You popped the question, so now you’re of the hook, right? Not so fast. Getting engaged was just the f rst piece of the puzzle, and now’s not the time to slack of . The good news: “A guy doesn’t have to plan a huge event to up his romance game,” says Marvin Velazquez, co-owner of The Heart Bandits, a duo of proposal and date planners. Instead, little things can go a long way. Dr. Karen Rushkin, marriage therapist and author of Dr. Karen’s Marriage Manual, says to simply ask yourself: What is one thing I can say and one thing I can do to show that I adore my mate? Beyond that, here are a few key ways to express your chivalry and valor.
1 Say cheese Engagement photos are a perfect way to celebrate this period and also spend some quality time together. But what if playing model for a day isn’t your idea of fun? Velazquez suggests incorporating your joint hobbies and history, whether you’re outdoorsy together or you’re revisiting a particular landmark from your f rst date. Bring your dog. Have a laugh. Keep the mood light and stay at ease. The photos will come out great, and the experience itself will prove to be worthwhile on its own.
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2 Hit the road You’re planning a destination wedding, so why not start visiting those potential destinations? “Scouting trips are a perfect way to discover new and romantic places,” says Velazquez. You get a chance to go on a sexy getaway, think about your wedding and actually make progress together toward that goal. Plus, when you pick a spot you’ve visited in person, you’ll already have great memories there to build on.
3 Take a break ➸ The months leading up to a wedding can get stressful. That’s why it’s important to be able to take a step back. Hit the gym together to unwind, or spend a date night with no wedding talk allowed. Remember, you don’t need to solve every problem that arises. Instead, follow Dr. Rushkin’s four-step plan, which includes validating her feelings, reassuring her that the joy of being together conquers all, providing positive feedback for the choices she makes, and making sure you’re participating. Speaking of which.
4 Help her plan ➸ “Look at it like a sports team,” continues Dr. Rushkin. “Each person has a dif erent role to play.” So what’s your job within the winning wedding game plan? For guys, common tasks you could claim include handling the honeymoon planning, f guring out the music, dressing yourself and your groomsmen, and putting together the bar and signature cocktail menus. You don’t necessarily have to divide and conquer, though. Dr. Rushkin suggests a joint approach of divvying up the research, allowing one person to present two candidates and the other to make the f nal call. Now you’re the guy who gets bragged about to her girlfriends and co-workers for being so involved in the process. Way to go, Sir Lancelot.