Engaging Thoughts

Once you’re engaged people will ask you all kinds of questions, even some inappropriate questions. Be prepared and keep a sense of humor.

There’s always some joker who just has to say something about the ‘old ball and chain,’ or how you finally hooked him, or locked it down, or nice job! Locking him down is directed at women, the assumption being we want to catch a man. And getting caught – well, sorry guys, your life is over (contrary to science and general happiness). They all imply that marriage means giving up freedom, again, especially for men. People act as though getting engaged was a chore, or a goal to be accomplished, instead of two people in love, coming together, and making the decision to commitment to marriage.

While many women still want a surprise proposal, it’s pretty clear they have either openly discussed marriage with their partner, or they have danced around the subject. A proposal rarely comes out of nowhere.

Same-sex couples are free to break the gender stereotypes (man proposes to woman, woman accepts, her life is now complete). And then there are women who propose to men – and this is more common than we realize, but not often talked about.

Next might come questions and comments about your looks, your weight, your dress, and other personal choices and details. Ok, it’s fun to look at dresses and talk about it all, but the pressure for a bride to simply glow, and be magnificent, can be just too much. Can’t she just be herself without sparkly eye shadow (if that’s not her thing) or false eyelashes, or a complete make-over? Why would someone want to make herself different? The person your partner fell in love with is the person who should show up at the altar. Not that you can’t dress up, do your hair, and all that good stuff, but should a woman complete re-do everything about herself?

Please don’t ask newly engaged couples if they are planning to have children. It’s really not your business.

How can you get through the gauntlet of questions?  If you or someone you know has recently become engaged, I hope this column brings awareness that will help prepare someone for the coming tide of inquiry. Then you can decide what information you are ready to share, and just plead the 5th for the rest of them.

Every couple should talk over how they envision their wedding, and then be ready to thank everyone for their suggestions and tell them ‘you appreciate their kindness, but you’ve got this’.

Or ‘it’s just too early, you’re not making plans yet’, or ‘no, you haven’t even set a date’, or ‘we’ll let you know soon’. Just have your sound bite ready.

And finally, sometimes a friend or family member will actually come up with an awesome idea. Don’t close yourself off from everyone’s input, just don’t let it overwhelm you. You can plan for your big day, but more importantly, you should plan for your marriage.

THANK YOU Lisa Rhinehart for all the gorgeous photos. Lisa was chosen as one of the top 50 wedding photographers world-wide.


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    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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