect. Reply (for me) 5. It's kind of a big deal! I never thought getting engaged would change much in our relationship, and in some ways it hasn't, but in other ways it has definitely added a new element to our relationship that I never imagined. It is really special to know that you are truly, publicly, and "officially" committed to someone and I think it has made our relationship feel more comfortable & more permanent in some ways (though we were dating for 6 years before we got engaged). We come from a community of people who tend to think engagements are either no big deal or somehow obsolete so I think I wasn't prepared for how many little girl butterfly feelings I was going to get from actually being engaged! But…it's kind of a big deal!! Reply No one tells you the best part about the engagement is the proposal. Seriously! I has been the best day of my engagement because it was all blissful happiness. After the proposal I was swamped with the "advice" and assumptions. I love this post. Thank you so much for keeping the focus on the fact that at the end of the day you're getting married and the marriage is way more important than the wedding day. Reply Fortuantly, the things on this list haven't happened to us much. However, my fiance mentioned our wedding while playing a video game he plays with strangers and they can talk to each other. (Sorry I don't know much about video games besides the lego ones and mario kart). This almost perfect stranger told him to save his money cause he would probably get divorced anyway. My fiance told him off. Besides that, both his mom and sister have made suggestions about like decorations. They are totally nice about and just trying to be helpful, I just feel bad when I don't want what they are suggesting. Reply #3 was the hardest for me. There's something very "grown up" about contemplating the rest of your life with one person, and during the planning process I got kind of overwhelmed sometimes with "is this how married people are supposed to act?" I got over it, however. I just read the author's comment about people pooping to my husband, and we just spent the last 15 minutes discussing how many people in our city are probably masturbating right now. Apparently we're still not acting like appropriate married people. 🙂 Reply Amen sister, and try doing it for the first time at 52. EVEN MORE OPINIONS, and from crabby 52 yr old friends, who really arent happy for you, mad you're losing weight and working with a trainer for the big day, and not them. And yes, people on FB expect invitations, well thats what they get for having expectations! Let me just add i have told VERY FEW PEOPLE any single detail of my wedding. No one person knows everything but me; i asked very few opinions before making purchases, although my best girl friends (2) went dress shopping with me separately; and family lives 800 miles away which probably turned out to be a blessing. Yes its stressful, but THIS WEBSITE has been a HUGE HELP FOR ME . I can do it my way, and still have a back up plan just in case i cant; I dont have to follow hard fast "rules" some church lady invented 125 years ago; I dont have to have a first dance, address invites to Mr and Mrs Franklin Joseph Aberbrombie & Fitch, IV, i can put Mary and Frank Fitch, not throw a garter, not do the Macarena or Hoorah (jewish circle dance throwing bride and groom in the air), not print programs, but do a fun website instead, not have 7 insert cards totalling $11 per person In the invitation, and i can tell people YOU GET ONE SEAT (found out how to word that ON THIS WEBSITE TOO), so they dont bring kids, a date i dont know, or even a spouse i have never met. We want our closest, closest people in our lives (friends and in business) to surround us, not someone's date. They'll be home in 3 hours, go to a movie and live without them for a bit, i bet it will do you both good! And i KNOW, what we have selected as a caterer, location, judge, invitations, decor, flower, guests MEAN NOTHING if the other person isnt there to greet me at the other end of the aisle. Thats the only thing that matters. (ALSO LEARNED ON THIS SITE), and THAT is what's keeping me sane, calm, and happy. Love you all, you have helped me so much! Thanks Reply I agree with almost everything you said, but not inviting people's spouses is never okay (unless they are abusive or a danger to the other guests). Yes, many aspects of "traditional" etiquette are outdated or even offensive. But this rule- that anyone that considers themselves in a relationship[is a social unit and should not be split up- should always be followed. And that's great, because it means even bigoted people who don't approve of the mixed race marriage or gay couple cannot bar a significant other from a formal event without looking rude. I would be incredibly hurt if a friend asked me to celebrate his or her love while invalidating my own. Certainly, one spouse/bf/gf can choose not to attend, but the invitation should be extended in the first place. Being offbeat or being on a budget does not mean you get to treat your guests rudely. Reply I disagree. It doesn't have to mean you dislike their spouse/partner/kids, but maybe that you don't like them as much as you like the invited guest. 😉 Being part of a couple/family does not mean you stop being an individual. No matter what "etiquette" states, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to wedding celebrations. You may have a strong opinion on guest list-age, but at the end of the day, there are no rules. As someone else admirably put it, weddings are what you make them! Reply Oh man, 1 and 2 are SO TRUE. I've been engaged for less than a month out of a 3 year engagement (The Fiance wants to finish school first) and already I'm getting crazy amounts of advice and warnings. His mother already called and in a panicked voice asked if we were REALLY having a Halloween wedding, and if so she refused to attend. We had to calmly explain to her that no, we are not having a Halloween wedding, that we simply want to have it at the end of October NEAR Halloween. And then (in my head) that even if it were a theme wedding she'd have to suck it up and deal. But that's a whole other conversation! That being said, being engaged so far is a crazy combination of The Best Thing Ever and Oh My God What Is Happening. This website is going to be my saving grace, I can tell already. <3 Reply "That being said, being engaged so far is a crazy combination of The Best Thing Ever and Oh My God What Is Happening." That sums it up so hard for me, I can't even tell you! Reply Our engagement announcement was a bit odd really.No advice afterwards either(thankfully).We had lived together for 15 years and had 2kids already when we invited all the family round for a special dinner to announce it.Hubby announced it to stunned silence,I really thought they might have seen it coming.Then MIL said,"oh,thank god,is that all!I thought you were pregnant again!You're not are you?!"The rest of dinner was a bit quiet.The only engagement card we got was from debenhams a month after we registered for the gift list(I only did that for the free voucher).Was all a bit of an anti climax,felt as if no-one wanted us to be married,as if his family still hoped that he would do better than me.The wedding was great though we had to delay a year longer than we initially planned to save up more money . Reply Also: People are not going to be as happy about your engagement as you are. Or even happy at all. I got a few, "Oh my god, that is fantastics!" A few: "Oh, that is nice." and those "Shit, are you pregnant?", "Aren't you a bit too young?" (going on 30), and "Marriage is an empty shell of patriachal traditions. Are you taking his surname?" Reply This! So much this. The first words out of my cousins mouth were, "Oh my god are you pregnant? You're so young!" Um, excuse me? You got married at fifteen and I'M too young?? Reply Thank you for this! The boyfriend and I are in the midst of pre-engagement talks and this just made me laugh and feel just even happier about all of it! *exhales* Reply I'm grinning like an idiot to myself after reading this! I'm a divorcee and am engaged for the second time. My advice to friends is that if they hate the wedding 2months out it's completely natural and to remember it's about them and no one else. I'm so grateful for all the contributions on this website and am so happy my significant other and I have decided to wait before starting the planning process! Reply So #2 could not be more true and what's worse than family & friends making assumptions about who's invited? FMIL assuming she "gets" at least half (of our maximum number) to invite whomever she wants. And also assumes that kids are invited (they are, but the question wasn't asked) and assumes we would send an invitation to everyone she wants even if she knows they can't come. yeah, that's been fun. Reply Getting engaged swaps one question? When are you getting engaged? for about a million. Where? When? Dress? etc. Some you can answer, some you ignore and some you have to figure out an answer for to shut some people up. And ohhh the stress! Changes from, yes we're getting engaged at some point to now I have a million things to think about and plan including things I never thought I needed. Also when you are married people constantly ask how does it feel to be married? um about the same as it did before……….. Same house, same jobs, no baby so far so yep, about the same really. You'll get through it all and then wonder how you did! Reply In the "mom world" comments like "HollywoodMaries" are lovingly referred to as "sanctimommy". LoL Reply Being poly, I got the "why even bother getting married if you're not going to be monogamous" line. Yeah…that didn't feel happy. Reply I've only been married for three weeks now, but nothing's changed so far and I really don't expect much to change except for our tax forms. We were together for three years before the wedding, and lived together for two of those years. We figured out how to compromise on household chores and time spent together and paying the bills before we even thought of getting engaged, and that's honestly how I knew we ready to get married. But I had a coworker — who once referred to my pre-engagement relationship as "not 100% yet" despite the fact that my then-boyfriend had quit his job and moved to another state to be with me — who had never even spent the night with his wife before the wedding, let alone lived together. The way he talked to me about my engagement was so insulting. He'd tell me things like, "You won't believe how much things are going to change," and then go on to describe situations that we had already faced simply by co-habitating. Yeah, it's a different kind of adjustment when you've never lived together but you can not assume that I'm entering my marriage from the same place that you entered yours. I don't believe that anyone should ever give anyone else unsolicited marriage advice, but he really took the cake. It was so hard to remain patient and bite my tongue when he got started. Reply On Point! The advice comes streaming in from everywhere – friends, colleagues, strangers who see your engagement ring (if you wear one… but even eavesdroppers will have something to say!) I've had people offer everything from decorating the cake to actually performing the ceremony (the cake was a maybe, the older gentleman who offered to officiate is kind of gross). I ran into an old co-worker over the weekend and she insisted that I invite her because she loves weddings. She even offered to buy us a really nice gift. I took Husband Elect to a bridal expo last month (they advertised as a wedding expo, but they only had "Bride" name tags…) and he started going pale. I assured him that all of it was extra. So long as we both show up to sign the paperwork, anything that we chose beyond that was up to us. Getting engaged seems a little bit like getting pregnant, except instead of strangers rubbing your baby bump, they want to know what your colors are. Reply I have a weird one: Dad: Since she asked you to marry her, does that mean you'll be changing your name? Fiance: Huh-bwa-bwa-uh… Me: We'll both be keeping our own names. Mom: Way to start a fight, dude. Fiance: No, that's what we decided. Dad: What about the kids? Me: Girls get my surname, boys get his. Dad: Why not the other way round? Fiance: Well, we're hoping to start a trend… And, scene. Reply Leave a Reply to Liz Dexter Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. 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