Photo: Dave Robbins Photography
You and your fiancé are planning the most joyous event of your lives: your wedding! And you're having a blast ... mostly. There will come a day when you and your soon-to-be husband disagree — verbal blasts over details like catering menus and seating plans are inevitable.
Instead of getting upset over being out of sync about wedding-related decisions, regard your arguments as a jumping-off point toward learning how to navigate differences of opinion. There will be many to come in the course of your journey as a married couple!
1. Keep your eye on the prize.
It's not the party. After all, in the scheme of life, who is really going to remember or care whether filet mignon or beef Wellington was served? What you should focus on is expressed beautifully by bride-to-be Marissa Vicario, 35, whose nuptials are scheduled for March 2015: "It's been helpful to keep perspective that the whole point of the wedding is to spend the rest of our lives together and celebrate that union with the people we love."
2. Use this mantra: Who wants it more?
Meaning, learn to compromise on the big and small decisions based on which of you is more passionate about a particular option. The one who is more fanatical over which band to choose should "win" that dispute. But be fair: The other should prevail on another aspect of the wedding like the size of the guest list or exact wording on the wedding invitations.
3. Check your families at the door.
You both should love and honor parents and siblings, but that doesn't mean they get to vote on wedding-day details. The same goes for well-meaning friends, co-workers, vendors, and anyone else who might share their thoughts. Dinner stations versus a sit-down meal? Roses versus peonies for bridesmaid bouquets? The only two whose opinions count are you and your future hubby. Another helpful hint to navigating tricky in-law situations? "Anything that is an issue with my family I deal with and anything that is an issue with his family he deals with," bride-to-be Allie Russo, who's marrying in August 2015, says.
4. Wedding, what wedding?
Declare certain hours, days, and perhaps even entire weekends "wedding discussion-free zones." It's all too easy to become so consumed with making sure the day is perfect (and see the first tip for a reminder that "perfect" shouldn't be in the rule book) that you forget to enjoy each other's company. Spend quiet evenings together, go dancing, see movies, make love — all with nary a discussion of photographers or bridal gown fittings.
Most importantly, you must remember the two of you are embarking on a life-long adventure together. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.