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. When two sets of tastes, ideas, and opinions coming into play, it can sometimes seem like the two of you just can’t agree on wedding plans. So what’s an engaged couple to do?
The most important thing is to 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 allocate funds from your wedding 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. Try to head off any future impasses where the two of you can't agree on wedding plans by sitting down together and discussing your priorities well before you even officially start researching wedding venues or shopping for the dress. 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. Once 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 an issue arises where the two of you can't agree on certain wedding details, start by look backing at your list of priorities and make sure you’re keeping them in mind.
And of course, guests and family situations can cause 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 the list, too. And when it comes to family drama—or even simply the wedding day roles of certain family members and other nuanced family relationships—it's always important be sensitive to your partner's situation. There’s often much more to it (and no matter what, you’ll soon be part of the family!) so tread lightly and follow their lead. Offer your opinion or advice when it’s asked for, but otherwise simply offer love and support.