It may be an age thing, but I swear that years are getting shorter and shorter as time goes on.
2011 for me was a phenomenal, life-changing year where I married the love of my life. Our already amazing relationship became an even more so as an official binding union – and the significance of the last year is one that will not soon be forgotten.
Interestingly though, although last year was and will always be incredibly important to us for obvious reasons, 2012 has an inexplicable air of anticipation an significance about it. I suppose it’s the difference between the focus being planning the biggest ‘party’ you’ll ever throw… and planning the priorities of the early stages of a life long commitment we have made to each other. At the moment, the latter feels like even more pressure – but that is really just a reminder that all of the planning leading up to the wedding was not just for a single day, but was about preparing for the steps that followed.
So… the dawn of 2012 has a number of differences to the one a mere year ago… and I’m not talking about the political landscape of significantly fewer dictatorial leaders, the loss of an uber talent like Amy Winehouse, and a couple of UK royal weddings… I am referring to personal differences including a new name, new passport, holiday cards addressed differently, a different name on the electoral role, an age which now begins with the number ‘3’, a new communications/marketing job, a budding coaching enterprise, the beginnings of an upcoming post wedding blues to motivation book, a role supporting my husband’s year old business – and more.
With that in mind, and as a preview to my upcoming book, I have 5 top tips for the newly engaged / upcoming brides, who, understandably will be consumed with planning their big day:
1. Enjoy the planning process… and embrace every decision and indecision to date! When quizzed by friends and loved ones about your planning – don’t despair at anything which is not yet sorted. It will be done.
2. Remember you are not on your own (a fact which should be apparent as you are about to embark upon a major union, but often forgotten in the planning process!). You have your fiance, your bridesmaids, your mum/aunt etc and more… and the sooner you recognise this, the better. When one of my bridemaids offered to burn 200 CDs (our favours) 3 weeks before the wedding, it was a MAJOR relief for me… and there’s no reason I could not have called in that help earlier!
3. Always keep the bigger picture in mind while you work on the details (the marriage as opposed to the wedding). Bear in mind that your day will be perfect whatever happens, because you are marrying the person you love… not as a result of the little details of the day. That said, when it comes to planning all those details – do set yourself SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-specific goals to put yourself in the best possible position to achieve as much as possible (remembering that once you have the venue(s), food sorted, wedding officiant and invitations out – you will be the only one who notices whether or not you have done all the other things on your list!
4. Take the time to do a quick career audit because in the next 12-18 months of planning, you are unlikely to be focusing on your career development in the way you normally would. Focusing on where you are now and what you want your next step to be at this stage will help you get back on track after the wedding… helping to minimise the temporary post wedding blues that many brides experience
5. Remember it takes two to tango: While it often tends to be the bride who has been dreaming about her wedding since she was a little girl, it is two of you getting married. Enjoy the planning journey together!
In the meanwhile, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Have a happy, healthy, prosperous, successful 2012.