You did it! You proposed! I sure wish I could hear your proposal story, I'm sure it was a good one. I love a good proposal. Who doesn't? This letter is just for you. While most everyone will be watching your bride walk down the aisle, I'll be looking at you. Your reaction is the one that gets me. Every. single. time.
Let me just explain a few things that will happen to you over the next 9-12 months (or longer) of your engagement. You are going to do/see/experience A LOT of new things.
STRANGERS: Let's face it, you're going to meet a lot of people who already know A LOT about you. Let's face it, that's so uncomfortable. They've heard through an aunt/neighbor/facebook post about how amazing you are, and they can't wait to meet you. Smile. Be gracious. Interact. Do it for your bride. Trust me, she is feeling just as awkward about it all....especially when people start taking bets on how soon the two of you will have that baby! (sheesh!)
TIME FLIES: Actually, this is partially true. There is so much to do before the wedding: venue, music, pick a date, food, colors, dress, bridal showers, honeymoon plans, living arrangements, etc. Your bride is going to feel AT ALL TIMES like she is chasing the clock. BUT time will also go by....sooo....slowly......especially when you can't wait for the part that comes after the wedding: just getting to be together on a daily basis. (I know what you thought I was going to say!) Cal and I were only engaged for 4 months. When it came to planning, it felt like a few weeks. But when all I wanted was not to have to get in my car and drive 40 minutes home every night, yeah that took FOR-EV-ER. <--- Squints Palledorous-style.
GIFT REGISTRY: When your fiance says "let's go register!"...muster up all the excitement within you and do it. And go with an open mind. Girls LOVE shopping. We especially love shopping when we don't have to pay for things. I know very little dudes that find shopping enjoyable. Perhaps you are different, but in case you aren't, heed my words. The registry experience can go one of two ways: good or bad. (I hope you want it to be a good one!) When Cal and I registered, we sort of fought right before, which made the ENTIRE journey through Bed, Bath and Beyond a miserable time. Please know, it was not Cal's fault. It was mainly mine. I picked a time that wasn't best for both of us, and Cal sincerely does not enjoy doing that kind of thing. I think about that day, and still feel yucky about it. Go in there with a willing, open, and generous heart, and your lady will thank you! It doesn't even take that long!
THE CRAZY: Your woman is going to get a little crazy. If she's totally chill and doesn't have at least one panic session, you are incredibly blessed. And if it's not her, it might be her mom or her bridesmaid. Or your mom. It's going to be somebody. Just get ready for it. Be helpful and find a solution and smile. **Data based on me, myself, and I....and basically every girl I've encountered. We should be able to help it, but we can't.
COMMUNICATION: Don't let uneasy feelings, little arguments, or meaningless drama fester. Just don't! Engagement is a wonderful time to practice relationship skills. When the wedding comes and goes, it'll be real.permanent.life. The big show. Don't just plan the details of the wedding, plan and implement how you are going to function as ONE. Hopefully, you've already been working on that, since you've decided to pledge your love to this beautiful girl.
And last, but not least, learn this phrase: "Yes, dear." If you've stuck with me till the end, thank you. Don't worry, there will be a letter to Brides...and it's not coming from me.