4 Tips to Keep the Wedding Planning Peace
Last year I watched Ryan Serhant and his fiancé Emelia's journey to the alter in their Bravo TV show. It did not disappoint in the drama department. As their wedding planning process played out for the world to see, it got me thinking about the thousands of couples facing this emotional overwhelm on a daily basis from wedding planning.
What seems like a dream from the outside, wedding planning is actually stressful and overwhelming. These negative emotional states can lead to disconnection from your fiancé. What was supposed to be a fun bonding experience becomes anything but.
You know what I’m talking about, right? When you can’t agree with your fiancé about the music playlist. When he won’t help you stuff the invitations which have to go out the next day. When you start a conversation about your rehearsal dinner location and it turns into a fight.
Both partners often go into the wedding planning process with different expectations. Many brides-to-be are more invested in seeing their wedding vision come to life. This could lead to her partner to taking a “hands-off” mentality. He wants to support her and encourage her rather than get wrapped up in the details of how she’s going about the planning process.
It’s important to talk about how you foresee tackling wedding planning as a couple. Ask these questions of each other:
What’s your vision for your wedding day?
Do you even have a vision?
How involved do you want your partner to be?
How involved does he want to be?
Can you divide and conquer to-dos?
What happens when your family member starts meddling and it makes you frustrated?
How do you approach those stressful situations together?
Once you have an idea of each other’s expectations, you can create a plan to tackle these scenarios together as a team, be it tasks on your to-do list or conflict that arises. Remember, wedding planning is as much about organizational skills as it as about interpersonal and communication skills.
As a real-life example, Greg and I decided that we wouldn’t make any important wedding decisions without first consulting one another. So, if someone in the family or a close friend came to me with a suggestion, I wouldn’t jump on the idea until I explained it to Greg and he was on board. If he had an alternative point of view, I tried my best to see his viewpoint and then we made the best decision for us.
Here are 4 helpful communication and conflict resolution tips to keep the wedding planning peace:
You’re going to have a gut reaction in almost every situation. Don’t act on it. Listen to make sure you understand everything about the situation and ask questions for clarification when necessary.
When you listen first, you give the other person a chance to feel heard. This will go a long way in supporting and encouraging them. Then you can offer your POV from a rational place rather than an emotional one.
Use ‘And’ Not ‘But’
When your POV differs, use ‘and’ to make your objection. For example, “I hear that you want to invite Sally to our wedding AND I would like to invite Billy. We only have room for one additional person. How can we solve this dilemma so we both feel good?”
You wouldn’t go around screaming at your best friend. You wouldn’t use harsh language with him. You would dismiss his feelings. You would, however, find a way to speak your mind in a way that honors your relationship. Come into any disagreement with your partner from this mindset and you will not only have less tension in your relationship, but you will practice skills that will only help your relationship in the future.
It’s worth it to dedicate time to creating intimacy with your partner outside of wedding planning. The disconnection that can happen while wedding planning can have a negative effect on your intimacy both physically and emotionally. Get around this by going on dates without spending even one breath on discussing your wedding. In fact, put a quarter in the jar every time you do!
I like to think that wedding planning is great practice for mastering communication and conflict resolution in your marriage. Take time now to find the techniques that work for you as a couple and hone your skills to create better communication and intimacy within your relationship. It’ll pay dividends throughout your marriage.
Do you need a way to supercharge the intimate connection between you and your fiancé?
One of my clients favorite parts of working with me is during the one-on-one love story interview where they get to relive their relationship journey. It's a great time to re-connect with your fiancé and share all the moments that brought you together and made you fall in love.
Bride Valerie says, "The best part of the love story writing experience was getting to retell those experiences we had and shared. Some time has passed since many of those moments and it brought us closer as a couple to relive them and remember them together. I liked talking with Kristen. It was very easy and I didn't feel self-conscious like I think I normally would when talking about my relationship."
P.S. - Before you go, don't forget to snag 20 creative ways to personalize your wedding right here!