Weddings are tough. Maintaining a healthy relationship while planning a wedding can be even tougher. The irony of this is that your wedding is supposed to be a celebration of love and commitment but, unless you've dove into couples therapy previously, you can find it slowly pulling you away from each other and causing some drifts. A bustle survey found that 43% of married couples admitted that wedding planning put a strain on their relationship.
So what steps can you take to prevent your relationship from spiralling out of control?
1. Establish solid rules from the start
Ground rules are crucial for successful wedding planning. Before you book anything, discuss both of your ideal wedding days. You might find that your partner is rather passive in areas that you want more control, which is great for you. On the contrary, you may find that you both are pulling in way different directions & need to come to a compromise before starting anything. Some questions you need to have answered before starting to plan are:
- What vendors do we want and what vendors do we need?
- Do we want a small intimate wedding or hundreds of people?
- Do we have any location ideas in the back of our minds that we're secretly set on but haven't spoken about it with each other yet?
- What is our goal budget and our maximum budget?
- Will this affect us negatively financially?
- Will our parents help us out with the finances?
2. Take ten seconds to process before reacting
This is obviously easier said than done. When you're in the heat of the moment, it can be challenging to even glance in your partner's direction without screaming.
BUT, if you're able to speak after just 10 seconds of quiet reflection, it makes you much more aware of yourself and your partner as well as your future's together. The worst thing you can do is say something impulsively and regret it later.
3. Remind yourself why you're marrying who you're marrying
As I mentioned in the intro, it's ironic that so many of us strain our relationships so heavily based on an event that is supposed to be the ultimate representation of love & connection. I always recommend making a list, even a mental list, of the reasons why you love your partner. Who knows, this may come in handy when you're writing your vows too *nudge, nudge*.
4. Designate time to talk about the wedding and time to focus on each other
It's easy to get completely sucked into your wedding woes and lose touch with your day-to-day routine(s). This is why it's beneficial to dedicate a certain time to wedding planning and then a certain time to abstain from all wedding-related activities. Maybe that means shutting off all screens past 7 pm and having a few hours each night to spend focused on each other. It could also mean diving heavily into wedding planning for a few weeks at a time and then taking a few weeks away from everything wedding related.
5. Plan your romance
If you have kids, you're probably already taking steps to plan your romance ahead of time (if not, get on that). Otherwise, it is invaluably important to get some romantic one-on-one time with your partner. Some may think that planning kills spontaneity and makes your relationship boring, which is a big reason why so many avoid it. Though, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Planning time for either a date night, sex, or just a good old Netflix and chill cuddle session helps you foster commitment and generate excitement!
This might sound obvious but let your partner know how you feel. I know it's tempting to assume that our partners know us inside & out so they, therefore, are able to tell what our deepest opinions are on every subject. Healthy communication is the foundation of any strong relationship so tell your partner what your truthful opinion is on his version of the seating chart. A disagreement is so much healthier for your relationship than bottled-up resentment.
7. Premarital counselling or couples therapy
Speaking to a professional is not something to look at negatively. It does not mean your relationship is flawed or doomed. The fact that the two of you are willing to speak to a third-party, unbiased professional means that you're truly committed to being the best versions of yourselves you can be. Couples therapy shouldn't be used as a bandaid solution or a last-minute attempt to save your relationship, but rather as a preventative action. Akin to eating healthy and exercising.
8. Don't compare your relationship
Mark Twain is quoted saying "Comparison is the death of joy". This quote can apply to almost every area of your life but especially in relationships. Seeing other couples either on Instagram or in friend groups act perfect and loving all the time can leave you questioning your own partner. This is incredibly dumb, to put it gently. Everyone, especially on Instagram, curates their life to look a certain way. Obviously, people aren't going to show the hard parts but trust me, they exist! Hardships exist in any relationship. Arguments exist in any relationship. Low points exist in any relationship. It's how you handle those situations that reflect how healthy your relationship is and will be during your lives.