As any engaged couple will tell you, wedding planning is stressful. (Those who say otherwise, well...I've never met any.) Not only are you putting together the largest event you've likely ever thrown, but you've got two families and tons of friends to cater to, meaning that there's a litany of relationships and emotions thrown into the planning mix.
So, it's not unusual for romance to take a backseat to your wedding-related to-do lists and anxieties. However, you don't have to wait until the honeymoon to release a deep breath and rekindle the passion that made you want to get married in the first place. The following eight tips will have you buzzing with love again in no time.
1. Don't Replace Date Night with Wedding Planning Night
Carving out a time every week to romantically connect can be difficult for any couple, but wedding planning makes this ritual even more elusive. You may start setting aside an evening for wedding planning, eventually replacing your regular date nights with discussions on venues, flowers, what have you -- but resist this at all costs. Keeping romance alive requires spending some time and energy being romantic. And while planning does have fun aspects, there is nothing sexy about balancing your wedding budget in Excel, even if you're both finance geeks.
2. Make Date Night a No-Wedding-Talk Time
When you do go out to revive the romance, fight the urge to fall into wedding planning chitchat. Yes, you may be stressed about the fact that your wedding coordinator still hasn't answered your last email but try not to let that dominate your night. A few hours of relaxing and really enjoying each other's company will make you realize that, whether she gets back to you or not, you're really, really excited to get married and spend your lives together. And that's what's important.
3. Delegate Some Wedding To-Dos
If you're feeling so overwhelmed that, between work and your other obligations, you just can't find time to spend non-wedding-planning time together, enlist support. Whether that looks like hiring a wedding planner or asking your bridesmaids to take over a DIY task, asking for help will keep stress from overwhelming you -- and your relationship.
4. Make Wedding Tasks Passionate
Some parts of wedding planning are decidedly unsexy -- i.e. choosing pima cotton or polyester table linens -- but there are many to-dos that can be fun, even romantic. Some caterers offer take-home tastings, so why not turn trying food into a picnic? Or, if you're stressed out about your first dance, maybe take a few dance lessons. Even flipping through old photos to create a slideshow for the reception is a chance to reconnect: As you go through the images, allow yourselves to reminisce about all the fun times you've had together.
5. Don't Hit "Pause" on Your Relationship
Engagement can sometimes feel like a purgatorial zone between "in a relationship" and "married" in which the only purpose is to plan a big party. But when you let the wedding overtake this special step in your relationship, you're not honoring the fact that this time is incredibly unique -- you're more committed than ever but you're still unmarried. Use these months to continue learning about each other, especially the aspects of your partner you may not know everything about yet (particularly bigger topics like kids, careers, family rituals and such). Really mapping out your future together can be a very intimate experience and bring you even closer together.
6. Try a New Activity
According to a study about what keeps couples happy in the long term, going on regular date nights alone won't keep love alive. The key is continuing to try different types of activities and hobbies together, which will fuel your curiosity as well as strengthen your bond and your passion for each other. So, check out that spoken word event or try paddle boarding or take that tapas cooking class together now, don't push fun new experiences back until "after the wedding."
7. Make Honeymoon Planning a Priority
Even if you're not taking a honeymoon right after your wedding (or even until months later), it's important to make some time to at least conceptualize or dream about where you might want to go. While wedding planning can be punctuated with worry, honeymoon planning is all about fun -- there are no parents to please, no expectations to fulfill but your own, and no dreaded seating chart (except for choosing where you'll sit on the airplane). Honeymoon planning can balance out wedding planning and get you both excited for the big day to come -- because afterward, you'll be on your way to the paradise of your choice.
8. Verbalize Your Love
Wedding planning creates lot of to-dos -- and honey-dos -- so make a commitment to devoting as much of your talk time to giving tasks as you do to expressing devotion. Yes, actions may speak louder than words but talk ain't cheap when it comes to keeping passion alive. Telling your partner you love him or her in the midst of wedding planning chaos can go along way toward keeping you both sane.
This post originally appeared on Robbins Brothers' Fully Engaged blog