engaged

#wedwellbrides: Lilia

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Since our very own Lilia Karimi, wedwell co-founder is getting married July 14th (so soon!) we were so excited to feature her in our #wedwell brides series. Lilia and her fiance Quinn, have been #relationshipgoals since day 1, and Lilia gives a refreshingly authentic overview of what wedding planning looks like in a balanced, ambitious relationship. 

What has planning your wedding been like?

I had no idea what to expect from wedding planning (I’ve only been to a handful of weddings myself and am the first out of my sibling/cousins to get married). After a few weeks of the blissful engagement began the less pleasant part of figuring out how to plan a wedding. It was hard to navigate where I fit in. Everyone makes it seem like the wedding is all about the bride, so I was super shocked when my parents had a million opinions on everything (as did my fiance!).

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

There’s this new feeling of doing things together as a “family unit”. Before when I made decisions, I really only had to think about myself. Move to Mexico? Sure. Live somewhere with ten other people? No prob.

A few months after we got engaged, I decided to leave my full time job to pursue a startup (oh hey, @wed.well). Before, I would’ve jumped to do this without consulting anyone super seriously. After being engaged, it became more of a conversation, like, “are WE going to do this?”

This trickles down into financial decisions as well, where there is less you vs me - and more, what purchases do we want to make together? How could we be spending differently?

At what point in your relationship did you know you wanted to marry that person?

I knew he was my soulmate before we even started dating. I remember telling my mom, “I’m not sure if I should date him. He’s the type of guy I want to marry - so if I date him now, I’ll never date anyone else!!”. That thought was so terrifying at the time - my college self looked down on the version of just dating one person (lol).

What parts of wedding planning have you and your partner disagreed?

One time I was upset with my family about something related to the wedding. I didn’t want my fiance to know about the issues because I didn’t want him to also get stressed about the wedding, so I didn’t tell him. He only found out when I couldn’t contain my emotions and had a major breakdown at home. This brought up the conversation of how we need to approach difficult things together - not individually. Especially important as we get married and start making “family” decisions.

What's been the most confusing part of getting engaged?

Getting engaged was confusing for me because it felt like I didn’t do anything differently with my life, but everyone started congratulating me and getting so excited as if I had done something so incredible! Haha!

In my head, we’ve been in love for five years now - so what is it about weddings and actually getting engaged that makes everyone want to celebrate? Like helllloooo, we should be celebrating love ALL the time - not just when we commit legally! However, I LOVE any opportunity to celebrate so it was equally thrilling.

 

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#wedwellbrides: Amanda

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#wedwell bride and Seattle blogger, Amanda, tells us about planning her wedding and how she handles disagreements with her fiance. Check out her own blog, Call Me Winters, and instagram @callmewinters.

We are so happy to connect with you! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your love story? 

I am a PNW native in the thick of starting a new job, planning my wedding and creating content for my blog, Call Me Winters. My fiancé Mason and I got engaged in Brooklyn last October and will get married next March. I’m glad we have a long engagement because planning a wedding is a lot of work and can be stressful if you aren’t keeping your priorities on what really matters. Right now, we are trying to decide which caterer and photographer we should hire.
 

What has planning your wedding been like?

We have a long engagement (15 months) so planning started with finding the venue, picking a date, and asking our friends and family to be members of our wedding party. I know we need to book a caterer and photographer soon because the wedding is a year away, but it's a little overwhelming to weigh all your options and stay within budget so I'm procrastinating.

What ways have you been staying healthy throughout this process?

I put an effort into exercising, self-care, and keeping things in perspective. I take walks on my lunch break 2-3 times a week. I also take a bath or do a facemask to relax once a week. Mostly, I just try to check in with myself regularly to make sure I'm not on the verge of becoming overwhelmed or having a breakdown.

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

We've always had a happy relationship but we are SO happy being engaged and knowing we're going to be married.

How have you and your partner handled wedding planning disagreements?

We talk a lot about our differing priorities, our budget, where we can compromise, and what is the most important to us in the big picture. It helps us not get too nit picky or upset about things that don't really matter.

Mason and I talked a lot about what ultimately is the most important to both of us: Having a great time celebrating our marriage with our family and friends. We want them to look back on our wedding and have it stand out as uniquely ours. By focusing on that, little disagreements like whether we should put more money into craft cocktails vs. a videographer are easier to manage.

How have you handled moments in planning where you were unsure of yourself?

I turn to my fiance, friends and family, Facebook groups, coworkers -- if I have questions I always ask for people's thoughts and recommendations. It helps me feel more confident in my decisions.

What was going through your head during the proposal?

I couldn't quite believe it was actually happening. I was so shocked and excited and happy. It was unreal and overwhelming in the best way.

 

#wedwellbrides: Jessica

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Hi loves, welcome to our #wedwellbabes interview series - getting the real talk on all things relationships, engagements, and marriage. 

We love this interview with wedwell babe, Jessica, on all things wedding planning! Find her on instagram @jessica.kaley.

Jessica- can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and your love story? 

I’m Jessica, I’m 25 years old and I’m from Miami, FL. I graduated a year ago with my Master of Architecture Degree, and got proposed to by my sweet boyfriend (now fiancé) that same day! We met (& started dating) by chance about 4 years ago on Study Abroad- I was studying abroad for a semester in his home city, Genoa, Italy. We’ve been long distance ever since, back and forth between 2 countries, but are now looking forward to getting married, in no city other than Genoa, in about 1 month. Then after that, we’ll actually be moving to live/start our life together in Dubai (long story)! Crazy to think, but I truly feel that I have found my soulmate, on the opposite side of the world. Our whole relationship, let alone our engagement has been a true journey (literally and figuratively). I never in a million years would have guessed I would be living the international fairy-tale (Lizzie McGuire style) life that I have been, but I believe that life is what you make of it, and in case I didn’t believe it before, my fiancé is proof to me, that really ANYTHING is possible. Advice to future brides: 

Follow your heart- follow it to the end of the world and back.

What has planning your wedding been like?

My wedding planning has been very exciting at moments, but also very stressful at others. It was most surprising to me all of the wedding “traditions” that I was told “I should do”, but the planning has really helped me learn the importance of compromising- both with my fiancé & to-be-in-laws and with my own family.

What ways have you been staying healthy throughout this process?

My fiancé and I have really learned to continue to practice healthy communication with each other- wedding planning has definitely led to wedding disagreements, but plenty of opportunities to have healthy resolution with each other/learning to see each other’s point of view in a better light. And when that fails, I just burn off my stress in the gym. Lol.

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

We have become more intense with each other’s emotions- yes we talked about the future plenty of times before, but since being engaged, my fiancé has described on multiple occasions how he has fantasized about us growing old together- and it’s always so beautiful to hear and picture being grandparents one day together. He has really been my rock, even more so than before, when I have needed him. It has created a greater bond between the two of us and a strength that is indescribable.

How have you and your partner handled wedding planning disagreements?

The priest who is marrying us recommended the book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman. We’ve been reading it together (me reading aloud and my fiancé hearing my voice as a “book on tape”) and then discussing the chapters afterwards. It’s been very helpful in understanding how to show our love with each other, and helped us in our disagreements. (HIGHLY recommend!)

How have you handled moments in planning where you were unsure of yourself?

At the end of the day, bridesmaids are SO helpful- one of mine is married, and she has been a great friend to reach out to for marriage advice. Good girl friends are key. 

What was going through your head during the proposal?

When my fiancé asked me to be his wife, we were literally in our pajamas in the room of my (tiny) college apartment I shared with my best friend in our last year of grad school. He asked just a couple of hours after I graduated with my Master of Architecture degree, and I was 1000% shocked. I actually think I blacked out a little, because my immediate reaction was that I couldn’t even speak- just bust into tears in disbelief and happiness. The most pure emotion of my life.

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Lilia: The Things People Say After You Get Engaged (and How to Deal)

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YAY! You fell in love. You’re getting engaged. Life is so magical and beautiful your heart can’t even take it. That is, until, a few weeks post-engagement and everyone and their mother feels comfortable pouring their opinions to you about YOUR wedding. Without asking for anyone’s point of view, you’ll start to hear things like:

 

  • “Will (Bob, Suzy, Megan, insert any person’s name who you aren’t even friends with) be on the guest list? They really need to be invited.”

  • “Oh, you really shouldn’t get married outside...It’s much better to have a traditional ceremony with [insert religion] tradition”.  

  • “Bummer...I thought you would’ve had the wedding in (insert any other location than what you are planning)”.

 

As soon as you get engaged, people feel entitled to control your wedding, and they end up thinking more selfishly about their desires rather than your own. This is my advice to you: Stand your ground! When someone gives advice, don’t argue, but don’t encourage the unnecessary advice giving. For someone who has overcome a blocked throat chakra (where we hold our expression and communication), I know the difficulty it is of standing up for yourself and living to your own standard. The wedding is about you and your fiancee (and partly for your parents). Prepare yourself mentally for the unsolicited advice from strangers, your best friend, or your crazy aunt.

Lilia: Staying Balanced Throughout Wedding Season

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Two weeks after getting engaged, I found myself crying nightly and having panic attacks about the wedding! I was getting asked about the wedding every day by different friends, being harassed about dates, venues, and guest list by my mother, and feeling confused about why people even get married in the first place (it’s just more money to spend and unwanted stress, so I thought)... Don’t worry- that feeling was short lived once I decided I needed a better way of handling the madness.

 

Here are three ways to stay balanced throughout wedding planning:

 

  1. Gratitude

Show gratitude daily. The fact that you are surrounded in love and get to enjoy the stresses of wedding planning mean that you’re much better off than the majority of this world. Yes, it’s stressful. And Yes, you are lucky to have this type of stress. The more gratitude you show, the more your attitude surrounding the wedding will change.

   

2.  Designated wedding planning times

When I first got engaged, family members would call me throughout the day to talk about the wedding. Even though I work remotely (not from an office) and have the flexibility to take phone calls mid-day, it was way too difficult for me to go from wedding planning mode/stress back to work mode. I had to set boundaries for myself by not letting myself talk about the wedding until after work, or choose designated times that I was open to talking about it!

 

3. Yoga

How surprised are you that yoga is mentioned here?!

Create a daily yoga practice to help you stay calm, grounded, and ready for the big day! If I haven’t had my yoga practice in for the day, I’m probably still in bitch mode. Once I get that yoga in my body, my perspective and attitude changes and blossoms into the person I want to be!

 

Lilia: What Really Changes After You Get Engaged

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Getting engaged changes everything. Even if you don’t think it will (like I did), it still does. This is one of the biggest decisions that you will make in your entire life, and making the decision will affect each person differently. Here’s my personal experience of how getting engaged changed my life.

1. Deeper relationship with your fiancee

This one took me most by surprise. I already thought my fiancee and I were as close as can be. We live together, have been best friends/dating for 4+ years now, and love each other’s company. Mentally, I didn’t think it could get much better! However, once we were engaged, there was this deep feeling of security and comfort in my gut from knowing we have committed to each other in a more powerful way. Now, when I look at him and we make decisions, I think of the long term (Babe, can you stop eating ice cream for breakfast?! I need you to be healthy 50 years from now!). It’s a beautiful and unexpected feeling to have the relationship continuously grow and develop as we transition into marriage.

2. Desire to live more authentically

After I got engaged, something shifted in my life mindset. I felt as if the decision to commit to my boyfriend for a lifetime was so true to my heart that I wanted every decision that happened to me afterward to have the same truth and love behind it. This manifested itself in different ways - some good, and some more challenging. One part of me wanted my work life to be as truthful to myself, so I started to work more on things that feed my soul like teaching yoga and writing. The other part of me didn’t want to hold onto any previous emotional damage or negative energy stored in my body. This translated into coming clean about a secret I had blocked in my mind for years. Love makes you do crazy things, and committing to a lifetime with my lover has made me want to recreate every part of my life to be the highest vibrational version of myself possible.

3. Closing the door to single life

Even though I haven’t been single for four years, getting engaged takes away any thought of single life that was previously acceptable. While I would’ve NEVER cheated on my fiancee in our relationship, I was able to entertain the thought. I am not mourning single life at all (I couldn’t be happier to have found my soul mate), but I am learning how to slowly let go of a previous mindset and enter this new one. If a cute guy shows up, who cares? If a guy I was once obsessed with finally takes interest in me, it will never matter! It’s a totally different feeling and transition once you have officially decided to get married. Those “What Ifs” in your head slowly begin to disappear.

 
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