By Grace Samuel
Whoop! Whoop!! So le Boo finally went on one knee (or not) and you said “yes!” You must feel on cloud 9 or maybe cloud 1 because the ring wasn’t as awesome as those you’ve been fantasizing with on Instagram. But the deal is, you said yes to the man you want to spend the rest of your life with, so what next? Here’s 9 things to do as soon as you accept probably the most expensive jewelry you own till date.
1. Take a Ring Selfie
Sounds vain, right? Yeah, kinda. But, really you have to take one. At the moment, it sends a direct message to your fiancé that you appreciate him and his effort to get you the ring (expensive or not, stunning or not). Guys have ego that need to be inflated especially in times like this and by seeing their fiancée freak out about the ring takes them to their own cloud 9. Apart from this, pictures are for memories and spreading the word, duh!
2. Appreciate Your Fiancé
You may have been overexcited to just keep hugging him and posing for the numerous paparazzi present and forget to actually say “thank you”. When all is quiet, ask him the story behind the ring and the ‘surprise’ proposal (yeah, we always have a clue). Tell him how you feel and sincerely appreciate him for his effort in starting a new chapter of your love story. You’d be shocked how important you will make him feel.
3. Inform your Family & Close Friends…If they were not present at the proposal
It is important that you tell your family especially your parents about your new status. Out of respect, they need to hear it from you even if they were aware of you dating. It also prepares them for the responsibility they are taking on to make your wedding a reality. Why tell close friends? Answer is simple. Would you want them to tell you when they have this type of good news?
4. Start Counselling
Marriage is TOTALLY different from dating. It is an institution established by God and demands a lot from the two individuals involved. Counselling opens your eyes to this reality and the expectations as a couple. It is necessary for you and your fiancé to be on the right track for starting a family based on God’s principles and this is the benefit of counselling. As soon as possible, signup for counselling with your church (and ask Pastor Laju anything).
5. Set a Date
I have heard it’s not right to be engaged for too long. I am not sure if this holds especially when there are personal reasons that need to be sorted but you and your soon-to-be significant other need to discuss and set a date with the approval of family. A date helps you plan and put things in order like your future home and finances.
6. Determine a Wedding Budget & Start Saving
Weddings! I love weddings and how brides prepare to have their best day. But the truth is, the wedding is Day One of the rest of your life as a wife. So, while it needs to be remarkable it needs to be budgeted for with the reality that after it, comes real life with real responsibilities like feeding, rent, bills, baby food, etc.
Have the talk with your boo and agree on a budget that isn’t back breaking. Talk about how much you both will contribute and what roles parents will play. Have a wedding list and decide what is important. (I can provide a wedding expense template if you need one). Then, start saving! Furthermore, sincerely, if you love your man, you will want to contribute a little more than your dream ideas to the wedding even if he is the man.
7. Find a Venue and Make a Down Payment
If you are getting married in a place like Lagos, where weddings and parties happen every weekend, getting a venue early is very important. You want to avoid as many disappointments as possible and a wedding venue is a very expensive disappointment to have if you fail to book it early. Depending on the number of guests you are expecting, parking space, ventilation and a list of other things, you will need to book a venue on time in order not to settle for a place less than perfect.
8. Book Your Vendors Early
Just like venues, wedding vendors like event planners, decorators, photographers and food vendors are quickly booked solid for months or a full year. So if you want a particular vendor, book them early. If you don’t have a particular preference, still book your options early because the earlier, the cheaper. Make sure you select not just popular vendors, but those who will give you value for your money. I have heard of popular make-up artists cancelling at last minute and photographers who give you pictures months after the wedding. It’s really not by name or fame. Ask questions and get feedback from the right people to help you streamline your choices.
9. Listen…Talk…Pray! Always!!!
The period between the engagement and the wedding takes a toll on many couples. Arguments seem to double on anything and nothing from wedding planning, house hunting, money matters or even trust matters. As a bride-to-be, this is the time to consciously ensure you and your future husband listen more, talk more and pray more. Make it a ‘ritual’ to do so. Misunderstandings start with one person not listening or the other not talking; and things go out of hand with both not praying. Remember, everything depends on you two depending on God. This is the time to listen less to everything said by everyone and focus on what you two are saying and what God is saying.
To all brides-to-be, Congratulations! This list is just the beginning but it is definitely the most important part of preparing to start this new journey. Feel free to ask questions or request for help with anything. You really don’t have to do this alone.