We get it. Wedding planning can be super stressful. When else have you been asked to plan a party for 200 of your closest friends, while spending thousands of dollars and trying to keep all of your family (and your in-laws) happy? It’s a lot! And with all of that going on, it’s inevitable that you and your sweetheart are going to disagree about your wedding.
Disagreements happen – in life and in wedding planning! You won’t always be on the same page and sometimes, an argument takes place. But the important thing is that you’re able to make up, move forward and walk down that aisle with a genuine smile on your face on the big day.
Here’s what to do when you and your boo disagree about your wedding:
Come up with your top three
A great way to start your wedding planning on the same page and help you through future disagreements is coming up with your top three. Separately, both you and your partner write down the top three things that are most important for you to have at your wedding. Then, compare lists and try to come up with one ethos that describes your day.
For example: Let’s say you really want a personalized ceremony, delicious food and a cool venue. Your partner wants hand-written vows, a great photographer and a live band. So together, you’re looking for a ceremony that represents your unique story, a great reception atmosphere and a wonderful photographer to capture it all. With these priorities in mind, you can spend less time and money on things that didn’t make your top three, like flowers or outfits.
Keep your top three in mind and you can avoid arguing about things that aren’t important to you.
Talk through hot-button topics
Another way to difuse an argument is to proactively talk through some of the biggest hot-button topics that come up in all wedding planning: family and money. A lot of wedding disagreements boil down to issues with family (especially when it’s not yours!) and budget concerns. So before things get out of hand, talk through these big topics.
You should discuss things like: How involved will your families be in planning the wedding? Who is contributing financially to the wedding? What is your wedding budget? And who is responsible for cutting your aunt off when her wedding speech gets a little rambly?
While these topics aren’t always fun to talk about, they are good practice. This won’t be the first time you’ll need to discuss finances or family issues during your marriage.
Talk when you’re ready
The best time to talk about wedding planning is when both you and your partner are calm and prepared, especially if it’s a wedding planning topic you’re disagreeing about. The last thing you want to do is bring up an overdue vendor bill right in the middle of Christmas dinner with your family.
Set aside designated wedding planning time when both you and your partner agree to come prepared to talk. Keep things relaxed and don’t allow any distractions, such as phones or TVs. You might want to choose one night a week when you can settle down on the couch, pour yourselves a couple of glasses of wine, and calmly discuss your wedding planning together.
Take a time out
Even if you’re both calm and relaxed, wedding disagreements can occur and they can escalate. When disagreements get too heated, the best thing to do is take a break. No matter what you’re discussing, you always want to respect your partner and not let your fight cross any lines.
It’s also a good idea to take a break from wedding planning in general. Not all of your conversations with your spouse-to-be need to revolve around flowers, favours and fittings. Make sure you’re taking regular breaks from wedding planning to enjoy life outside of your big day. Schedule regular “no wedding talk” date nights when you can just focus on the two of you.
Seek to understand
When you’re in the middle of the Big Fight between daisies and lillies for your centrepieces, it can be easy to only focus on winning and proving your own point. But before you reach a stalemate or get into a screaming match, take a step back and seek to understand where your partner is coming from.
Put yourself in their shoes and try to see things from their perspective. Did they grow up with certain traditions and beliefs? Have they always talked about their love for daisies? Did their best friend have lillies at her wedding and now your boo is convinced lillies are the best?
Find the root of the problem
Sometimes the wedding planning disagreement in front of you isn’t the real problem at hand. Take our flower dilemma; maybe it’s not really about daisies versus lillies. If you find yourself midway through an argument wondering why your partner, who doesn’t care about flowers, is suddenly screaming about blooms, it’s time to do a little digging. What’s the real problem here?
Perhaps it’s not about flowers, but about money. Is your partner worried about the budget? Or maybe it has nothing to do with the wedding at all. Sometimes having a hard day at work can result in a passive aggressive text conversation about flower choices. You might be hearing, “They don’t care about my flower choices and therefore they don’t care about me!” While your partner might actually be saying, “I had the worst day at work today and I’m taking it out on those daisies!”
Before you start your smear campaign against lillies, make sure you know what the real problem is.
Be ready to compromise
Wedding planning, like marriage, is often about compromising. So just think that every compromise you make during your wedding planning is actually great practice for your lifelong marriage ahead.
Compromising can come in different forms. Sometimes you’ll get your way and sometimes your partner will get their way. Sometimes you’ll meet in the middle and sometimes you’ll come up with a new creative solution all-together. The point is that you both need to be ready to compromise. Approach your wedding planning issues with an open mind and the goal of solving problems together – not ensuring your way always wins.
Remember the long term goal
At the end of the day, what is your wedding all about? It’s about your marriage! This one-day event is going to be awesome, but it’s also only one day. It’s a celebration and a symbol of your relationship and lifelong commitment to one another. Every choice you make during your wedding planning should honour your longterm goal: a great marriage.
It can be hard to remember that goal when you’re shuffling through napkin colour swatches, emailing an endless list of vendors, or collecting RSVPs from family members who refuse to respond by the deadline. But it’s so important to keep your marriage at the forefront of your wedding planning.
Is your disagrement about the cake going to affect your marriage five years from now? Probably not. So find a way to move past it and put your marriage first.