How to be Partners in Wedding Planning
By Rebecca Padgett Frett
For everyone, there are times when wedding planning becomes stressful. Dealing with a budget, the guest experience, societal expectations and the overall pressure to have “perfect” day can be a lot. It can help to lean on your future partner in marriage.
When planning your wedding, it’s vital to remember you’re exactly that, partners. The process may test your relationship, but you’re meant to conquer hurdles, now and for the rest of your lives. Work together. Planning your event should also be fun and create an opportunity to create something special and meaningful.
Go to Your Strengths
Reduce stress by working on something you enjoy or are good at. Who thinks big picture? Who best sees to little details? Who loves crunching numbers and managing a budget? Which of you is the people person who excels at making phones calls, answering emails and arranging meetings. Ask your intended which aspects of the planning process most interests him or her? What would he or she be most proud of accomplishing?
Each of you should determine your top three priorities, the things you’re most passionate about when it comes to your wedding. For her, it may be flowers, photography and wedding fashion. For him, priorities may be food, music and wedding favors. These are the aspects that you want to be most highly involved in. You’ll take responsibility for researching each and contacting the related vendors. Your input will weigh more heavily when decisions are made. Couples may choose to address lesser priorities jointly.
Determine a budget for each component of the wedding. Determine those aspects of the wedding that you are not willing to compromise on and those that you may scrimp on just a little bit. Establish who will be paying for what and when. For example, the bride’s parents may cover food and alcohol while the groom’s parents may pay for the rehearsal. When you know what you are responsible for, you can budget accordingly. If you are each paying for aspects from your own accounts, decide that early on. If you plan to have a joint account at marriage, it’s not a bad idea to begin it in advance so you can each keep track of shared money.
Create A Wedding Email
A good way to cut down on inbox clutter and stay organized is to create a separate email address where only wedding related information is sent. Doing this makes it less likely to miss any messages that are vital to your wedding. While both of you should have the log-in for this email address, it’s best to check it together once or twice a week.
Sit down with libations and look through what needs to be done, where tasks stand and what has been accomplished this week. If you have questions for vendors, pull them together in a document that you can share with vendors or refer to during a call. Schedule your meetings for optimal times. Make them a date, perhaps. Don’t try to squeeze them in at the end of the day when you’re both exhausted from work. Make it something you look forward to doing together.
Communication is key. While your weekly check-ins are important, it’s even more essential that you’re constantly in communication. Talk about what is exciting you now or causing you stress. There will be weeks when one of you is productive and the other not so much. Assure each other that this is OK. Explain why something your partner does upsets you, but also be sure to compliment them on the hard work they are putting into planning.
There’s nothing wrong with admitting you have too much on your plate. When you are feeling overwhelmed or simply not enjoying something, ask for help from your family, your bridal party or a close friend. It’s wise to have a small group of go-to people that you trust and work well with. When enlisting the help of others, be sure they know their role and the expectations you have for them.
Hiring a wedding planner or a wedding-day coordinator eliminates a significant amount of stress. Remember, these are professionals who have worked on many weddings. There’s likely nothing they haven’t seen or dealt with. They are there for you to utilize as a planning and execution asset. If your budget allows, a wedding planner or coordinator is one of the best investments you can make.