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Engaged Overseas: 5 Tips from a Long-Distance Engaged Bride-to-Be

  • 3 min read

Hello beautiful soon-to-be-bride! My name is Annie Rich.

I am also in a season of joy, expectancy, and a little nervousness as my fiancé and I prepare to join our lives together in every way possible. Whether you plan to have a two month engagement or a two year engagement, we all have something in common:

we are in the middle of a season unlike any other we have or will experience.

You and I have the challenge of planning a memorable wedding, preparing our hearts for being united with another’s, while simultaneously embracing the happiness and excitement of being engaged. I have some tips for you from my own experience from planning my wedding and I hope that they can help you focus on the things that truly matter.

My engagement looks very different from most. My fiancé proposed in June 2020 and our wedding date is June 2021, but I will be living overseas in Kenya as a missionary for the remainder of our engagement.

This means that for the majority of our engagement, we will be apart. It also means that I had to plan a wedding in 3 months before I moved to Africa – which was crazy, beautiful, and sometimes stressful!

 

Document Your Emotions

Write down in your journal or do a voice recording of your initial emotions and excitement attached to being engaged. I took a voice recording on my phone the week we got engaged and you could hear the joy, thrill, and shock in my voice from the proposal.

I plan on sharing it with my fiancé when it gets closer to our wedding date so that we can reflect on the beginning of our engagement and what a sweet time it was.

Give Premarital Counseling a Chance

I highly recommend premarital counseling. We went to five counseling sessions and our counselor was amazing at challenging us to dig deep, and search our hearts for the reasons we are choosing each other as life partners.

Not every session was all bubbly and sweet, though. Sometimes we had hard conversations which led to tears as we processed each other’s pasts and came to terms with weaknesses we each have.

While counseling was sometimes hard, it was so important for our growth as a couple.

Enjoy the Process

Don’t dread wedding planning. There were certain things on my checklist that I absolutely dreaded doing: calling several caterers, doing research on videographers, and many more.

I found that the more I avoided those specific tasks, the more I robbed myself of an opportunity to find joy in a piece of planning my wedding. Eventually, I learned to give myself a little pep talk – reminding myself of how beautiful the wedding is going to be, and how worth it it will all be in the end.

That simple change of perspective allowed me to embrace every aspect of the wedding planning – even the parts I wasn’t looking forward to.

Ask for Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Allow yourself to take a step back and reflect on the tasks that could be shared with your mother, maid of honor, grandmother, fiancé, or whoever will take some weight off of your shoulders.

There are probably more people than you realize who would be honored to walk alongside you and help you in any way you may need it.

Let Yourself Dream

Dream, dream, dream. Keep your mindset, heart, and words focused on the beauty of becoming one with the person you love most.

Allow these dreams to keep you up at night as you fix your attention on the moments of not only the wedding, but also of your future with your fiancé and the many years you will be by their side. Don’t allow worry, comparison of other brides, and the feeling of inadequacy to blind you from one of the most beautiful seasons of your life.

 

A huge thank you to Annie for sharing her story and five tips with us! Hear more from other COVID-19 brides-to-be and be encouraged during this season of engagement.

We are here to support you and help you look and feel your best!

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