One of your first challenges as an engaged couple, before you argue about the budget or the guest list, will be deciding what kind of wedding to have. Yes, there are different kinds – the over-the-top traditional shindig to the quickie elopement and everything in-between. We all know that some ladies have been imagining their wedding day since they were a little girl. But have you thought that maybe your dude has thought about it as well? So what do you do when you and your partner don’t have the same wedding day vision? How do you compromise?
- Discuss what’s important to you about your wedding day and WHY. The “why” is key. If it’s important to have a wedding in a church because you promised your great-grandmother on her deathbed, then bring that up sooner than later. If it’s important to your partner to have a wedding celebration close to where he grew up because his dad is disabled and can’t travel, then that’s a very good “why.” Be sure to sit down and think about all these “whys” and weigh their importance. You might have some pretty serious conflicts that need to be addressed and the sooner you do it, the better off you’ll be. Can’t narrow it down? Pick your top three most important things, and compare it to your partner’s top three. Focus on those six items for now, and anything that’s not on the list can be discussed at a later time.
- Compromise, compromise, compromise. I hate to be the one to have to break it to you, but your wedding day will not be 100% as you imagine it. The same goes for your partner. There are two of you involved in this planning (usually) and you are both individuals with equally important needs and wants. So brides – come down from your little wedding planning Cloud 9 for a moment and open your ears and imagination to what your partner has to say. You never know, they might have some brilliant ideas!
- If you’re stuck, talk about fun parties you have been to together. It doesn’t have to be weddings, it can be any kind of party or special occasion event. Discuss what about that party made it fun. Did they have an open bar? Did they have a casual dress code? Was there a live band? Was it in a park, or a church, or a zoo, or someone’s backyard? Similarly, talk about NOT FUN weddings you have been to together. Chances are if you fell asleep during your cousin’s 90 minute wedding ceremony, and then you do the same thing, your guests will be bored, too.
- Once you are on the same page with vision, THEN talk about budget. Discussing the budget will be much less painful if you’re already agreeing on what type of wedding you’re going to have. If you’re having a destination wedding, now you can move on to realistic locations based on your budget. If you have agreed to get married in a castle, now’s the time to discuss if it will be a castle in the U.S. or a castle in Europe (very different budgets depending on where you live)!
- When all else fails: Vow Renewal. If something is limiting you from having the wedding you really want, whether it’s because it conflicts with your partner’s desires or you’re getting pressure from parents or you have budget issues, I promise it’s not the end of the world. Just save your big plans for a vow renewal! Renewing your vows is a great excuse to throw another party 5 or 10 years down the line, and include some of the wedding elements you may have had to sacrifice the first time around.