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Amy Leigh Mercree

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How To Have An Easygoing Engagement

Posted: 12/30/11 04:41 AM ET

You're getting married! It's exciting. Wonderful! To keep it fun and easygoing follow the advice below from brides and grooms. Take the stress out of the planning and execution of your big day. Here is the first thing brides say they wish they knew while planning their wedding:

Hire a wedding planner! (If you can afford it.) What a stress reliever and time saver. If a wedding planner is not in your budget choose a neutral, calm friend to be your main helper. Avoid having family members do this job, especially the mother and father of the bride and groom. Ask your helper if they have the time and energy to assist you and outline some of the things for which you might need assistance: dress fittings, visiting venues, coordinating hotel suggestions for guests from out of town.

Go on dates with your fiancée. The most easygoing engagements happen to couples who are connected and positive. Carve out time to spend just the two of you. Do fun or relaxing things not related to the wedding every weekend, no matter what. Do not allow the wedding to take over your lives or you will be stressed out by the time it arrives.

Be clear with friends and family. Use clear, direct statements to convey information, especially to family members. Let them know their level of involvement as soon as you know it and consider keeping it minimal. Just be kind when sharing this information. An example of how to talk to a mother chomping at the bit to be a part of things is, "Mom, I am so excited to have you involved in our wedding day. We are still creating the ceremony and experience that feels right to us. I am going to have some things I'll need help with soon. I'll let you know what they are as soon as we do and you can tell me if you might like to help us with them."

In this way, you let her know, one, to chill out until you tell her you're ready for help. And two, that you do not take her help for granted, she has a choice in the matter and you appreciate her help.

Keep the event as simple as possible. The less you have to plan and keep track of, the less stressed you may become. Weigh your dreams of your wedding day with how much you want to stress. For some of us that might mean eloping. For some, it might mean cutting the guest list from 450 to 250. The larger your event the more you need to delegate. Consider having friends help with certain areas of the wedding planning. Your friend who is a chef can oversee the menu to your tastes. Your friend who is crafty might love coming up with awesome favors or centerpieces. You get the idea. Don't let the details distract you from your vision of the gorgeous expression of your love.

Decide upon your intention Sit down with your sweetie and each of you come up with one to three words that you want to describe your wedding and engagement. Some great examples are: joyful, harmonious, romantic, fun, festive, loving, blissful, epic, fairy tale, calm, soft, party, relaxing, passionate. As you each pick your top few words you can talk about why you picked them. If your guy chooses the words party, passionate and loving, you can talk about how to make the experience resonate with those words and what he means by them. You will decide how to have a party but also plenty of time for you two to spend some passionate time afterwards and feel loving with one another.

Pick the words that embody your joint intention for your wedding and engagement experience and post them on your bathroom mirror during that time. Refer back and gently point out to each other when you have deviated from that course. This is a great skill builder for your marriage. You can set your intention together for your life. Do this and you will soar in your happy marriage.