Marriage is a partnership and the wedding is the ceremonial beginning of the deal. It should be natural that both sides of the couple take a vested interest in the planning of this meaningful day. For many, wedding planning is an unexpected relationship challenge. It could be that frankly one part of the couple simply isn’t the planning type or one of you is a little more dominating and controlling and has an uncompromising vision of the wedding already. Mix in a little bit of traditional gender roles and that the fact that you have life commitments outside of party planning and you have an interesting potential storm brewing. Partnerships don’t mean that you always split up duties 50/50. You both have strengths and challenges and you can capitalize on that by dividing up wedding duties accordingly. Explore these ways to ensure that wedding planning does not become your relationship undoing.
Each person needs a voice. Regardless of gender, values, interests, or whatever, EVERYONE has some sort of vision of what they would like their wedding to be. You need to both take the opportunity to communicate preferences and differentiate between wants and needs. They don’t need to align perfectly (and they probably won’t) but each of you should have the opportunity to contribute. If you know what is important to each other early on, you can avoid fights and resentments later on.
Make a budget and stick to it. Money is a huge source of disagreements throughout relationships. Do not start your marriage broke and resentful that you payed twice what you agreed upon. To do this honestly, you have to first have the above conversation and pick a max budget. Once you know what your priorities are you can divide the money accordingly. Split up some the big money items like photography and destinations and do some research. Once you have a realistic idea of how much things cost it puts a lot of things in perspective. We divided our budget and then tried to come in under as much as possible. Just because you have a budget does not mean you need to spend it all!
It is okay to freak out a little. What if you forget to pack something? What if your mother never speaks to you again because you eloped? What if your dress doesn’t fit because you bought it online from the states and there are no free returns from Canada?! There are many things to get stressed out over and you both are going to have to make some compromises when planning. It is okay to have a little cry or a moment of pouting. Allowing each other to get it out and move on. If it is becoming a regular occurrence and you find yourself overwhelmed at work and cannot sleep, then something is wrong. You need to seriously reevaluate what is going on if you or your partner are feeling this way.
Think of the big picture. You are doing this to celebrate your decision to be with each other forever. It should be fun, for both of you. Don’t let the wedding planning overshadow your relationship. Take care of each other and use it as practice for other big decisions you will make throughout your life together. It sounds a little silly to say, but sometimes you need to remind yourself that weddings are supposed to bring people together.