The Life of Bon: On being engaged.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On being engaged.

Because yesterday was Hubs' and mine two year engagiversary (How's that for an awesome word?!?) and because I have two good friends who got engaged over the weekend (Tis the season!), I thought I would share my thoughts (Because I always have so much to share!) and let you know about how horrific my engagement was (Mostly my own fault, not because of any person involved) and let others learn from my mistakes of being engaged (have you noticed how long this sentence is?) or let those who have already been engaged laugh in agreement  (And are you digging these paranthesis or what) or think I'm a freak for putting myself through utter hell during my engagement.


Sometimes I get carried away.

Here's a couple of excerpts from my journals as PROOF that I was not making this up.  Engagement is rough!

A journal entry from January 9, 2011: "I am a stressed out mess every time the wedding gets brought up. I seriously can not handle it."
Journal entry from February 9, 2011: "4 weeks and 2 days. Not that anyone's counting down. I swear I'm never getting married. The wait for something has never been so long in my life. I'm dying. Absolutely miserable. I can't handle the stress. The planning. The never ending details. Not seeing Greg every day. The sexual frustration. I would say that being engaged is on my top five list of worst experiences. Dating Greg was amazing. Being married to him is going to rock my word. The engagement, however, is like cruel and unusual punishment."

And now I present to you....

The most depressing post ever.



1.  Details, details, details!  I hate details!  I don't care how the flowers are arranged.  I couldn't care less what the table arrangements are.  Do we put the registration info on the invitation?  Or a separate insert?  Or not at all?  WHAT DO WE DO?!?!  Suddenly stuff I have never cared about before seemed so incredibly important and there were so many CRUCIAL decisions to be made. I wish I would have relaxed more.  I was so concerned about the stupidest details- the flowers, the invitations, and we can not have our reception in an LDS church cultural hall or I will die!  I mean, really.  How's that for stupid?  So much grief over decisions that two years later nobody cares about and nobody remembers.

2.  Not living with the person you are engaged to.  This one is different depending on your situation, but Hubs and I didn't live together until we were married.  Meaning constant phone calls over wedding decisions, trying desperately to find time together with two hectic schedules, and not even being able to crawl into the same bed at night.  This one also leads to...

3.  Sexual frustration!  Us Mormons don't do the deed until we're married.  While I will be forever grateful for that decision  and may even right a whole post about why I made that choice and the positive effect it has had on my life... it makes for one hell of an engagement. (Sorry Mom for the curse word) (And sorry you are reading this paragraph.  That can't be fun for you.) Once you are committed to someone and you know they are the one it's pretty hard to keep your hands off of each other.  I don't think I would revisit those months of tension for anything in the world.

I always laugh at this picture because HELLO, can you not see the sexual tension written all over our faces?!?

4.  Limited time.  Hubs and I were engaged for a mere 11 weeks.  (Because of  the torturous nature of the experience, I have often concluded that the engagement was 11 weeks too long.)  Due to #3, we wanted the engagement to be as fast as possible- every day dragging the engagement out was misery.  HOWEVER, the time crunch did present a problem.  Visiting a friend in Seattle over New Years, we stopped at a wedding dress store and when I asked about having the dress altered in time for my wedding in March, the sales clerk laughed in my face.  The earliest earliest EARLIEST they could have a dress fitted would be May.  Everything was more stressful because of the time crunch- decisions had to be made quickly, reception centers were booking up, the flowers needed to be ordered, etc., etc., ETC.!

5.  I was engaged for January, Feburary and March.  The deadest, ugliest months of the year.  The cold, the snow, the dark drive to work every morning... It all somehow made the engagement seem so much longer.  I am convinced that if I was engaged in the summer it would have floated on by like a dream.

6.  The dress.  For some reason I had an EXTREMELY specific type of dress I wanted.  I knew exactly how it was supposed to look.  And it was nowhere to be found.  I went to wedding dress store after wedding dress store after wedding dress store.  Not even trying on the first dress was fun for me- it was just pure stress.  Every gown brought out my incredibly middle of winter paleness or drowned me in lace or made me look flat or was too "Mormony".  After each dress I was more depressed than the one before.  Not to mention the prices.  Holy shizzle!  My mom was footing the bill (thanks again, mom!) but we're a conservative folk.  I refused to spend over $1000 on my dress and finding one exactly how I wanted for that cheap... not an easy task.  Even when I DID find the dress, I went in weeks later to try it on after adjustments and suddenly hated it.  All of those miserable details can be found here.  Looking back on pictures I wonder what the heck my problem was- the dress was gorgeous.  I've concluded that being engaged just made me crazy is all.

7.  School.  It was my first year of teaching and  I was doing a 45 minute commute.  On top of that, my principal asked me mid year to pick up an extra class- creative writing.  I had never taught or studied creative writing and I knew nothing about it.  Like a fool, I said yes.  Suddenly I had no prep time to grade the endless papers, and three different classes I was teaching for the first time.  I put in long hours at the school and spent even more time home frantically trying to grade essays and stay on top of lesson plans.  I even made my sister drive up to the school with me six days before my wedding to grade essays (read it here!).  I don't think I have ever been so stressed and miserable in my whole life. Fo rizzle.

8.  Larry.  This man arranged Hubs' and my honeymoon.  In nice terms, he royally screwed us over.  Five days before the wedding, he called Hubs and told him our honeymoon cruise had been "cancelled".  Within time, we realized it was all a big lie, but we believed the crook at that moment.  He got us on another cruise,  with less preferable destinations, length of cruise, and type of room... and then tried to steal $600 in the process.  Six months and one lawyer brother later, we got the money back (Read all about it here!)

9.  Offending people.  I like to make people happy.  And I don't like to hurt people's feeling.  And yet somehow, I believe I managed to offend every single person close to me in the process of getting married.  I offended Hubs when I said he couldn't have a say on the dinner details because that was my terrain, I offended my mom when I said I didn't care where was easiest for her and her family, I wanted the ceremony in Salt Lake.  Hubs family was offended when we didn't want their opinion on anything, my family was offended when I didn't keep them more in the loop, my besty was offended when I didn't ask her to be a bridesmaid, my cousins' cousins were offended they weren't invited to the ceremony, and probably every one of the 300 guests at that dinner were offended by Hubs' dad's speech about how difficult it was to conceive Hubs (use your imagination!).  To every person who was offended by my getting married, I sincerely apologize.

I am almost to the point where I can just laugh about it now.  Almost.

That's a lot of people to keep happy!  And this is just my siblings and their kids!

10.  My dad. The hardest part about the whole engagement was the fact that my dad wasn't there.  I met Hubs a few months after my dad had passed away and by the time we got married it had been a little over a year.  It felt so fresh, so raw, and I was still barely getting a handle on my grief and how I worked through it.  I know my mom missed him terribly- he wasn't there to keep her sane and to help her fight the battles that were so important to her (all extended family MUST be invited to the dinner!).  In some ways I began to kind of dread the wedding day and the hordes of people that would be there when one of the most important people in my whole life would be so noticeably absent.  He wouldn't be there to smile proudly at me, to tell me I looked beautiful as a bride, to dance the daddy daughter waltz with me.  All those things raced through my mind before the wedding and I worried so much that without my dad there the day would be seeped in sorrow.  I'll always be grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who answered my prayers and let me know that my dad was there with me that day.

And that is the story of how my engagement sucked.  But, the good news is it was all worth it!  Here's what I wrote in my journal the night before my wedding:

March 11, 2012  "The real reason I'm writing tonight is so that I can look back on the night before my wedding and have my kids read it and know how supremely happy and one hundred percent confident their mother was before she married their father.  I've never been so sure of something in my life; I have absolutely no doubts.  When I think of the future I feel joy, peace, and overwhelming calm and assurance.  I know that marrying Greg is the right decision and I am so excited.  So so so so excited.  And happy.  Sooooooooooooooooo HAPPY."

Ah, shucks.  You thought this post was gonna be a real downer, and then it ended being all sweet and gushy on you.  How's that for a twist?!?

P.S.  I tweeted this earlier today, I just couldn't keep something so good to myself
"Student giving report on sex ed: 
"The thrill of sex lasts seconds, minutes, hours, or days but the effects are forever." 
??!? "  

If you're not already following me on twitter, you should be!


  1. Um, yeah. The whole sexual tension thing: WORD. (And I never say that.) I was pretty much fine about everything else, but we had also made a commitment to remain abstinent until our wedding night. And dang golly gosh was it hard.

  2. I love this. I've been engaged for almost a year (UGH) and have another year to go! I thought I'd love a long engagement so I had plenty of time to deal with everything, but turns out it sucks. I can relate to 1, 2, 3, 6, 7 (cuz I'm still a student), 9 and 10. Ten because my best friend died about 5 years ago and planning a wedding without her sucks. But I'm really glad I'm not the only one who thinks being engaged can really be a downer sometimes!

  3. Ooooooh goodness this makes me lol. I am literally getting married in 11 days and am basically feeling *almost* every one of these things!! I'm not completely stressed like you sound like you were but we've also been engaged a lot longer and had lots more time to plan. There's nothing left for me to do right now except wait...which is killing me even more! I am legit having anxiety over thank you cards I feel like I should be filling them out or something so I'm on top of my game! OCD much?

  4. Agreed! Hubs and I were engaged for 7 months. That is eternity in the Lds world. It seriously was the longest time of my life. Not to mention I was in Denver and he was in Manhattan for 7 weeks of it all. Hell.

  5. hahah! yep. i get it girl. that's why we did an 11 week engagement!

  6. I so agree 100%. I can't tell you how many times my husband and I reminisce on the "engagement days" and wish we had just run off to Vegas or gone to the JP. I hated all the little details that consumed my life for 9 months that I can barely remember now! My mom had passed away 6 months before the wedding and so much of what we had planned (location, size etc) had revolved around her, so depressing to say the least. My poor hubbs was terrified that I would bawl through our entire wedding day!
    Kudos on sticking it out and hunting for "the dress". I hated it, got tired of it in the second store and bought a dress that fit. Yup, that was my criteria, in the price range and fits without needing alterations! LOL

  7. i loved being engaged... but then again, i love details... and i was living with my fiance. so since a couple of these didn't apply to me, i can definitely see your viewpoint... but i don't think i could plan a wedding in 11 weeks!

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  9. Yep, being engaged sucks. That's what Angel and I have told everybody every day that we were engaged. I think you've inspired me to write my own engagement story....hmmmm....hope that's okay with you!

  10. I love this post!
    In depth details of how being engaged sucks!
    Now I'm wondering if I ever want to get engaged!

  11. I too think I offended everyone when I got married, lol!

    How's this for sucky? I ordered my wedding dress after trying on a sample in the store. We had to pay for rush delivery because we too had a short (about 3 1/2 month) engagement too. When the dress arrived (about 4 weeks before my wedding) it was too small. The ladies working not so nicely suggested I had gained weight. I tried on the sample again and it fit perfectly. They offered us a refund so I took it and ran but I had to go back to square one a month before the wedding! It was one of the most stressful parts of my wedding!

  12. My sister is Mormon and got engaged in November, married in January, for the exact same reasons!

  13. I agree with almost everything you wrote...the DETAILS alone will drive you crazy. I mean, I was asked how I wanted the dinner napkins folded for the reception...

  14. I just got engaged and I am also a people pleaser! It makes planning stressful. My fiancé had to sit me down and tell me screw everyone else. It is OUR day and we will do whatever makes you happy. They are just along for the ride.

  15. I am pretty sure our engagements were almost identical except my engagement was in summer ( well kind of Aug - November) and it was not fun... It was the worst in fact!! Also add the fact that my whole side of the family were nonmembers who did not understand the Temple and lived in Florida (we got married in St George), my Dad had just married a girl a year older than me and we were dirt poor and about to move across the country for school.... I am also pretty sure that my Hubby must be insane to have actually gone through with it because we fought like CRAZY. But it was all worth it cause we are HAPPILY married now (and we even made it to the temple despite all the sexual frustration). Engagement sucks and this is now the longest comment I have EVER left any where congrats!!

  16. oh yes. offending people. that's the WORST and somehow everyone gets offended. so much for the happiest day of your life. everyone grudgingly shows up and hates you for where you had it, what they are served, what they had to help you with, what they weren't allowed to help you with, what time it is, what music is played, what flowers you chose. why is everyone so easily offended?? get over it! it's not your day! rant over. can you tell i offended a lot of people in the wedding planning process? haha

  17. Whoa.

    I'm telling Chris to take the ring back.

    Jk he hasn't bought one. But I'm telling him to not even think about it for five more years and I'm gonna give you the credit.

  18. I completely agree. Being engaged was so stressful. I broke into spontaneous tears. The details drove me notices- luckily I passed most of those off on my sister. But the worst was trying to please everyone and them not caring the day is actually about the couple. And I totally agree about the Dress- so expensive, you love it, then you hate it. Such a confusing stressful time- glad it's over!

  19. I had the same feelings on my engagement! I loved dating and love being married, but hated the engagement. My engagement was 6 months. I felt like I was trying to please everyone but pleasing no one, I didn't want to make the decisions. I don't know how people are engaged for a year and a half. Craziness.

  20. Holy Snapple, girl! 11 weeks?!
    I had one bridesmaid. He had one groomsman. Best decision ever.
    His mama had a whole guest list of peeps we straight up ignored. Who the hell are these people?
    I didn't give a flip about the details except for the pictures, which turned out good, but not great, and were way overpriced.
    But, like you, actually marrying him, I had 100% confidence in. Never more sure of anything in my life. That SUUUUUUUCKS about the cruise. What a jack wagon!

  21. This is the best thing I've read all day! haha, good laugh!

  22. Haha! I will totes look back at this if I am ever engaged! And that's how I wanna feel about getting married, completely sure!

  23. Hahaha. I was laughing through this entire post. It sounds exactly like my engagement! Mine was 5 months, but my husband was out of town fighting wildfires for 3 months of it. So I basically planned the whole thing by myself. And oh, the sexual tension.. it truly was the worst torture on the planet. Haha.

  24. Thank you! Everyone acts like engagement is supposed to be bliss but I was one big ball of stress the whole time. Our engagement was 5 months and we were on a super tight budget, and every time I would come up with an awesome idea for favors or programs or flowers I'd have to get it past my hubs, parents, bridesmaids before I could go through with it. Plus I had such a hard time narrowing down the invite list, to this day I feel bad about some of the people we didn't invite (which is silly because I'm sure they don't care!). And we waited on sex too (we dated for four stinking chaste years!). On all of the above, amen sister. Amen.

  25. This cracked me up, but I have to say, I had a totally opposite experience. I loved being engaged! Granted, my experience was very different than yours as we already lived together and what not. But I loved all the parties and events that surrounded it.... bridal showers and bachelorette parties and engagement parties... it was such a fun time in my life.

    I will agree though that the STRESS of having to plan it all, pay for it all, and constantly worrying about offending people is something I certainly don't miss!

  26. I hated being engaged! I was so ready for the wedding! We had been together for 5 years before we got engaged and then had a 14 month engagement. For some reason everyone in our families loved being engaged and kept saying how depressed they were that the engagement was over.
    I would never want to repeat that process! Plus we were together for 6 years before we got married, talk about sexual frustration

  27. This post is so true. I've been engaged for two months and we have another 7 to go, and I'm dying! In the Catholic Church you have to wait minimum of eight months and it's totally killing the both of us.

    You are an awesome writer! I love how your personality comes through!

  28. Amen to everything.

  29. I 100% agree with everything you just said. I, too, was a crazy engager. Seriously, crazy. Thank goodness for marriage and all that it brings...cough, know what I'm talking about. Bow, chica, bow-wow! If you can survive the engagement, you can survive anything.

  30. Totally spot on. Definitely laughed my butt off. Gotta love having high standards ;)

    I totally understand, but my engagement was only a month or so. After waiting for Handsome to get home from his mission, there was NO way we were waiting any longer... if you catch my drift ;)

  31. I think you are one gorgeous gal, and that last photo of you and your husband is just adorable!

    As a 31-year-old single, LDS gal in Utah, I think I will just be so grateful if the opportunity to be engaged and married happens, that I would be amiss to not enjoy the engagement and every minute of it all.

  32. Oh my goodness. I can't even imagine only being engaged 11 weeks. That is so crazy to me. I know myself well enough to know that I need atleast a year if not more before we tie the knot. I think a hurried engagement adds so much more stress. Whew. Kuddos to you. We will be engaged about 20 months by the time we get married, and that is fine with me. We already live together, which is a blessing. It really is. I knew my fiance loved football and sports, but I never knew how much until we lived together. If we had waited, that would have added a whole new can of worms to married life. I am glad you guys got through it though! Now, if we can just hurry up my engagement that would be great. I love the idea of a long engagement because there is a lot still to do before we get married, but I do want to be married, and marry him. It will come soon enough!

  33. Loved loved loved this post! Being one of your friends that just got engaged last week, I hear every word you are saying. I understand what Mindy above said too! I am 32 LDS and it really feels like a miracle! Having said that, I still can't pick my colors. I actually really like your bright, warm colors! Last night, my fiancé and I couldn't decide whether we register for gifts and include the paper in the invitations or whether that looks tacky. So many things to plan! I guess it is good to keep busy planning during this time of sexual frustration. :)

  34. Anonymous1:32 PM

    Three things:

    1) AWESOME use of parentheses. I love being in people's heads like that.
    2) I think you should absolutely write a post on waiting until marriage - I'd be really interested to read it.
    3) I'm now following you on Twitter.

  35. you are HILARIOUS love love love this post!!!


  36. Aw this post was cute!! I hired a wedding money spent ever!!! I was also teaching, taking the California Teacher induction program, coaching the cheerleaders and finishing my Masters in engagement was a year long and I was not going to plan anything... I cried just trying to plan it for 3 days hahaha

  37. Hi, I just found your blog through your guest post on oh, sweet joy! and i'm already loving it! I can definitely say I can relate a little about how much engagement sucks. Especially because of the sexual tension. My hubby and I saw each other all the time when we were dating which made it really hard. Basically the only thing I did at home was sleep and get ready for the day. We were going to get married on our one year anniversary but ended up moving the date up two and a half months instead! We were only engaged for three and a half months instead of six.

  38. I agree with you on all the above. Seriously. Except I would add a few more of my own. Having a best friend roommate turn enemy because she decides she hates you when you get engaged. And having her tell you how horrible of a friend you are all the time. Being the Relief Society president on top of everything else. I won't even go there. Also, your dad losing his job and thus having to change all of your wedding plans due to money concerns halfway through your engagement. Don't even worry about the fact that the announcements are already printed and oh wait. The location of the reception has to be changed! BAH. Being engaged was the literal worst thing ever.

  39. YOU offended everyone too?? Shoot, I almost lost my dang fiancé because I was such a troll! Freaking movies making you think being engaged will be easy...

  40. Hey! I found you from Story of my Life today! Loved your post. I just read this because it caught my eye on your home page. I'm a Ginger too so I was intrigued to read On Life with a Ginger. Redheads rock.

    I'm engaged right now and getting married in May. It's polar opposite from your engagement: It's 18 months! I KNOW! We had a huge falling out wtih my mom at the begining of the year regarding finances and didn't talk for 2 months. It sucked so if we hadn't have had that fiasco, we would be getting married in a couple of weeks. But It's May now. Still a long time to go...Ahh.

    Planning a wedding is just too much. Women who aren't engaged yet don't realize that it isn't as great as it is onces you get to that point. Dreaming about the engagement is heavenly. Actually going through wedding planning isn't so heavenly. It's work and it makes things stressful. Your post was so intereting in that you "offended" everyone. I can totally relate. Who cares, its your wedding not theirs. It's understood. They can suck it up for that day and get over it. I'm sure they don't even think about it anymore.

    Nice to meet you!


  41. I love every word of this! I am currently engaged and we have 16 month waiting period...seriously? You could almost have two kids that amount of time. I am consistently annoyed when people ask me every single day for updates and then feel bad that I didn't check 23593 things off my list in the past three days. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing because it's not all fun and flowers like many of my friends have shown it to be!

  42. Whew! Glad it's not just me being crazy! I thought I'd enjoy our engagement. Nope. I can't even find a venue my mom and I can agree on. Make it end!

  43. Love your story! I was engaged on December 30th and married March 24th almost 12 yrs ago. I planned a wedding being a full time student, and having a full time job. It was crazy. You inspired me to write my own story. I have 3 kids now, I bet they'd be interested to read "love begins" series written by their mom.

  44. i really really hated being engaged!! man, it is brutal! i think its so funny when people say "we had short engagement, just 5 months." i think waaaaaa?? that is so long! i was engaged for 3 and a half months and it was plenty long! people were like, wow whats the rush? 3 month engagement? and im just like...... i don't understand you....... at all.... who takes a year to plan a wedding. i don't get that.