When wedding planning causes conflict in your relationship

I’m a wedding planner, not a marriage counselor, but believe me when I say I’ve seen engaged couples through all stages of happiness, joy, stress and conflict as they prepare for their big day.  Wedding planning can be a highly emotional process for a number of reasons.  There are budget ceilings, childhood dreams, rain plans, venues you wanted but couldn’t afford, and the (seemingly) nonstop input and pressure from your future in-laws, best friends, and older siblings who had the best day ever for their weddings and absolutely must have the final call on what you do for yours (even though you never asked for their opinions!).  The simple act of going to work on a daily basis while also planning the-most-important-day-of-your-lives-together-as-a-couple-so-far can seem cruel and unfair.  The amount of pressure on each of you, and together on you as a couple, can stir up frustration, irritate old wounds, and trigger emotions that cause you to fight.

I wish I had a simple, bulleted list to outline exactly how to overcome these stressors, but in the end this day is about you and your future spouse, and nobody else.  It is up to you to come together and first decide what your priorities are as a couple, and then stick to them.  Don’t agree about all of your priorities, or what your priorities should even be?  That’s even better!  Because wedding planning just happens to be the ‘pressure-cooker’ version of married life.

Once you are married, your life together will always have budgets, in-laws, deadlines and – most importantly – compromise and communication.  It isn’t as though you get married and your in-laws suddenly have no opinions about traditions, or you suddenly have a limitless budget to draw from.  You will always have to work through challenges together as a couple, and planning your wedding is a great place to start.

Conflict during wedding planning doesn’t have to be a negative thing.  Conflict is an opportunity to grow, learn more about one-another, and practice the skills of listening and compromise.  These are tools that you will use on a daily basis, for the rest of your lives, and you will never forget what you learned while planning.  In some ways, the planning process is even more important than your actual wedding day.  A wedding is a single day, but the lessons that you learn about one-another and yourselves as individuals will last the rest of your lives.  You are working on an enormous project together, and you are becoming a team.  The lessons that you learn will make you stronger as a couple than you were before.

Of course, having the right crew for your wedding day is an enormous help.  Nobody is happy when a caterer takes a full week to answer your questions, or a venue springs additional liability paperwork a month before your wedding.  Those things can be avoided by hiring the right crew members to help facilitate your big day.  What I want to tell you is that it’s normal to disagree.  It can even be normal to fight.  But let the resolution of each argument bring you closer together, and let each disagreement be an opportunity to learn something new about yourselves.  Partnership starts long before you are married.


Above photo credit: Angela @ Hitches and Unions

How to Keep your Wedding Day Stress Free!

Yes! I am starting my first blog post with the dreaded “S” word that we’ve all fallen victim to at one point in our lives.  The sooner you build your strategy to tackle wedding-related stress, the easier and more enjoyable planning your big day is going to be!  Weddings are a magnificent ritual of love and devotion, and they should be a personal expression of the relationship you and your partner share.  There are a few key things you can do early on to make sure your wedding, and the months of planning, go as smoothly as possible!

Bridal parties are a classic part of traditional weddings, but not all brides or grooms choose to have them.  This could be because you desire a smaller wedding, or you just want a simpler day.  Regardless whether you choose to have friends standing beside you when you say your vows, you still need your crew!  As soon as you announce your engagement, there will be friends, family and social media putting unexpected pressure on your plans.  Your CREW will be there to support you and your future spouse, and help you filter out any unnecessary static from the outside world.  Your crew might be your siblings, your closest friends, your parents, or even some of your vendors!  Make sure to locate them early on and ask them to be a part of your planning process- and let them know exactly what you need help with!  Your marriage will be perpetually supported by your community in unexpected ways, and the sooner you allow your community to help you, the better and more meaningful your event planning will become!

Planning a wedding is impossible without knowing how much money you have to spend on it.  You won’t know what venue, photographer, or attire you can afford, let alone how many guests you can invite!  Save yourself budget stress by knowing the total dollar amount you have to work with, and then dividing it up from there.

Here’s where it gets tricky.  We are hit on a daily basis with images of other peoples weddings, engagements, and families from social media.  Most people know that these images are idealized glimpses into others’ realities, but it is still very difficult to tune out what you see, and in the process, compare yourself with it.  Your wedding will be more meaningful the more you focus on who you and your future spouse are as people, and let your personalities shine.  This day is about YOU, not Instagram or Facebook!

If you spend too much time choosing between red velvet and hazelnut cakes, you’re bound to get into at least one minor tiff with your partner.  Remember to come back to the real reason you are getting married- your love for one another- and to dismiss any of the undue stress that comes with event planning.  Which brings us to #5…

Weddings can dredge up many unexpected emotions, and in the midst of the joy, excitement, and- yes you guessed it- stress, it’s important to bring in someone from the outside to help you through it.  A wedding planner can take most of the burden off of your shoulders, or a coordinator can come in to polish and organize your final details and ensure that everything runs smoothly on your wedding day.  Not to be too on-the-nose, but you’re already in the right place to find that help- so reach out to me any time, and let’s talk about getting you the wedding of your dreams!