Perfect wedding venue? Check.
Gorgeous wedding dress? Check.
Constant bickering with your betrothed? Double check.
What? Fighting? That’s not on your pre-wedding checklist! Yet, unfortunately, having a few
squabbles with your partner usually comes with the territory of planning your wedding, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. To prevent your fights from becoming fully-fledged feuds that make you think ‘let’s just call the whole thing off and elope’ there are some tactics that come into play.
If your stress levels have reached an all-time high, keep calm, collected and read on. Here’s how to keep the peace and ensure your wedding is fantastically fight-free.
Set aside time for wedding talk
I’ve seen it a thousand times: someone who uses every excuse under the sun to bring up the
wedding – and it drives their partner absolutely crazy. It’s natural to be fully invested in creating your ideal wedding, but a line has to be drawn somewhere. It shouldn’t consume your entire life to the point that you’re so sick of your wedding months before it’s even happened.
The feeling that your partner is not invested in your wedding can also lead to a serious
disagreement. To avoid this, set aside time for the two of you to discuss it. Set a reminder on your phone, get cozy on the couch and communicate everything wedding-related that’s on your mind. No in-laws or best friends allowed! This sacred time is for the two of you to feel totally comfortable to express your expectations, dreams and concerns for your big day.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
It’s no secret that planning a wedding is a big project. From the venue to the bridesmaid dresses to the date of the wedding, there are big decisions that need to be made. Then there are also the smaller decisions like the colour of the napkins or the tiny flowers you want as part of your hairstyle.
The sheer number of decisions you have to make is enough to make anyone go crazy – especially if these decisions are to be shared with your partner. To keep the peace (and your sanity) don’t place a huge focus on the tiny details. I can tell you now, none of your guests are going to notice if the colour of your tablecloths is ivory or eggshell.
One of you wants a traditional low-key, low-cost wedding with close family and friends. The other wants an extravagant Game of Thrones wedding with everyone from your gym instructor to your second cousin twice removed in attendance. Although you’re going to try your best to avoid fighting with your fiancé, disagreeing on something is bound to happen. When it does, it’s how the two of you react to the argument that sets the tone for your wedding day (and the rest of your lives together).
When you and your partner have a squabble, it’s important to think win-win; how can you both benefit from the optimal solution? Don’t try to achieve a personal victory of getting your own way – remember, you’re in this together. If you’re at a stalemate then this is where the art of compromisation and knowing when to pick your battles comes in!
Set a budget… and stick to it
Ah, the topic of money. A sensitive subject for some, but a necessary one at that, especially for a costly event like a wedding. Finances surrounding a wedding can cause a lot of tension between a couple; especially when other people come into play, like parents and in-laws.
No matter what your financial situation is, agree on a budget from the very beginning and stick to it. There are plenty of apps to help you stick to it too. Bridebook is a great example, and the best part is it’s totally free. You can do pretty much everything on the app, from planning your guest list to managing your budget.
Hitched is another great wedding planning app that lets you accurately manage your wedding budget and track your spending. Their nifty online tool lets you track which deposits you have already paid, when your next payments are due and your total spend to date to ensure you stay on track with your wedding budget. Remember, it’s not just about the expenses, but how you communicate your monetary expectations.
Mindfulness is a hot topic at the moment. And it’s clear to see why – the scientific evidence backing up the benefits of mindfulness is overwhelming. A study by Harvard scientists found that the mere act of clearing your mind for 15 minutes each day actually alters how your genes operate. The study indicates that people who meditated over an eight-week period had a striking change in the expression of 172 genes that regulate inflammation, circadian rhythms and glucose metabolism. And that, in turn, was linked to a meaningful decrease in their blood pressure.
Around half an hour of meditative mindfulness a day can reduce worry and anxiety and help you control your temper – an important skill to have to avoid picking fights with bae before the wedding. When all the wedding stress and tensions get a bit much, it’ll be really beneficial for you to be able to totally switch off, take a breath and get some perspective on the whole thing.
Planning a wedding takes a lot of time, commitment and organisation skills. So much so that it can be too much for one person to handle alone. Luckily there are two of you!
Share the burdens with each other by clearly stating what each of you is in charge of. One of you can be tasked with finding the perfect floral arrangement, the other with picking a stellar wedding menu. This way you’ll avoid arguing over an apparent lack of interest in the wedding, and who is supposed to do what. It’ll also prevent one of you taking on too much, becoming frantically stressed and taking it out on your partner.
A big cause of wedding fights for couples is frustration over an apparent lack of interest from your partner. It might seem like they don’t care about anything to do with your wedding, but maybe they think you’ve got it all under control and don’t want to disturb your flow. To prevent a nasty spat about ‘not caring about our wedding’, make it very clear what is expected of each of you. Communicate everything from your expectations to your concerns before it’s too late.
Respect each other
So, the two of you disagree on everything from the bridesmaid dresses to the food? That’s totally OK. It’s natural to butt heads at times, as long as you remain respectful of each other and your views. Avoid casting blame in arguments or using phrases like ‘you ALWAYS do this’, or ‘you NEVER do that’ and if it all gets a bit much, step away, sleep on it and talk things through again when you’re both feeling a bit calmer.
Set boundaries (especially for the in-laws!)
A wedding isn’t just about the life-long commitment between two people – it’s also about two families coming together. Your special day is a big deal for your families too, so they’ll want to get involved. Just make sure they don’t get too involved. Avoid hurting anyone’s feelings by stating from the get-go how much help you would like planning your wedding and remember, if you accept money from someone for the wedding, it’s not completely unreasonable for them to want to be included just a little bit in the planning process.
Write weekly messages of appreciation
With so much chaos, decision making and frantic running around, it’s easy to forget why you’re getting married in the first place. To remind yourself and each other why you chose the person you did, write weekly appreciation messages to each other.
They can include small but powerful messages like what you love most about them, or how much you value the hard work they’ve put into making your dream wedding a reality. Sometimes it’s easier to express your love through writing notes or sending a text rather than saying it out loud. Just remember to communicate how much you love and appreciate each other often (while wedding planning and into your marriage!).
Remember, it’s totally natural to enter into a few heated debates with your partner before your big day; in fact, it can be healthy and ultimately helps you overcome obstacles as a team. If at times your disagreements become a little too heated, remember that the two of you are in this together. Be open, be respectful and be prepared to share the load. And as the saying goes, two heads are better than one.
ABOUT RAE OLIVER
Rae is a 20-something professional digital nomad with a deep dislike for the term ‘digital nomad’. Most days you’ll find Rae gallivanting around the world, hopping from one coffee shop to the next on the hunt for the world’s fastest Wifi and perfectly ripe avocado.
This article originally appeared in Rock n Roll Bride magazine, issue 30. You can subscribe or grab a copy of the current issue right now!
- Photography: Vanessa Bennish Photography
- Words: Rae Oliver