You’re probably reading this because you’re either recently engaged, going to be engaged, or were at some point engaged and are now happily married…so, whichever is the case for you, congratulations!
Today I wanted to talk about something that seems to elude the internet
I’ll make sure you don’t leave empty handed either! (aka, there’ll (is that a word?) be a free download at the end! I wont be offended if you want to scroll straight there to get it either!)
If you search for, “things I should do after getting engaged” on Pinterest for example, you’ll find list after list of things to do that will get the ball rolling on planing your wedding. These are great, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to put another list out there that’s just going to be the same advice over again.
YES, call your mom, call your best friends, call the people closest to you.
YES, think about the season, set a date.
YES, call me so I can photograph your wedding. 😉
YES, hire a wedding planner so you don’t have more than you need to stress about.
Please, do all these things, they’ll feed your excited heart and calm your mind from the overwhelming to-do list that lies ahead of you.
All those lists are going to tell you what to do to get ready for ONE day of your life and hopefully one of the BEST days of your life too! But, what I’m suggesting is to treat the day that you get engaged as the turning point that it is and document it.
Yeah, we’re millennials and we’re minimalists. But have you ever stopped to think about your legacy or the heirlooms you want to pass to your children, and their children, and THEIR children?
My mom has a hope chest. Yours might too. And this hope chest is filled to the brim with items that have been passed down to her. This hope chest holds so much history; I remember looking through is as a kid feeling like I was going through a museum!
Now, as millennials, we aren’t often found carrying around a lot of stuff with us from place to place but if there’s anything I recommend you being collecting for your “hope chest” it’s first-hand accounts of the turning points in your life.
You might say, “But you’re a photographer, isn’t a picture worth a thousand words?”
and I would say, “A picture is worth a million words”… but none of them are YOUR words, even though you feel them all when you look back on them.
I recommend writing them down as soon as possible after they happen. It might have happened yesterday, it might have happened ten years ago. But, the sooner the better.
The fresher the memory- the more tangible those feelings and emotions will still be every time you read back on them, and one day when you share that with your kids, or grandkids, they’ll learn what true love looks and feels like, or what it feels like to graduate college or work their first day at their dream job!
Writing down your personal history with the intention of sharing it with your posterity will bring you and your family closer together.
So you’re here at this point and you probably fall into one of two groups.
- You’re an avid journalist & you’ve never missed a beat. (If this is you- major respect.)
- You either used to journal and are on a hiatus or you’ve never been into it and don’t think you ever will. (But you also made it this far and probably think there’s some value to what I’m saying)
Whichever group you fall into- I’ve created a list of interview-style questions, prompts, and tips to help you better document the important days of your life, specifically your engagement.
Lastly, I don’t think it really makes a world of difference whether you physically take a pen to paper and write these things down, or if you type it up on a computer or tablet.
I would strongly recommend making a hard copy. Why? Well, as much as we might like to think that we can pass down legacies to our children on a flash drive, the reality is- electronics have shelf-lives, they crash, they get corrupted, and technology moves on so quickly that even if one survived all the years, your children or grandchildren might not even have access to the technology to ever read those files!
Seriously. Print it out. Peace of mind is worth it!
- Always start with the date, sometimes I even add the day of the week too (it helps me jog my memory when I read back on a journal entry)
- The very first thing I write on days that something life changing happens, is to write it out! What was it?
- Next, I write my immediate I don’t want them to get lost later on, so it’s really important to get them down and out RIGHT AWAY. Sometimes I’ll even compare it to a previous, less life altering, event so that I have something to go off of and relate it to.
- Rewind to the beginning of the day.
- Go through what happened during the day that led up to the big moment,
- was anyone acting suspicious?
- Did anything seem different?
- At what point did you realize that THIS was it?
- Answer the classics.
- WHO was there?
- WHERE were you?
- WHAT did it look like, did anything catch your eye in particular, were there flowers or lights?
- HOW did it happen?
- WHAT did it feel like, were you shaking, was it raining?
- WHAT did he/she say that you loved most?
- Write down what it was like to call your loved ones to tell them the good news.
- Now that you’ve covered everything that’s happened, write down what your plans are for the future, when you think the wedding will happen, what you’ll do tomorrow, next week, where you see yourself in 5 years.
If you’re an avid Journalist, you can choose to stop here…
If journaling isn’t your forte, let’s round out the whole story, it can be as brief or as elaborate as you want!
- When did you meet?
- When did you start dating?
- What was one (or some) of your favorite memories with him/her?
- When did you know he/she was “the one”?
- What was it like introducing him/her to your family for the first time?
- What do you love most about him/her?
PRO TIP. Don’t worry about having perfect grammar or punctuation. Write how you would talk and it will make reading back on this day so much more authentic!
I created a cute free download with the same line of prompts for minimum effort documenting if that’s your style too!