I know this is a pretty obvious one, but if you’re not getting married to someone who knows every little thing about the way you work and will have your back no matter what, then you’re in for a tough time. Being engaged is probably going to be one of the most testing times in your relationship. Outsiders looking in (non-engaged, non-married outsiders) will no doubt be envious, dreaming of getting their day where their true love asks them to marry them, but realistically once you get over the ecstasy of the engagement, you’re in for a period of constant stress, planning, money worries, keeping people happy so much you forget to make yourselves happy, that it can be pretty difficult.
Two weeks ago I was crying in my bed wondering whether to postpone the wedding until it just felt easier, but Paddy did exactly what I needed at the time and convinced me everything would be OK, and comforted me. When I’m happy and on a high, he makes fun of me to keep me grounded. When I don’t know what decision to make, he makes it for me.
When making our first big decision, picking the venue, we were at loggerheads for a while about whether it was the right date and the right place or whether we should wait for something else (him obviously being the one who wanted to wait) but after a while we agreed. This wasn’t before me whining “why can’t you not have an opinion and just let me pick everything”. I mean why I even said that now I do not know. We make the right decisions – together – and are all the better for it. Some couples are happy with the agreement that the woman makes the decisions and the man nods along, but Paddy has always had an opinion and that’s why we work – because he challenges me. He also helps, a lot, and actually at first I wanted control over everything, but now I know that I really don’t. Once I got over my crying in bed incident, we delegated tasks to each other; Paddy is now taking ownership of the catering, entertainment, photographer and obviously suits for him and his groomsmen, and I am looking after flowers, cake, stationery, decoration and dresses for me and my bridesmaids. We’ll work on the honeymoon together.
I felt so much better sharing the responsibility and we’ll still make the final decision on everything together, but it means the massive stress of everything that needs organising now feels manageable. I couldn’t have done this without Paddy knowing when to look after me and when to make me feel stupid. And he does this because he knows me, inside and out, which is why we’re getting married. He’s my partner in crime and best friend, and we’re both now SO excited for our special day next year. I’m sure there will be more stumbling blocks along the way, whether it be upsetting a family member or a disagreement over a decision, but we’ll get there together. Make sure you say yes to someone who you know you can get through the worst with and come out better the other side.
If you want to get to know us more and follow along our journey, follow me on Instagram @clairelstead.