It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and for many that means plucking up the courage to propose. But whether you’re getting ready to pop the question or you’re recently engaged, it helps to know what you’re in for.

There’s plenty of practical advice and to-do lists out there covering everything from invitation etiquette to how to fold your pocket square. So instead, to help you prepare we’re offering some advice for the engaged man that you might not have heard before. Here’s what they don’t tell you about your engagement…

You will have to roll up your sleeves

You’ll probably take a backseat in planning the wedding – but don’t think that means all you have to do is turn up on the big day. No matter how in control your bride-to-be is, she’ll have a lot on her plate and she will need your support. Be ready when she does. If you’re given tasks, get them done ASAP and don’t complain. She’ll have enough to worry about without chasing you, and a speedy tick on the wedding to-do list can save a lot of stress.

Top tip: get good at either/or questions – because there will be lots. When your fiancée asks if you like the green bridesmaid dress or the blue one, no answer will frustrate her more than ‘both are nice’. Pick one.

But don’t get too helpful

It’s important that you’re both happy with everything, but ultimately the wedding is all about your bride; your priority is doing what you can to make it happen the way she wants. If she asks your opinion, give it (tactfully). If you have a great idea to save her time, share it. If you think you should be spending half the budget on a DeLorean for the wedding car, maybe keep it to yourself.

The wedding will be all anyone wants to know about

Be prepared to answer the question ‘how’s wedding planning going?’ at least 564 times during your engagement. When you’re engaged this question substitutes ‘hi, how are you?’ and you’ll be asked about your plans every time you encounter someone you haven’t spoken to for more than three days. Get used to this, and remember they’re not trying to stress you out; they’re just being polite. And let’s be honest – it is the main talking point in your life.

Neither of you is telepathic

However strong your bond, you’ll both have a lot on your mind and you can’t expect to know what the other is thinking all the time. As advice columnists, psychologists and grandmothers everywhere will tell you, communication is the basis of a happy marriage. So get some practice in early and talk to each other about the wedding. Lots. With such a big event it’s important to share your nerves, problems and excitement. Maybe you’re worried about having to do a speech. Don’t bottle it up – tell your bride-to-be and she’ll support you. You might even find out she secretly didn’t want you to give one anyway and you’ll both be relieved.

Deciding the guest list will be harder than you think

The guest list can be a minefield. There might be people you feel you should invite but aren’t sure if you can fit. Ask yourselves ‘how would we feel if they weren’t there?’ If a person is important to both of you or if not inviting them will really upset someone then you can usually find a way. Otherwise, if they care about you then they’ll get over it and simply wish you well –most people understand the wedding is about the two of you.

Enjoy the moment

The average engagement lasts for over a year. And it’s certainly not all work; being engaged is a great excuse to remind each other how in love you are, and there are plenty of fun parts like choosing your wedding rings. So enjoy it. Shopping for wedding jewellery can be a welcome distraction for a bride, and while she’s planning you can find her the perfect wedding gift to put the final touch to the big day.

For a special engagement activity, book an appointment to visit our experts in one of our boutiques and treat your bride to her wedding jewellery. At Pravins we’ve been helping our customers tie the knot since 1969 and we can offer advice on everything from bespoke wedding rings to the right earrings to match her engagement ring.