Staying Connected to your Partner During the Wedding Planning Process: 3 Tips for Staying Sane & On the Same Page
Staying connected to you partner during the planning—As a luxury wedding planner, I’m not only focused on producing an impeccable event throughout the planning process—but I’m also focused on ensuring my couples actually enjoy their engagement. With budget conversations to be had and family dynamics at play, wedding planning can put a bit of a strain on even the strongest relationships. But, with the right mindset and some honest communication on your side, it can (and should!) be an incredibly fun journey—ultimately, setting the stage for a beautiful marriage.
Today, I wanted to offer my top three tips for staying connected—and sane!—as you plan your wedding. Let’s dig in…
1. Have an honest, open dialogue before you begin planning.
Wedding planning is perfect practice for marriage itself because it’s all about communication. The best way to avoid arguments or misunderstandings as you plan your celebration is to ensure you’re on the same page from the get-go. Many couples make the mistake of assuming they know what the other one wants—espeically if they’ve been together for years—only to find out once they’re far along in the planning journey that their partner’s goals for the wedding or thoughts on budget priorities surprise them.
Spend an evening talking through the following list of items to gain a clear understanding of where your partner stands versus where you stand. (Make this fun—plan a picnic or pop a bottle of champagne!) Discuss any discrepancies and come up with a plan for getting on the same page now, rather than waiting to reconcile two differing opinions when you’re in the heat of the planning process. Remember: treat this as an open dialogue. Your goal is to listen to one another and keep things light, rather than convincing the other to “come to your side”.
- Budget: This one is incredibly important. You and your future spouse need to be on the same financial page when it comes to planning your wedding. What number do you want to stick to? Where are you willing to spend more—On decor? On guest experience? On music? On travel?—and where do you want to cut back on costs? Is saving for a honeymoon important? Getting on the same page about budget really comes down to understanding what’s a priority and what isn’t.
- Guest list: You don’t have to know exactly who you’ll invite, but you should have a rough idea of the number of people you want there—and how deep in the proverbial rolodex you’re wanting to dig. (If your partner wants all of his or her college friends present, but you’re not even sure you want anyone besides family there, that’s an issue you’ll want to discuss early on.)
- Additional festivities: Is a welcome dinner important for you? A farewell brunch? Are you planning a single evening of events or an entire weekend of wedding festivities? How long do you want to spend with friends and family, and how much are you willing to spend to make that happen?
- Must-haves versus nice-to-haves: Is a DJ a non-starter for your partner who really wants to hire a live band? Is that floral sculpture an absolute must for you, or would you be willing to cut it to open up room in the budget for entertainment? Think of wedding planning like house shopping: have a list of your non-negotiables and a list of the items you’d like to have (but are willing to budge on) before you start shopping vendors.
2. Decide who you’ll allow in on the planning process —and who you won’t.
Do you want the process to stay solely between you as a couple and your wedding planner—or are there family members who are funding the affair who will need to be involved? If this isn’t something you discuss, and suddenly you’re bringing your parents and various wedding party members to a planning or vendor meeting, your partner might wonder why their friends or parents weren’t invited. Setting boundaries around how many cooks you’ll have in the kitchen is an absolute must to avoid hurt-feelings and an excessive amount of unsolicited outside opinions.
3. Designate one a day each week where wedding planning is a forbidden topic.
If you’re not cognisant of it, wedding planning can consume your life. While it’s an exciting topic (Who doesn’t love to talk about parties and taste cake, after all?)—it shouldn’t be the only thing the two of you are focused on. I recommend couples have at least one day, dinner, or date night each week where the topic of wedding planning is completely off limits. This allows you to reconnect and get back to the reason you’re getting married in the first place: your incredible bond and unwavering love for one another.
Speaking of connection, let’s take a moment to relish in the palpable connection Anna & Hayden have. I’m swooning over these easy-breezy images captured in Florence.
Until next time, stay connected, always come back to your love, and happy planning!
Stepan Vrzala | http://www.stepanvrzala.com/
Contact Exalt Africa for more details or to discuss your upcoming wedding.