It’s amazing that planning a wedding—something that should be one of the happiest days of our lives—can actually bring out the worst in us. On social media, wedding planning is all white gauze, pink flowers, and female bonding. The reality? It’s a lot messier. And even those of us who think we’ll be relaxed and hands-off, can find ourselves developing some really bad habits. These bad habits can not only take away from our planning process and the big day itself, but they can also effect our relationships with the people close to us.
What should you be looking out for? Many toxic behaviors and destructive habits can start slowly and sneak up on us, so it can help to know the pitfalls to keep an out for. Here are nine of the most common toxic habits that come up during wedding planning, because you should never let this phase of your life create negativity that carries into your married life.
1. Expecting Perfection
This is the most important habit to break when you’re planning your wedding. Your wedding will not be perfect—it just won’t. It will be magical, lovely, joyful, and everything you hoped it would be—but it won’t be perfect. If you can accept that during wedding planning, you’ll be so much happier. Otherwise, no matter what you and the people around you are doing (especially on Instagram), it won’t feel like enough.
2. Thinking it Should be Everyone’s Priority
Your wedding may be one of the most important days for you and your partner, and it’s also hugely important for your friends and family. But they still have lives. When planning a wedding, it’s easy to want things done now, to put all of your energy into organizing. And that’s OK for you; it’s your life. But sometimes we start to treat our friends and family like our wedding should be their number one priority as well. We get angry if they don’t reply fast enough, get resentful of their scheduling conflicts. But it’s not their wedding—you need to respect that they have their own priorities and their own lives.
3. Taking on Too Much
While some people demand too much from the people around them, others expect far too much of themselves. If you find yourself taking on every tiny detail, an insurmountable amount that you can’t possibly handle, try to breathe and take a step back. There are people who care about you and professionals who can help. Let them.
4. Getting Competitive
Maybe your best friends dress cost $15,000 or maybe you’ve seen hundreds of Pinterest weddings at actual castles. It's easy to want to have a better hairstyle or location than other weddings you've seen. But the truth is, there’s always going to be someone out there with a bigger wedding, with a more elaborate color scheme, or with more help. Try to let go of what you’ve seen other people have done, and focus on what’s right for you and your partner.
5. Breaking the Budget
I know, it’s tempting to have a big blowout for your one day. And, unfortunately, the wedding industry, society, and pretty much everything in the universe encourages you to just go for it because you only get one day. But getting yourself into debt for your wedding just isn't worth it. Not only do you want to avoid starting out marriage in the red, you also won’t remember why that 30-dollars-a-piece-organic-linen-napkins were worth it—if you remember them at all.
6. Putting on a Happy Face
Sometimes, as we plan our weddings, there’s a need to let everyone know how great you’re doing, how amazing it all is, and how excited you are. Let yourself off the hook. Planning a wedding is stressful. And even if you hate every single minute of it, that doesn't make you a bad fiancée or mean that you’ll be a bad wife. Let people in. Let them know when you’re stressed, struggling, or just not enjoying it. They’re there for you.
7. Becoming Embroiled in Each Other’s Families
One problem with weddings? Everyone has an opinion. And when two families come together, things can get messy. Make sure that you and your partner are both working to keep those boundaries clear, even if that means running defense once in a while. These family relationships will last a lifetime, so try to think long-term. Avoiding one screaming match now can make your life so much easier in the long run.
8. Forgetting to Compromise
No matter how much you and your partner thought you were on the same page about what you wanted, planning a wedding brings up every inconsistency. Suddenly, you realize that both wanting a live band didn’t mean you wanted the same type of music—or that you both have very different ideas of what a “medium-sized” wedding means. Try not to get angry and remember, marriage is all about compromise.
9. Putting Your Relationship on Hold
It’s easy to get so involved in wedding planning that you lose sight of what the wedding is about: you, your partner, and your relationship. That’s it. Planning is going to be stressful, but if it takes over so much that your relationship is basically shunted to the side, you’re missing the point. Keep your relationship alive, do non-wedding activities, find time together—this is the person you’re doing all of this planning for, after all.
It's OK if you find wedding planning more stressful than you expected or if it effects you in surprising ways. Bad habits can come up, but if you keep an eye on them and keep some perspective, you'll be OK. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect, because there is no such thing as the perfect wedding.