Wedding planning can be a stressful business. This doesn't mean couples can't have fun planning together, it just means that they need to face reality from the beginning — there will be things you fight about.
The bride, for example, may get frustrated when the groom doesn't have his guest list (and that of his parents') ready to go when she's ready to address the invitations. The groom may think it's absolutely ridiculous that his fiancé is insisting on dance lessons. If the bride is crafty, their house may be filled with wedding paraphernalia for months ahead. It's a recipe for an explosion if you're not careful.
While you're planning, it's important to take time for yourselves too — time that doesn't involve anything having to do with your engagement and upcoming wedding. Check out these five ideas for keeping the peace in your relationship during the engagement period:
1. Talk about things other than the weddings.
Before you were engaged, you discussed work, television, news, sports — sometimes once the planning starts, the bride gets tunnel-vision and it can make her future spouse insane. Have designated "no wedding talk" nights in your house.
2. You've heard of "Baby-moons," right?
It's when pregnant couples have a last hurrah together before the little bundle of joy arrives. Brides and grooms should do the same thing. You don't have to break the bank — a weekend at a B&B or a camping trip (if that's your thing) will give you the alone time you need to bond.
3. Continue to do things separately with your friends.
You used to have "Girls' Night" and "Guys' Night," so why stop because you're engaged? Continuing to maintain the friendships you have independently is important, and will not only keep things peaceful in the bride and groom's house, but it will also keep your friends from feeling neglected and ignored.
4. Spend time together improving (or cleaning up) your house.
Just because you're wedding planning doesn't mean all the home improvement projects have to stop completely. Working together in your garden, or putting a fresh coat of paint up in the master bedroom, is a bonding experience.
5. Remember it's the little things that count.
Budgets are usually tight pre-wedding and it's not the time to give extravagant gifts, but it doesn't cost you anything to slip secret love notes into his or her laptop bag before they leave for work. And a sentimental card with a love note is something they'll probably keep forever. Passive activities that reinforce your love are usually free.
Owner of Weddings in Vieques, a destination-wedding planning company off the coast of Puerto Rico, Sandy Malone has helped countless couples plan their big day since 2007.