Like the start of any new year, there’s been plenty of talk amongst my friends and family of resolutions and goals, of things we should do more of and things we should stop doing. One of the biggest things that my fiance and I need to do is finish planning our wedding. We’re getting married in October. There are 274 days to go, to be exact. 

Wedding planning is a little bit like getting caught in a blizzard. There are Save the Dates to send, dresses to buy, vendors to book, cakes to taste and centerpieces to arrange. That’s the abbreviated version, anyway. Michael and I are lucky to be surrounded with big families who are ready to help, so we aren’t on our own. 

Still, there is something isolating about being an engaged couple. Everyone expects us to have opinions on things we’ve never cared much about in our entire lives, like table linens, and to know how to handle every hypothetical about “the big day” that is thrown at us. One of the ways we’ve found some solace has been in community with other young couples in similar stages of life. Four of our close friends are getting married around the same time as us, and it’s been an immense relief to have people in our lives who can laugh with us about the challenges of tracking down the addresses of distant relatives and can gawk at the astounding price tags attached to everything.

This also marks the last Valentine’s Day that Michael and I will share as an unmarried couple. Valentine’s Day is a bit of a funny holiday for us. When we started dating, it was a relatively minor thing for us. We acknowledged it with cards and an easy book exchange, but it was mostly just another day. After all, it was just a Hallmark holiday designed to make us spend money to prove our affection to one another. That’s how we felt at the time, at least. 

Our shared perspective on Valentine’s Day changed while we were in college. Michael and I started dating during our sophomore year of high school, and we decided to attend different universities. I went to Michigan State University. Michael went to the University of Michigan. Because a Michigan February is typically cold and bleak, and because it was our first Valentine’s Day where we wouldn’t see each other and where we’d be surrounded by other college couples, we sent each other care packages. Eventually we leaned into Valentine’s Day. February is a difficult month. Love and boxes of chocolates and conversation hearts can serve as a bit of a salve for the gray skies and chilly air.

This year, we’re excited to invite you to celebrate Valentine’s Day with SSPP! On Thursday, February 16th at 6:30 PM, we’re inviting engaged and newly married couples for a Young Couples Valentine’s Dinner in the Loveley Room! This is going to be an awesome opportunity to celebrate the new chapters of our lives and to be in community with each other as they begin. I can’t wait to meet some of you there!