Are you newly engaged and wondering how to navigate your engagement and retain your sanity? Here are six tips that every engaged couple should know before their wedding day to encourage a successful wedding and a happy marriage.

1) Don’t Make Assumptions About What They Want

You might think you know exactly how your wedding day should go — but it’s worth the reminder to consider what your future spouse will want. Talk to them about their ideas and reservations about the big day instead of just assuming that you know what they want or hoping that they will be okay with whatever you decide.

Sometimes, you two will be in total agreement about what your big day should entail; sometimes you will disagree. You might have always wanted a simple, tiny wedding; they might be feeling pressured by their large family to have a huge party. Not talking about these sort of issues can set you up for stress and failure. Discuss things as early as you can so compromises and alternatives can be made that will make both of you happy.

2) The Wedding Isn’t More Important Than Your Relationship

This one seems like a no brainer but it’s worth the reminder: as soon as you get engaged, you will be flooded with questions about the wedding. When is it? What will you wear? Have you chosen a caterer yet? It can be easy to get swept up in the potentially overwhelming wedding preparation process. It might feel like all of your free time needs to go to the wedding or you may feel like you’re wasting time.

Fight that urge and try setting aside regular time with your partner where you do anything but think about the wedding. This might be continuing with your old hobbies together, going out with friends, date nights, or even just spending an evening at home where you don’t talk about wedding preparations. Take this time to focus on one another and remember that the marriage is way more important than the wedding!

3) Ignore Bad Advice

Chances are, you and your partner have lots of well meaning loved ones who are eager to help you by giving you their best advice. This might be advice about your honeymoon or wedding logistics or housekeeping advice. While this is all very well intentioned, lots of people don’t know your specific circumstances or priorities. Your aunt advising you to have a simple honeymoon so you can put money toward buying your own home might not realize that you and your partner don’t aim to be homeowners anytime soon or that you’re planning to move to a new city within the next few years. Listen to your loved ones and thank them but judge for yourself whether their advice was helpful or relevant

4) Be Direct With Eachother

Your partner is not a mind reader — it would be way too convenient if they were! You can’t fault them for not helping you solve problems if they aren’t aware that something is wrong in the first place! It can be tempting to hold things in or try to fix problems on your own- instead, try and discuss problems before they blow up. 

5) Sometimes It’s Best To Let Yourself Cool Off

You’ve probably heard the advice “don’t go to bed angry.” Encouraging people to get problems off their chest before bed can be a great idea depending on your circumstances; however sometimes it can be a better idea to let yourself cool off first. Sometimes a bad day or other circumstances can make us a little oversensitive to annoyances and frustrations. Sometimes letting yourself sleep it off and reassessing problems in the morning with a clear head can make discussions more useful and less emotionally charged.

6) Have Some Personal Space

You’re getting married because you adore each other, but that doesn’t mean that you need to spend every waking moment by each other’s side. It’s good to have other interests and friends outside of each other. Even when you’re both at home, there’s nothing wrong with one of you reading in the bedroom while the other unwinds with some videogames on the couch. Oh: and have some literal personal space! Get separate blankets for your bed. It won’t solve all arguments but it will end accusations of being a blanket hog!

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