Some people say it’s crazy to start a marriage off by planning a wedding, and for good reason: Between family drama, budget concerns, and all of the little details that you need to at least pretend to have an opinion about, tensions can run high and it can put your problem-solving skills to the test. With two sets of tastes, ideas, and opinions coming into play, it can seem like the two of you just can’t agree on anything. So what’s an engaged couple to do? Our experts have some advice that might help you through any tough times while wedding planning.
The most important thing to do is remember that your wedding is not a life-or-death situation. Sure, wedding planning is great practice when it comes to communicating, negotiating, and compromising, but the color of the napkins or the flavor of your cake will not doom your marriage. Instead, try to put the details into perspective and figure out where you can be more flexible. Can’t agree on your cake? See if the baker can have each tier be a different flavor. Really unsure about the ceremony music?
Try to find a happy medium, or each pick a song in private as a surprise for the other.
Of course, things like how to spend your budget need a little more thought. Managing money is tough, and doing so for a wedding, when it feels like everything is just so expensive, can be even harder. To try to head this off at the pass, sit down and discuss your priorities for the wedding before you even start officially wedding planning. Figure out if you’d rather have a certain band, want to spring for a different photographer, or would rather have extra money for food and spend less on flowers.
If you’ve got those priorities outlined and agreed upon, it will be easier to navigate all the decisions when it’s time to start writing checks. If a disagreement arises, look back at your list of priorities and make sure you’re keeping them in mind.
And of course, guests and family situations can cause a lot of disagreements that are much more emotionally charged. When it comes to your guest list, make a rule and stick to it. If you’re not inviting any nieces or nephews, that applies to everyone. If one of you has some childhood friends they really want to invite, the other should be able to add a few extra people to their list, too. Regarding family drama, be sensitive to the other person’s situation. There’s often much more to it than you can see as an outsider (no matter how soon you’ll be part of the family!) so tread lightly and follow your fiancé’s lead.
Offer your opinion or advice when it’s asked for, but otherwise simply offer love and support.