Post # 1
I am really sorry for posting this here. I know everybody is always really happy about everything that has to do with their weddings and engagement so I’m sorry if I am bringing you down. I am totally in love with my fiance and am really excited about planning a wedding. I just want to ask you guys about some negative feelings I have been having to see if they are normal or if I should be worried.
My proposal was amazing. My fiance had somebody tell me that he had a present for me at a spot on campus. I went there and found a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers, a ring pop, and a note telling me to meet him under the century tree. Sunflower are my favorite flower and we had always joked that I would say yes even if he proposed to me with a ring pop. The note was very sweet and made me tear up because I was so excited. There is a tradition on our campus that if you go under the century tree with somebody you will spend the rest of your life with them. I walked there to meet him and he was waiting for me surrounded by hundreds of sunflowers. It was beautiful and he even managed to have my parents there to take pictures while hiding. It was amazing and of course I immediately said yes.
The problem is that I have been feeling pretty sad lately and I can’t figure out why. I loved the proposal, I love my fiance more than anything in the world, and I am excited about getting married. I really want to have that “I can’t wipe the smile off my face” honeymoon period feeling.
Here are some things that happened that could be causing my feelings:
1) I knew the proposal was coming. My fiance is awful at hiding things from me. We had gone ring shopping together, his mom made it pretty obvious that they were out buying my ring one morning, my dad told me not to press about his finances (we live together) because he was saving money to buy me something big, etc. My fiance even asked me how I would feel if he proposed to me that weekend multiple times. He always said he wished he could and tried to cover it up, but it was pretty obvious that was happening. I also saw a picture of my engagement ring ahead of time. So when I was walking to get the bouquet of sunflowers I knew what was happening.
2) Immediately after the proposal my parents came out and told us we should pack up all of the flowers. We went to get our truck and packed all of them in. Then my parents congratulated us and left. I realize this shouldn’t be a big deal but I was very excited and felt like I had nobody to share my excitement with.
3) My family does not seem excited that we are getting married. They don’t have money to help pay for it. Since I am in graduate school I don’t have the money to pay for it either. My grandparents are paying for my school and even told me that would stop once I was married. I won’t graduate with my PhD for another 4 years.
This is just all so frustrating and upsetting. I want that amazing feeling and I am worried that something is wrong because I am not having it. Are these feelings normal? Is there a way to fix it?
TLDR: I am feeling mixed emotions after my engagement and am trying to figure out if that is normal.
Post # 3
@jbeath1: Congratulations, It sounds like a wonderful proposal, just the same! Maybe your parents left because they felt weird about staying-especially on campus? As far as your feelings/questions-
It seems like you are most likely worried about money issues. Since you are planning on getting your Ph. D. and your grandparents say they will not pay when you are married. And not having money to pay for a wedding itself, could definitely put a damper on things. I would have talks with your Fiance and your family members about these things-perhaps that will lift your mood.
Post # 4
Remember that you don’t have to get married right away! If you want to get your PhD before you get married, do it. That will allow you save some money in the meantime. And you should be so thankful that your grandparents are paying for your graduate education!! I took out about a gazillion dollars in loans for that.
Also remember that the person who will be most excited and interested in planning your wedding is you. You can’t expect other people to be as excited. =(
Post # 5
@creativeplannertobee: Thanks. It probably is the money I’m worried about. I think I was expecting to be completely care free and then it hit me.
@peachacid: That’s true. I should be the most excited about it. It just stinks that my family hasn’t expressed interest in it at all. They even seem like they are trying to talk me out of it. It’s probably stupid, but I don’t want to wait. I have been wanting this for years and now that it has finally happened I can’t wait to start planning. I am very thankful that they are paying… so I guess I can’t have everything. :/
Post # 6
@jbeath1: I’m also planning a wedding while working on a Ph.D., and it’s a lot to handle – but you can do it!
Just try to take things in stride. “Bridal culture” kind of pushes the idea that the whole world should stop and acknowledge what a big deal this is, but, like a previous poster said, it’s mainly a big deal to you and your Fiance. In everybody else’s lives it’s more like, “Oh, did you hear? X and Y are getting married. That’s nice.” Immediate family might also be a little apprehensive (about money, your expectations, the possibility of a lot of pressure that they might expect to go along with a wedding, etc.) Remember, life goes on, and the world doesn’t stop being stressful, when big events happen. You still have to get through your finals, your prelims, your dissertation, etc.
If you have other questions/want to have an extended conversation about juggling engagements and grad school/a dissertation, feel free to PM me! I know that my Fiance and I are very happy to take a “less is more” approach with our wedding. That may or may not fit with what you’re looking for, but I’m happy to be a sounding board. Best of luck to you!
Post # 7
- Wedding: April 2013 - ceremony at a gazebo outside, reception at neighboring restaurant on a lake
1) You can’t let knowing ruin it. Even if there was zero hinting before it happened, you still would have known seeing the sunflowers. And time can’t be rewound. Just focus on how he wanted to make it perfect for you with the ring pop, sunflowers, getting your parents there to take pictures, under the century tree!! That is a lot of planning! He asked about stuff ahead of time because he wanted to make sure it was okay and that you would LOVE it! He def messed up the surprise but it is because he wanted to make it as special as possible for you and he obviously was nervous about making it perfect.
2) Your parents probably left because they figured as newly engaged they should leave you two to have alone time!!!
Is your family not excited about their new son-in-law or not excited about the wedding? They probably feel bad they can’t pay for it.
3) It makes sense to worry about the money side of things. Are you getting a stipend for grad school? You should probably look for some teaching assitantships or something to help pay for it. Bottom line is that more money = less stress in your situation since money will help you be less dependent on others.
Do you have an idea of what you want your wedding to be like and will that idea be expensive? Are you okay doing a smaller wedding? If you belong to a church you can do a ceremony there and the reception in whatever room they use for brunch type events. There are a lot of options to make a wedding affordable! Affordable does not have to equal cheap!
Also, after my first 6 months in grad school all my worries were magnified x 10 due to grad school stress. Grad school ate my soul and it took some recovery after it. Some of your negative feelings could just be extensions of grad school.
Post # 8
OP, that sounds like a beautiful proposal – regardless of whether or not you saw it coming! I can’t help but think that given all your family’s involvment, they are certainly excited for you! I wonder if, perhaps, the lack of excitement you see on their part is merely a reflection of your own? They might be gauging their levels of excitement, involvement, etc., on yours and if you are projecting uncertainty and unhappiness they might be confused.
I knew about my engagement as well and my Fiance didn’t even bother to go all out with my favorite flowers or anything. He proposed while I was making spaghetti and meatballs. Haha, it sounds so funny to say it out loud! A part of me wishes it was more of a surprise, but in the end, I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Don’t get caught up in what society tells us we “have” to feel as brides. In time, your excitement will grow, the money troubles will ebb and you will be happier than you can imagine right now!!
Best of luck and keep your chin up – it will all turn out right in the end!
Post # 9
Ha ha … Fiance and I joke about our anticlimactic proposal, too – we were making cookies! (Yay for combining engagements and food …) We had talked about wanting to get married, how soon we’d be able to do it (we’re both impatient, but we knew we needed 6 months minimum because our church requires that much lead time), we’d gone and looked at rings but didn’t see anything we liked (I’m not into diamonds), were talking about just getting custom wedding bands instead … and then, boom! He turns to me and says, “Why don’t we just do it? Will you marry me?”
So, it was a “surprise” only in the sense that I really didn’t expect him to just up and ask me that night … in retrospect, though, I’m kind of delighted about it. Why bother about rings, indeed? They weren’t important to either of us. We actually just finally got our (lovely custom-designed) wedding rings last week – so, it would have kept me waiting three more months if he actually had waited! Which would mean we wouldn’t be getting married until the end of the year, at the earliest … yeah, nope, I’ll take anticlimactic.
Post # 10
I think that you guys are right. I am just extremely stressed out about grad school and money. We are already pretty tight on money. It makes me feel much better figuring out that is all that it was. I also think that you’re right about my parents just not be super excited because they are worried about not being able to pay for the wedding. Luckily, my fiance and I have talked about it and we figured out how to pay for a very budget wedding. It is not what the magazines say you’re “supposed” to have and that was hard to deal with at first. I know it sounds stupid, but that is what I grew up imagining. But the more I think about this wedding that is actually possible the more I get excited about it! I love the spaghetti proposal. He probably just couldn’t wait!