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Engagement

The 3 Boundaries You Need to Maintain Your Bridal Sanity

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The 3 Boundaries You Need to Maintain Your Bridal Sanity

What happens when opinion-giving turns into opinion-forcing? What happens when noses start to pop up in places they don’t belong? What do you when it starts to become disrespectful and hurtful? You set boundaries by is simply communicating with those around you what is and is not ok with you...

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When Being a Bride Gets Lonely

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When Being a Bride Gets Lonely

There is something about the thought of a wedding that screams togetherness and support and community. But what happens when your experience as a bride feels lonelier than you expected? Here are 3 Ways to Defeat Bridal Loneliness. 

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5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before My Wedding

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5 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before My Wedding

It’s no secret that a huge part of being a bride is learning as you go. Unless you’ve been married before or you are a wedding planner/financial advisor/marriage counselor all rolled into one - chances are, you’re learning as you go. 

I certainly did when I was a bride. I learned A LOT. And while I don’t mind learning and discovering new things, I’m not a fan of big surprises. I don’t like surprise parties or unannounced appearances. Things that majorly catch me off guard like that just leave me feeling like a deer in headlights. I just like to know things beforehand! 

And if someone had told me these 5 things before my wedding, it would’ve saved me some of those not-so-pleasant, deer-in-headlights moments, had I just known...

 

1. "It’s not just the happiest time of your life."

Happiness is a huge part of getting married. But it’s definitely not the only part. It is completely normal to feel other emotions that you weren’t expecting, both positive and negative! Whether it’s stress, disappointment, anger, anxiety, fear, nervousness or excitement, romance, joy, peace, serenity, bliss - it’s ALL normal. It’s all real. And it’s so much more than just happiness.

 

2. "Your social group will change."

This was probably the hardest, and most painful surprises for me that I still have trouble sorting through. My best pal Mehl helped me make sense of it since she experienced this social group shift as well.

She says that when you start seriously dating someone, it’s normal for friends to “give you space” but for some reason, that carries over when you get married as well. Both single and taken friends might feel a sense of intruding. Some people will assume you’re having sex every minute of every day (woohoo! go you!). Some might assume that just because you are physically with someone 24/7, that you’re busy 24/7, even though you’re probably both sitting on the couch eating Cheetos and wondering why nobody talks to you anymore. 

Your social group will most likely change. It’s hard. But the good thing about it?

Now that you know why it might change, you can do your part to prevent that by reaching out first and not feeling offended or abandoned when others don’t reach out to you. Plus - you’ll make new friends! Other married friends who are in the same stage of life as you are.

Change can be hard. But it can also be good.

 

3. "You might miss parts of being single. And that’s ok."

That sounds kinda bad, doesn’t it? But it’s not! I promise. In every season of life that you’ll ever find yourself in, you’ll miss certain parts of other seasons. Does that mean that you don’t like where you are at? Not at all. Does it mean you wish you had stayed in the past season? Nope. It simply means that you can’t have everything at once. You can’t be married and live a completely independent lifestyle. You can’t be married and sing 'All The Single Ladies'. Well, you can. But it’s just not the same. (But you can still sing 'Drunk In Love' if ya know what I mean...)

Different seasons of life will bring you different blessings. You might miss some of them at times. And that's alright. 

 

4. "It’s ok if you don’t like wedding planning. You’ll really like marriage." 

Your feelings towards color schemes and to-do lists are not a reflection on your feelings towards your future marriage. Just because you don’t enjoy planning a big event, doesn’t mean you won’t love being married. They are two very different things! Where wedding planning is often centered around big plans, big ideas, big to-do lists, and big costs, marriage is all about the little things. The slow mornings, the love notes, the take-out movie nights, the quiet moments of intimacy.

It’s ok if you don’t love planning your wedding. You’re going to love marriage.

 

5. "You need to keep your own identity within your marriage."

 

Have you ever heard people say, “two become one” regarding marriage? Well that always kind of bothered me/creeped me out. I see the importance of understanding the concept of marital unity, but in all reality, when you get married, you’re still two people. It’s not like your bodies and minds suddenly morph together like conjoined twins.

You still have separate interests, friendships, careers, passions, perhaps even beliefs. It is important to hold onto your identity when you get married and not erase essential parts of yourself. It is within that individuality that you can find the best kind of unity - a unity that supports and empowers each other, even within your differences. 

 

 

And there you have it! Five golden tickets that will hopefully spare you some deer-in-headlights surprises. 

Are there any other things that you’ve experienced as an engaged woman thus far that you wish someone would have told you about beforehand?

Let me know in a comment below or on Instagram @thebarebride!

Read more about my experience as a bride in my Open Letter to the Wedding Industry!

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Dear Bride, You Are The Mona Lisa

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Dear Bride, You Are The Mona Lisa

Imagine you are walking through The Louvre.

Your boot heels clicking on the marble floors, the quietest mumbles echoing against the cool walls, as you finally make your way to the one painting that causes flocks of people from around the world to stop in their tracks and be moved - the Mona Lisa. 

You listen as onlookers pass their hushed comments to each other in foreign languages but all with the same tone of humility and adoration. To stand in the midst of such a well known masterpiece is to come face to face with a beauty that surpasses even the greatest of cultural differences. You bask in the sweetness of something so mysterious and true.

But then behind you, you hear an older gentleman make a rather loud comment in english - “Ehhhh. It’s missing something. Don’t you think? Right over there!” As he points to the left side of the painting.  "Let me just uhh see what I can do here…”. He pushes through the crowd, reaches into his backpack, and pulls out a paintbrush and some paints and ‘completes’ the apparently ‘incomplete’ masterpiece with strokes of neon green and orange.

Can you imagine the horror? The confusion? The disgust that someone would not only suggest that a piece of art so lovely is missing something but that they would then take it upon themselves to adjust a painting that was not theirs to even touch in the first place? 

Shoot. I’d be pissed. 

And I am pissed. Because pal, you are the Mona Lisa. And our culture has been speaking of and acting upon your supposed 'incompleteness' for far too long. 

 

“The missing piece" that isn't missing

I’m sure by now you’ve heard people talk about “finding their missing piece”. Maybe you’ve seen it in quotes or movies. Well I don’t know when that whole concept of a "missing piece” became a thing, but I officially un-thing it. 

You are not missing anything. Because to be missing something would suggest that who you are as an individual is incomplete and that simply cannot be. You are not incomplete. You are the farthest thing from it.

And it’s time our culture stop convincing women, like you, otherwise.

Because if you truly believed that you were incomplete, you would spend your days waiting... waiting for that missing piece to come along. Most often, that missing piece is described as your true love. But for many women, that missing piece could even be the loss of 20 pounds, the promotion, the relocation. 

My fear for you is that if you spend your days waiting to feel complete, you’ll never get there because ...

If you don’t feel complete as a single woman, you won’t feel complete as a married woman.

If you don’t feel complete at your current weight, you won’t feel complete 20 pounds lighter.

If you don’t feel complete in your current job title, you won’t feel complete within your promotion.

Now are those things allowed to make you feel great? Stronger? Celebrated? ABSOLUTELY. But your worth should not hinge upon those things.

 

"You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously" - Sophia Bush

You are a complete masterpiece, in and of yourself. And while your pieces may be jumbled and misplaced at times, don’t be fooled. They are all there.

If you can’t accept that you are complete as an individual, then your marriage will suffer because you’ll be looking for a void to be filled by your partner that they simply cannot fill. You’ll feel unsatisfied. They’ll feel frustrated, drained, and insufficient. 

If you can’t accept that you are complete as you are, then your wellbeing as an individual will suffer because you’ll never reach a place of contentment. You’ll just keep running into yourself and your supposed incompleteness.

Nobody completes you. Nothing completes you. You complete yourself. 

Your person can compliment you. They can uplift you. They can make you better. Make you stronger. 

Your triumphs can make you bolder. Leave you feeling proud. They can uplift you. Make you stronger.

But no one or thing on this planet can complete something that has already been stamped 'a masterpiece'.

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