This is a guest post by our friend and couples coach Kira Asatryan!
From finances to family relationships to religious & cultural differences; planning a wedding can be a stressful time. it’s only natural to get stressed out during the planning process. Below are some tips to keep the wedding stress from spilling (or boiling!) over onto your fiancé.
1. Determine what matters & what doesn’t
This is something to be done early, and done often. I’d recommend before you do any wedding planning at all, talk to your fiancé about which aspects of the traditional wedding really excite you & which seem more like a burden.
In my opinion, a very large part of what causes wedding stress in the first place is the belief that this is your only chance to do everything, so you should do everything. But if you genuinely couldn’t care less about getting your bridesmaids special robes to wear while you’re taking your getting-ready photos, don’t bother. If you don’t want the hassle of personally engraving your wedding favors, scratch that right off the list.
The beauty of determining what matters & doesn’t to the two of your is that it frees up mental & emotional space to get excited about the parts of the wedding you’re naturally excited about. If you both love fashion, focus on making your outfits amazing. If you both love music, make that the center of the day. Establishing “wedding priorities” early in the process is the #1 way to reduce conflict with your fiancé down the road.
2. If you care more, you own it
Wedding conflict is naturally kept at a minimum if you & your fiancé are lucky enough to agree completely on your wedding priorities. But let’s be real – you’re not going to agree on everything. You might think the flowers are Priority #1, while he thinks a florist is someone who installs hardwood floors.
This is where conflict often starts to arise – when you notice your differing opinions. The classic (and in my opinion, wrong) way of handling differing opinions is to try and convince your partner that your opinion is right. It’s not a wedding without flowers! But $5 per rose is insanity! And you’ve already started spiraling down the drain of fighting before you even know what happened.
My rule for handling differing priorities is simple: if you’re the one that cares, you own it. In other words, if you care about the flowers and your fiancé doesn’t, it’s your responsibility to do the extra work required to get the flowers you want. You’ll do the leg-work of picking them out, negotiating a price that fits in your budget, etc. And here’s the kicker: your fiancé doesn’t have to help you. Why? Because forcing him to agree with your priority (or at least act as if he agrees) fosters resentment in the relationship that can last long after the wedding is over.
3. Speak to the intention, not the action
It’s also very common for conflict to creep into the relationship when you start to perceive that your fiancé is slacking, not following through on tasks… dare I say… being lazy. Or maybe she’s spending too much money. Or maybe he’s dragging his feet on the simplest of requests – like just picking out the stupid bowties – it takes like 5 minutes!!! You see what I’m saying. Your fiancé is doing something “wrong” in your eyes & it’s making you *this close* to flipping out.
First things first: don’t flip out. It doesn’t help. And while you’re not flipping out, try to investigate what’s really going on with your fiancé. While sure, sometimes a person just makes a mistake – forgetting to send an email or schedule a follow-up call – if your partner is showing a pattern of un-helpfulness, selfishness, or absent-mindedness, there’s almost always something deeper going on.
Let’s say, for example, your fiancé has decided to arbitrarily bury himself in work during the final stages of planning your wedding. Instead of getting angry, try to understand what is the intention underlying his action. Maybe he is freaked out about the financial strain of the wedding & his intention is to make sure he doesn’t lose his job anytime soon. Maybe he’s privately worried that he won’t see his work friends as much after you get married & his intention is to spend a little extra time with them. Whatever the intention is, it’s what you need to be speaking to in order to actually resolve the conflict.
Try out these simple tips throughout your wedding planning process & you’ll have a lot less amends to make on your honeymoon!
PIN About Kira: Kira is a San Francisco-based couples coach who specializes in helping newlywed & engaged couples lay the foundation for a fantastic marriage. Her mission is to build upon the stellar aspects of a relationship while improving any less-than-satisfying parts. She received her training from the pre-eminent life coaching school – The Coaches Training Institute – and her reason for doing this work is simple: she just loves love! Visit her website to learn more about her coaching programs and pre-marital courses!