Wedding planning can be great fun. Cake sampling, food tasting and flower selection appointments are exciting times. Looking at wedding photos, watching videos and practicing your first dance allow you to dream about your wedding day. But amidst all the happy times, will be discussions about budgets, family member opinions and disagreements about details.
Wedding planning may be the first large scale project that you and your fiance tackle together. As you plan your wedding, you are also beginning the process of building your marriage. This involves your interactions as a couple and with your soon-to-be blended families. Practice the following tips to avoid hurt feelings and misunderstandings that can build long lasting resentment and strain in your relationships.
For the bride and groom:
- Decide how much control you want to maintain over wedding planning and what tasks you are willing to delegate to family members. If you want to handle all the details yourself, let your family know your intentions. Discuss what their financial contribution entitles them to. They have probably been planning for your wedding day long before you.
- For every hour you spend on wedding plans, spend an hour talking about life, your family goals and dreams. Make it a practice to split your time between things that matter to you and do not let one area take over your life. It is an important skill you will need throughout your marriage.
- Even if you think you know what your fiance would want, ask the questions. It shows you value him or her.
- If you ask family or friends for their opinion, let them know that you appreciate their suggestions, but may or may not use them.
- Be loyal and supportive to each other first. Understand this may be difficult for each other when the disagreement involves your parents. You are working on forming your own family too.
- Have frank conversations about wedding budgets. This will be a great way to approach financial decisions in the future.
- If someone helps you, thank them. Often.
- Remember to have fun! This should be a great time in your lives. If it is causing too much stress, reevaluate your wedding priorities.
For friends and family:
- Despite your best intentions, the bride and groom do not want all of your opinions. This isn’t your wedding. Help the bride and groom when asked, but allow them to form their own bonds around this great event.
- Your ideas should be suggestions, not demands.
- If your financial contribution is a gift, let it be one.
- Sometimes the bride or groom needs to vent frustrations. When this happens listen and be supportive. Don’t speak poorly about the other party. They will get over the issue at hand, but unkind words will sting for years to come.
- Enjoy the celebration of the couple. A wedding, while a highly important one, is still a one day event. The couple will be together, and part of your family, for a lifetime.
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