For most of us, the months that lead up to the wedding are happily anticipated. After the big proposal, we expect to look forward to a period of excitement as we plan our lives together.

The reality for most engaged couples however, is often the opposite. The time before the wedding somehow turns into a huge logistics exercise. Instead of spending time together on dates and getting to know each other better, we are poring over spreadsheets, visiting different possible wedding venues, planning seating arrangements, working on budgets and arguing over what our families and we individually, want our wedding vision to be. 

However, your engagement should be one of the happiest times of your life, and it can be if you make an effort to keep a few things in mind.

Take it Easy on the Planning

Keep things simple, and don’t feel that you have to control every aspect of your wedding. In the years to come, you probably won’t remember which appetizer you chose for your wedding dinner or even the exact details of the bridesmaids’ costumes. 

Agree on a vision of what your wedding will be like; make the big decisions such as wedding budget, venue, caterers and guest list early, and then let the rest of the details go. Continue to plan for them, but don’t make them the focus of your time together. Once the key decisions are made and you have confirmed those arrangements, resist the temptation to make every conversation and date together into a planning and rehearsal session for your wedding day. 

Take Pictures – Lots of Them!

If you are going to have a professional photoshoot, have fun with it. Talk to your wedding photographer about the possibilities, enjoy your time together and express yourselves as individuals. Make memories together and take lots of pictures not only at your photography session, but on all your outings together. Now is the time to take all those couple pictures, wear matching clothes and adopt goofy expressions. 

Get Away for a Weekend

Yes, you will have a honeymoon, but you might find that after all the wedding preparations that you’ll be so exhausted and have used up so much of your leave just before the wedding itself that it turns out to be a short honeymoon and more of a recovery camp than an over the top romantic experience. 

So take a trip before the wedding. Get away for the weekend. It could be a simple staycation, or a short holiday abroad. Don’t talk about the wedding and just have fun away from work, relatives and home for a few days. 

Have a Regular “Friends Night”

Just because you are planning your wedding, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on your social life. Make time to hang out with your friends. Whether it’s once a week or once a month, set up a regular time to meet up and keep to it. It will give you a sense of perspective and remind you of who you are and why you chose each other too. 

Work on a Big Non-Wedding Goal

Don’t let planning the wedding become the only goal in your lives. Sign up for a marathon, take up diving lessons together and plan a honeymoon at a famous dive spot, learn to dance and plan a special performance at your wedding. Whatever it is; choose something to achieve as a couple which doesn’t have to be about planning the wedding. You’ll be surprised at how much closer you will feel and how easy it will be to find other things to talk about beyond the wedding day logistics.