questionswell, i'm engaged. now what? (please read all…

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@kristiwsu: Believe it or not, this is actually pretty stretched out as it is. Orthodox couples usually marry 3-4 months after the engagement, so everyone is saying "What? So long?" This should give us more than enough time, seeing as how all the wedding halls and such are used to booking mere weeks in advance.
We will certainly be sure to prioritize. Thank you for the advice and condolences

@magic_cave: Thank you very much. I'm surprised that with my mind the way it is currently, I remembered how to tag someone with a space in their username :P
The general consensus is that it is indeed strange to wish Mazel Tov and condolences in the same sentence, but it is called for. Bring it on, I say. We need all the happy we can get right now

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There have been so many wonderful messages and bits of advice and encouragements and expressions of sympathy made by so many here already, I can do little but add to the wishes, hopes, and prayers for you and Light as you journey forward. I would like to add to the many, many good thoughts and good wishes that have already been sent your way. We will be sure to follow your journey toward a wonderful and happy wedding day.

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Congrats @abramokids. Mazel tov!

On getting married and for bringing tears to @shrdlu 's eyes despite her cold dark heart (she knows I love her anyway) :)

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I have two things I would like to add, but firstly, let me extend my condolences as well as my congratulations!

Firstly, in regards to a ring: you addressed what neuropsychosocial said about things getting caught in the ring, etc. I have 3 rings (I know, overkill), an engagement ring, our original wedding band that is plain gold, and an enhancer/diamond band that is more intricate like my engagement ring. When I am doing things with my hands where my diamond bands will get dirty, etc, I remove them and only wear my plain band. Since this is the band with which my husband and I were wed, it is the most significant for me anyway! You can get her a ring keeper or a box to keep them in, if you feel the societal pressure to get her a more "traditionally" styled engagement ring. Also, I had a coworker who had a very beautiful, but non-traditional, engagement ring: it was a heart-shaped pink stone (not sure the type) set in a gold band. Stunning. Unique. Not diamond! CONTINUED...

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The second thing I wanted to mention was the difficulty she will face next year as her wedding approaches and her mother is not there. My mother was a HUGE part of my wedding, both the planning and execution, and I cannot imagine going through that day without her. As Light plans the wedding, shops for dresses, flowers, etc, there will be many, many difficult days. You sound supportive and caring and very kind, so I wanted to mention it so you can be prepared! Some days it may seem like every single thing about her wedding simply reminds her that her mother is gone. I know very little about traditional Judaism and what you follow, but maybe you could incorporate somewhere into your ceremony/celebration space an honor to her mother? That way you can help her shift her focus from feeling the loss to honoring her mother's memory. And some days, Light will just need to mourn and a shoulder on which to cry.

Best wishes to you both!

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First off, CONGRATULATIONS!

Being newly engaged myself (22 days), I recommend to just enjoy those moments of bliss, and get excited about the big day! It's a great feeling! :)

BUT, we definitely can't be in a ooey gooey blissful state 24/7. Definitely take the time to research EVERYTHING wedding related, online (including honeymoon destinations). I'd recommend making the honeymoon destination a decision to make with your future wife, rather than a surprise. I'd also recommend choosing something all-inclusive, if you can afford it. I've had MANY family members rave about that, so that's what we went with on our bookings.

Anyhow, congrats again man :) Saying those four big words is huge (for me the four words were "voce quer casar comigo? as my finace is Brazilian, hehe), and demonstrating a seriousness to commitment that is becoming less common in our crusty culture. Best wishes in everything!

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@klozitshoper: Thank you very much :D

@capguncowboy: There's that loving sarcasm I was talking about! Thank you very much

@aafalke: Thank you very much for the input and advice. I mentioned to Light that she should instead wear the wedding band at all times, rather than the engagement ring, and she is totally on board.
And you can be darn sure that we will be doing some sort of a memorial at the wedding! No dount in my mind there. I was close with her mother as well.

@dmaz: Thank you very much. The problem with all-inclusive is that it usually focuses on food, and we keep strictly kosher. My uncle has already pointed out that he and his wife are travel agents and will give us the family discount :D
Congrats to you as well!!!

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The following people get bonus points for saying "Mazal Tov"
@shrdlu: @codex: @thedogma: @levenhopper: @neuropsychosocial: @magic_cave: @capguncowboy:
Truly, it is the little things that count!

Even though I replied (or at least attempted to reply) to all the posts that were made here, I just want to thank everyone again for all the kind words and suggestions. As I've said, you guys are like a family to me. An awkward family that only talks to me via internet forums, but a family nonetheless. Thank you all. I really mean it.

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@abramokids: I said "Mazel Tov" -- ;-}

{My friends who speak Yiddish bet me that I wouldn't come in and point it out. They lose.}

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@shrdlu: There are spelling variations :P I considered writing "Mazel/Mazal Tov" but was too lazy at the moment to add those few letters. And yet here I am explaining myself, so that kinda backfired ;)

I'll be offline for the next 3 days due to a holiday, but I will try to respond after then to all comments

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Baruch Dayan HaEmes.

I am sorry to hear about your girlfriend’s mothers passing.

Mazel Tov on your engagement. Only simchas in the future.

I have noticed people recommending things in regards to the actual wedding ceremony. I want to focus on things that will need to be handled that is not directly related to the chasuna.

As to what to do now that you’re engaged, I can recommend a few things.

1. Make sure where you live after are married is a place you BOTH like. After my wife and I got married, she told me she hated where we were living. Unfortunately where we were was the only feasible place for us at that stage in our lives.

2. Wedding Registry. Only register for what you need, not what you want. Who needs all that extra clutter? Also only register if you are going to let people know you did, otherwise it’s pointless.

Continued..

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3. Furniture. If you live in NY go shopping for your living room, bedroom and dining room furniture in Lakewood. Its cheaper, trust me. Also don’t get the 48" beds, they suck. Get a king and a twin. Yes, it looks weird, but trust me, you’ll have more room on the king and not have to worry about the crack between the mattresses.

4. Wardrobe. Get a whole new one right before you get married. Get rid or give away all of your old stuff and buy new things. Underwear, socks, undershirts, tzistzis, suits, shirts etc.

5. Housing. @moondrake mentioned about buying a house. While that is a good idea, an apartment might be easier in terms of upkeep for the first two years of marriage. Also you aren’t going to need the space a house offers right off the bat. My wife and I are looking into buying a house in Phoenix, AZ. Property is cheap and my parents live there, so two very good reasons to go there. Also Jewish community doesn’t have the NY mentality, which is why my wife hates Monsey.

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@sgoman5674: Thanks for your comments. Amen, only simchas! Sorry for the delay, but my laptop was down for a few days. Religious-wise, it seems like you and I are on about the same page. I shared all these ideas with Light, and when I told her the bed idea, she was like "Oooh, that's a good idea!" All in all, very helpful. Thank you again :D