Whether you’re in the thick of wedding planning, or just getting started, you know that it takes a village. One awesome way to make sure you're maintaining an attitude of gratitude throughout the whole process: Use love languages with family, friends, vendors, and supportive partners alike. The concept of love languages comes from a popular relationship advice book called The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.
When I was planning my own wedding, I found it super helpful—turns out, I appreciate physical touch in the form of de-stressing facials and great massages. And my husband? He appreciated words of affirmation, especially when things got a little nutty. Check out which languages ones “speak” to you and your crew’s personalities the most, and get ready to spread some major love all around.
Words of Affirmation: Showing love through spoken or written praise
Crucial piece of advice: it’s never too early to write a thank you note. In fact, I recommend avoiding a giant backlog after your honeymoon by writing notes on a rolling basis starting from the first engagement gift. Make sure you’re also thanking your vendors, both in person and online with great reviews! A strong vendor/couple relationship means a wonderful end result.
Acts of Service: Showing love through actions, rather than words
The first thing that people usually associate with this language is charity, but it’s so much more—it means anticipating the stresses and needs of the people who are doing the same thing for you. This translates to actions like letting your bridesmaids pick their own dresses, providing your college-aged cousins with affordable gift options, and inviting an old friend to your wedding because you just really miss them.
Receiving Gifts: Showing love through thoughtful presents
It’s pretty obvious that you get gifts for getting married, maybe the most you’ve ever gotten in your life. But, it’s also a great practice to gift right back at people. Sometimes, a thank you card doesn’t pack the same punch as, say, a delicate gold ring or a whisky glass. General rule of thumb is that the bridesmaids and groomsmen get gifts, as do the parents of the couple and your spouse.
Quality Time: Showing love through undivided attention
When the stress really starts to creep in, I suggest the following: turn off your phone, let your laptop die, and go out to dinner with your partner. Have a glass of wine and remember why you’re getting married. And don’t forget to check in with friends, both in your wedding party and not, and schedule some unplugged, non-wedding-related quality time in the form of workout classes, shopping trips, or weekend jaunts.
Physical Touch: Showing love through the sensation of touch
I’m all for a Sunday spent snuggling in bed with your spouse-to-be—you could always use the extra dose of oxytocin, and it’s a great opportunity to break in the luxe sheets you got as a shower present. You can also apply this love language to anyone in your life who’s helping out with the big day (in a non-creepy way, of course). From a spa day with your maid or man of honor, to mani pedis with the cousins, there’s a ton of ways to make everyone feel extra-appreciated.