It should be of no surprise that wedding planning brings its own “chaos” to those involved in it at different stages. So learning about ways to keep your relationship during wedding planning is imperative. Many times, a couple is under so much pressure; trying to please themselves and at the same time please every other person involved. It is in those difficult situations that conflicts may arise. If not taken into proper consideration the wedding/marriage may just never happen.
From my experience and from others, I have learned that while planning this big (or small but very important) event of your life, a bride or groom needs to take into consideration all the relationships that will impact the wedding. These relationships include those of the couple, family/in-laws, the wedding party, the vendors and of course the guests. But for the purpose of this post, I would focus on the couple’s relationship.
So how does a couple not “lose it” in the midst of planning?
1. Set a budget, include some for “miscellaneous” and keep to it.
Finances! By now most of you know how expensive weddings can be, and while I’d agree the word “expensive” is very relative, let’s be honest, some are just a chunk load of money! Also it should not be news that most divorces are attributed to the financial area of life – see this Sonya Britt’s research. Bearing that in mind I believe this area should be one where a couple should be extra cautious while planning the wedding and after.
For most couples, the bride is the one that has dreamed of the wedding since she was 3. So in many cases she is the one racking up the bill – at least I’d confess, that was my case. With wedding planning, it is always good to start with a budget and include the miscellaneous part of it, then stick to it – because drawing a budget is not the hard part, sticking to it is. Depending on your resources, learn to prioritize and give up things lower on the list to get those which you value the most – something’s gotta give. The last thing you want after your wedding is to be unhappy with the look of your bank account – too unhappy to enjoy the marriage itself.
2. Give room for your groom’s personal touches.
They all say “it’s the bride’s day!”, while brides always object to that statement, can we agree that in most cases the bride handles the wedding? Aside from few exceptions like Mike and Siannah’s wedding, it’s almost always the bride who makes most of the wedding planning decisions.
While there maybe several reasons for the bride holding the golden scepter during wedding planning, a bride should leave room for her groom’s idea or personal touch. She should always ask him if there is any part of the wedding planning he would like to handle rather than assume he would not be interested or good enough for the role. Some grooms may not experts in planning a wedding however the feeling of being involved and considered would be good enough.
3. Take a break from Wedding Planning.
Now wedding planning is in full swing. There is probably what is called the bride brain where everything the bride thinks, says or does screams WEDDING. The groom is probably on the same page – maybe he is just on a slower pace- and the relationship has become a weddingship. At this point both bride and groom need to remember something called break time/recess/taking a chill pill. During this break time, give yourselves time to enjoy each other’s companionship. Remember to do those things you did before the groom popped the question.
Whether it be date nights, movie nights or visiting friends, just ensure you have those days where no one is talking about the wedding but rather focusing on grooming the relationship. Not only is this good for the to-be-union but also I’d say it’s good for the wedding planning; suddenly you get back to the planning with fresh and more creative ideas for your dream wedding.
4. Talk Marriage Planning instead of Wedding Planning.
The wedding is not the destination, a good and happy marriage is. While taking a break as mentioned earlier, you can also start focusing on the marriage ahead because that is what remains after the guests are gone. Take an interest in the life you are about to begin with one another and work towards making it a great one. Whether it be books, marriage conferences, mentors or counselors – whichever works for you two, put in an effort to learning as much as you can, especially from those who have been there. They say experience is the best teacher but I say why have your own painful experience when you can just learn from another?
Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success – Proverbs 15:22
I personally, can not stress enough how great marriage counselling was for me. It really helped put things in perspective especially during the chaos of wedding planning. So with that, I’d always encourage a couple to get counsel at every stage of their relationship especially in times of pressure – like wedding planning.
5. Show some Appreciation
I asked my husband for his input on this post and his answer inspired this point. I know most of the points above somehow makes the bride sound like a bridezilla who cares about nothing but her fairy-tale wedding but dear readers, that is not always the case. A bride should not be faulted for wanting something close to what she has dreamed of or hoped for since she was little. Not all brides are irrational and would step on others to get their dream weddings, but they sure would put in every ounce of energy to come close. And this takes a lot of time, prioritizing, negotiating and research to get her there. So dear future husbands, take time to thank her for all that work.
Send her a thank you card, a bouquet of flowers, take her out or even say it to her face. It doesn’t have to be a big or fancy gesture just ensure it is heartfelt and it expresses appreciation to her in the best way she understands it. Whatever you do, just let her know all that work she is putting into your wedding is highly appreciated.
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Since this post is attempting to help both the bride and groom, I’d love to hear your thoughts and additions; how did you navigate through the pressures of wedding planning without crippling your relationship?
Many thanks to the awesome photographers for these photos in this post! All photos used here have been officially submitted to KnotsVilla and featured on here, click on the links to see full features; Photo 1 (cover photo) by Stephanie W Photography | Photo 2 by Meet The Burks | Photo 3 by Mathy Shoots People | Photo 4 by Nicole Chan Photography | Photo 5 by Myrian Peery Photography