Two becoming one. Sounds romantic. Desirable.
In reality, two different lives, two different styles, two different opinions have every opportunity to butt heads, especially when it comes to wedding planning.
The process of planning your big day does not have to become burdensome or put stress on your relationship. You and your Love can use the experience to draw even closer by foreseeing common challenges of event planning and implementing a strategy to avoid average pitfalls.
1. First things first
Above all else, your wedding celebrates the first day of your marriage. Your life together.
After saying “yes”, your first instinct might be to dive into the fray of bridal magazines and spout off all your childhood fantasies. But before you do … stop. Breathe. Remember what is most important— your love for one another.
Encourage and compliment each other during the process. Maybe even write a list of things you love about your Love. Set it next to a picture of the two of you. No matter how stressful the task of planning might become, bask in the joy of having someone to share your life with. Never lose track of the blessing of having someone to love.
2. Down to business
Wedding planning is just that— planning.
It’s a job.
On top of your 9 to 5, and grocery shopping, and paying bills, wedding planning is a full-time job. Many couples hire a wedding coordinator because throwing an elaborate event is not easy. Approach this huge undertaking with the right mindset and avoid being overwhelmed with the actuality of it.
3. Write it down
Perhaps you’ve planned your wedding since you were a child and have every detail solidified. Or perhaps your favorite colors are clashing in a cacophony of random ideas. Either way, get alone and write out your ideal wedding, down to the last detail. Know your own heart.
Both you and your partner should write down your ideas separate from each other. Give each other freedom to dream.
Once your desires are expressed, come together. Talk about your perfect wedding ideas.
Don’t be horrified that your Love wants to leap out of an airplane or have her bridesmaids parade in on horses. Use this opportunity to get to know each other better.
Listen. Laugh. Learn.
Talk logistics later. Dream together. Hear each other’s hearts. No moms. No best friends. This is about the two of you.
From your two separate lists, write another combined list. Prioritize the most important parts of your dreams, speak honestly, listen, and remember, first things first.
4. Talk money beforehand
This can be intimidating, but, set a budget before the hullabaloo of planning. Guard against hurt feelings and hashing it out at the checkout of the florist.
Put it in perspective. Getting single roses instead of the floral-extravaganza-number-five doesn’t mean you hate her mother, it just means you are saving for a cute house with marble countertops. Remembering why you set your budget will help keep you grounded when the baker shows you how many tiers he can stack on the cake.
5. Plan it out
Take out your calendars. Count the days ‘till you say ‘I do’. This helps in two ways. First, it is a reality check. March might seem far off, but when you realize that it is only twelve weeks away, making your own bridesmaids dresses sounds less doable. Second, while you both have your calendars out, coordinate. What tasks are urgent? Who needs to do what? By when? Write it down. Set alarms and notifications. Check in with each other, Make sure you are on the same page. Literally.
There are a few of people, close friends, and family, that are more than likely to want to help.
Weddings traditionally are for the people, by the people. You can not pull off a major, multi-thousand dollar event alone. Utilize the people who are willing to help. Hire where you need to. Decide what you want to do and what you want others to do. Then, communicate kindly, clearly, and in as much in advance as possible.
7. Schedule breaks
Don’t fool yourself.
Wedding planning puts a strain on your relationships. Guard yourselves against it. Plan down times. Schedule dates intermittently, with no wedding talk allowed. The wedding is just an event, just a day.
How you learn to handle stress as a couple will affect the rest of your lives.
So, dream. Plan ahead. But expect surprises. Make time for laughter. And never lose sight of the joy of sharing life with the one you love.