At least for this bride-to-be, planning a wedding is not all it's cracked up to be. Given the family dynamics, budget worries, and blood, sweat, and tears it has taken to find reasonable vendors who understand our vision, the whole fiasco been a much more stressful process than I could have ever imagined. That's something Hollywood sure doesn't tell you in rom-coms. And if you start to feel bogged down by all the minute, painstaking details of the day, you better believe it can be a challenge to keep romance alive with your partner.
Thankfully, there are measures you can take to keep the peace and prevent a relationship meltdown on your way down the aisle ...
- Make sure to establish solid ground rules from the get-go. You may have your heart set on a hometown bonanza, while he wants a destination fete. You may be thinking your parents can contribute to the bottom line, while he wants to try to avoid getting any financial help. The best way to shoot for smooth sailing is to hammer these issues out from the start ... (Although, that doesn't ensure disagreements about this very things won't still arise.)
- Don't push him to handle the details he couldn't care less about. It may sound old-school, but some grooms just want to stay on the sidelines 'til the Big Day. If he's not really feelin' writing a braggy bio for the wedding website or doesn't have any opinion on boutonnieres vs. pocket squares, don't press him. It's okay to make an executive decision, then move on.
- Be cool with being The Bride. We hear about bridezillas all the time, but I've known more brides who have an issue taking charge and find themselves walked all over by family and friends. Worst case scenario: This can lead to resentment and, in turn, conflict. But by getting more comfy with asserting yourself, you can keep things firing on all cylinders with the wedding -- and healthy communication with your fiance.
- Try not to live with your in-laws. Yeah, it may be tempting for you and your finace to shack up with your honey's parents or your parents in order to save some cash for the wedding -- or a downpayment. Plenty of couples do it ... but it's bound to create nothing but TROUBLE. Trust me on this one!
- Don't go to town criticizing his parents/family when they overstep their bounds. Obviously, you're going to have to vent at some point, but there's definitely a time and a place, and you gotta know when to put a lid on it, because sooner or later, it'll lead to ...
- Don't get too defensive when he criticizes your parents/family. He's probably making a valid point, which you've got to acknowledge … But then, you gotta do your best to resolve the issue asap -- while avoiding more finger-pointing.
- Try not to let the wedding take over your lives. Some days it may seem impossible, because the Wedding Beast has cravings: contracts to be signed, vendors to be interviewed, dresses to try on, stores to register in, etc. But it's best to make sure you carve out time together in which you completely avoid wedding business. Or designate a specific time/day to handle a few to-dos at once.
- Feel free to yell, scream, cry, throw your hands up in disgust, etc. We're brainwashed to think the whole wedding planning process is going to be blissful from the time he puts a ring on it to the moment you become husband and wife. But it's not. And repressing any anxiety, anger, annoyance, etc. won't do any relationship any favors. Better to be open and honest with your partner before the Big Day. And besides, it's good practice ... After all, whoever said a lifetime with another person would be conflict-free?
How did you/would you avoid killing the romance while planning your wedding? What's the biggest hurdle you and your fiance faced during the process?
Image via millicent_bystander/Flickr