The Engagement Effect

Allow me to gush for a moment, as I’m recently engaged and thus, have been granted a full year to be “that girl” whose kissy-faced photos and lovey-dovey pearls of wisdom shall plague your every social feed. While I vow to do my damndest to keep the gooeyness to a minimum on my blog, I must dedicate one post to the subject of engagement for posterity.

Until you’re engaged, you never know what breed of Bridezilla you’ll turn out to be, what formerly-inane things you’ll now deem wedding-critical, or what should-be magical moments will make you want to poke your eyes out with a fork. For me, those answers have been: too soon to tell, macaroni and cheese, and dress shopping (the horror!).

However, I have uncovered some universal truths about engagement I’m compelled to share for anyone considering the endeavor:

  1. Engaged people get free champagne – it’s just a fact of life.
  2. You start speaking like a Sherwin Williams consultant. From the moment you announce your betrothal, you must be prepared to answer two questions: “When is the wedding?!” and, “what are your colors?!” rainbow references just won’t do, so you must be prepared to speak in paint chips:. “Champagne and poppy” or “seafoam and eggshell” or “slate and ballet slipper” – I recommend an afternoon at Lowe’s to properly prep.
  3. You actually give a damn what your nails look like. All. The. Time.
  4. You convert everything to wedding dollars. One less trip to the nail salon could get you a bigger guest book centerpiece. That past-its-prime loaf of bread could have been an upgraded silver setting. An extravagant date night might mean cousin Andy won’t make the guest list (just kidding cousin Andy).
  5. Engaged people eat a lot of cake with no remorse. We’re just “tasting”!
  6. Strapless dresses, tailored tuxes, and honeymoon nakedness are the world’s greatest fitness inspiration. If you need to lose a few pounds, I highly recommend getting engaged.
  7. Registering for irrelevant odds and ends is unimaginably fun. Racing through grown up stores like Crate & Barrel with that scanner-gun-thingy makes you feel like a kid on a Super Toy Run at Toys R Us. “Cherry-pitter?!” Beep. “Knife sharpener?!” Beep. “Corn-cob hold-a-ma-jiggers shaped like corn cobs?!” Beep beep beep beep beep beep beep beep.
  8. You avoid buying things you actually need. Broken can opener? You can just register for that! In the meantime, Trader Joe’s has soup in a box.
  9. You use the word “fiancé” far more than necessary. Sometimes, when my fiancé calls, I’ll even answer the phone with, “what’s up, fiancé?”
  10. You smile dopily all the time.

While each move I make during my engagement will undoubtedly induce just as many groans as “awww”s, I plan to soak in every moment of it. From dressing-room meltdowns to mac and cheese-tasting highs, finding your “the one” is the ultimate ride.

If anyone has any engagement tips, I’ll take ‘em!

About WhiteElephantInTheRoom

I'm an 80s music lover, traveling junkie, mac & cheese connoisseur, amateur wine snob, party-planning priestess and Chicago transplant living in Southern California. I find adventure in the everyday and have a unending compulsion to write about it. Hope you enjoy reading my mind!
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38 Responses to The Engagement Effect

  1. Great post! I love your witty sense of humor! As someone who got engaged last year, I can affirm that all of these are true. As for advice… as someone whose engagement ended after the wedding planning was complete but before the wedding day, I’d say: Enjoy the season, but keep your eyes on the reason for all of the festivities; Don’t let the wedding get in the way of the marriage. Congrats! ❤

  2. Shreya says:

    Number 9 is my favourite because it paints a very accurate picture of who I’ll be when I’m engaged. I will never stop saying “fiancé.”

  3. shannoms says:

    #7 is too much fun. Got to help my cousin with it when she got engaged and I think I enjoyed it more than she did!

  4. Cheryl says:

    Great post and congratulations. My advice: enjoy being engaged but don’t let the ring override the marriage that is to follow. This is just the beginning of a wonderful life to come. My favourite was #6: I remember that being the one time I actually liked going to the gym. Now, I’ll doing anything to workout as long as I can avoid those places in the process.

  5. allirae21 says:

    Love this!! So funny too! Great post!

  6. Awesome, congrats!! I had so much fun with that scanner thing when registering for the wedding and bany shower. Although my MIL didnt appreciate my registering for a gas grill for the baby.

    Only advice i have is to revel in it as much as possible. Youre only engaged for a short, fleeting time and everyone (except that bitter ex) is excited for you. Most people are usually either single or married and no one gives two sh!ts about them.

    Of course, don’t do what my brother is doing. I gave this advice to my brother and theyve stayed engaged for the past four years.

  7. James says:

    The champagne thing is so true. Five years after the event and I’m still disappointed when someone buys me a bottle of proscecco or cava. Even though I like both of those drinks I miss the champagne days.

  8. LifeLoofah says:

    I particularly enjoyed #7; even my husband who hates shopping really enjoyed the experience (though he’d likely never admit it!).
    My advice is to not cheap out on the photographer if you really care about getting great photos, no matter what your frugal fiance says, because you’ll really get what you pay for there.
    Oh and as a side note, you’ll also get an abundance of free champagne (and possibly other stuff) while on honeymoon!

  9. How wonderful! Enjoy every moment!

    As for tips: too much cake-tasting negates any weight loss ambitions and all that fun planning will get a bit tense the nearer the day comes. If you can get through the wedding planning unscathed, your marriage will be, well, a piece of cake! 🙂 ❤

  10. Such a cute post, Beth! Congratulations on your engagement. It’s been fun seeing part of it on Instagram. Eat all the cake, drink all the champagne, and annoy those who’ll be annoyed with anything you do wedding-related. If things work the way they’re supposed to, you only do this once. And all your “annoyingness” will pale in comparison to the family members who’ll start asking you when you’re having a baby. Some even at the reception. Have fun planning the wedding of your dreams!

  11. Chris Pye says:

    Hee hee. My partner and I got engaged last year and head from Australia to New Zealand for our big day this December (Australia hasn’t embraced same-sex marriage yet). Feeling your joy! Love your posts. 🙂

  12. Congratulations, Beth! Great post! I’m celebrating my 34th anniversary in a couple of weeks, so it’s foggy trying to resurrect the memories of being engaged. Your post was a fun way to relive it! Cheers ❤

  13. #6 because I always wear strapless dresses =)

  14. jst4lafs says:

    Don’t register for place settings. I never use mine *27 years married. I am packing them up. Wish I had more serving pieces…and stock up on the wine. Get a nice set that you can use for every occasion. I only would bring mine out at Christmas/Easter etc. Enjoy every minute. Such a fun time in your life…. and good luck!

  15. Merunikitty says:

    Yay! So excited for you!! I have some advice, remember that at the end of the day, it is just a day. By all means, have the greatest day of your life that you can possibly have! But don’t have a melt down over little things that you probably won’t remember ! My darling husband and I got engaged October of 2013 and married May 25th of 2014! Dress shopping went great, wedding planning was pretty great! We had been together for about 6 years leading up to the engagement so we (thankfully) had started a wedding fund prior so we had money saved up! I ended up getting into a car accident literally 20 days before the wedding and wasn’t able to walk on my own. But I still had the best damn wedding ever! People didn’t show and it rained an insane amount! But I didn’t care, I was with my wonderful husband and the family and friends that I cared most about! Enjoy your engagement and have a blessed marriage! Just don’t get too hung up over little things!

  16. Congratulations on your engagement! Such an exciting time! As for truth #3 – I would suggest investing in a cheap little manicure set and some nice polish. Not only will you be honing in on your artistic skills but with the money you’ll be saving from ‘DIY’, you’ll not only be able to invite cousin Andy, but he can bring that new girlfriend of his also! Happy planning!

  17. belle says:


  18. Kooky Chic says:

    Loved reading this and I remember all the free champagne. Congratulations and enjoy every minute.

  19. Sunayana Sen says:

    Haha! This is awesome! And congratulations!
    BTW, this is NOTHING compared to being an Indian bride. My BFF just got engaged, & being privy to all the planning & execution has inspired me to elope & marry 😀

  20. author1955 says:

    As in the film “Raising Arizona” why not mispronounce as “Finance?”

  21. author1955 says:

    I simply lived in sin. Then, the GF demanded we get married. It was an e-z civil procedure in Madison, WI. Later, when the spouse was on TV at the Mobil pump, I did not think I’m Howard Hughes’ damn SON. Filthy little SpyCreatures, all to together now!

  22. I love this post. I’m not yet engaged but my boyfriend of 8 years and I have been talking about it recently. I hope to be as happy and have as much as you have described in your post. Thank you for something to look forward to. Congratulations and enjoy every moment!!!

  23. laswartz says:

    Congratulations on your engagement!! Your list is so true,I have been married for five years and I still remember what a whirlwind it all was, enjoy the moment while it last.

  24. Haha, I loved this! Congratulations on your engagement. 🙂

  25. this made me giggle far too much! I’m getting married in Feb 2016 and find it comforting that I am not alone in this ridiculously expensive and stressful wedding planning journey. I think the best piece of advice I have received was to enjoy the ride and remember it is your (well and the fiance of course :P) day, so do what makes YOU happy! Oh and don’t be stingy on the food – people always remember the food lol. Good luck with everything 🙂

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