Wedding planning can be stressful for even the most organized of brides. Unfortunately, that stress can also lead to a lot of fights between fiancés. But it doesn’t have to be that way. While you can’t completely eliminate stress from wedding planning, much less life, you can certainly choose to make this time an opportunity to learn to cope with stress and conflict, healthily, as a couple. So, next time you have a disagreement about the color of your cocktail napkins or which wedding venue to choose, here are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Conflict Is Inevitable, But Fighting Is a Choice
You won’t agree about everything while planning a wedding, or after you’re married. You might as well learn to disagree, well, now.
Some couples can develop the skills needed to manage stress and conflict on their own, over time. But if you’ve already started bickering or fighting frequently, consider reading some books by licensed therapists or other well-respected relationship experts to help better understand one another and how to deal with strife.
Another even more helpful option for many couples is to attend pre-marital counseling, which many officiants recommend or require anyways. Those counseling sessions are a great time to start discussing future plans in a safe environment, as well as to learn to work through disagreements constructively.
Some insurance companies even provide free or discounted therapy to couples going through a major change, like getting married. Many ministers also offer free or discounted counseling to those who are engaged.
Choose Your Battles
As a couple, and with extended family, you need to learn to choose your battles. One of the best ways to do this is by letting the most important people in your life have a say or vote on some things, but not everything. Even your groom may not want to weigh in on every detail. But out of respect to him, make sure you ask his opinion on the things that matter most to him, like the band for example, or the food. Just be willing to act on his opinion, especially if he’s only asked for a few inputs, so he doesn’t feel dismissed.
With family, make sure to take only the most important people’s opinions into consideration. Otherwise you’ll likely become overwhelmed by opinions, which can lead to crippling indecision. “You can’t please everyone,” is a good cliché to keep in mind through the planning process. Just make sure you do allow those closest to you to offer advice and input, even if you don’t or can’t act on all their ideas. Including them in the planning process can help make them all feel special and valued.
Stick to the Budget
Like building a house, almost every wedding will run into some unexpected expenses. To help compensate, set a small percentage of your total budget as a category strictly for unexpected expenses.
Another way to ward off conflict, where finances are concerned, is to make your priorities clear and take care of your biggest or least negotiable expenses, first. For instance, most brides choose to secure their venue, hire their photographer, and purchase their dress before moving on to less extravagant details, like the table décor, which could be accomplished on a tight budget if necessary, whereas the big expenses are often set costs.