What does it look like to set healthy boundaries in wedding planning?
Wedding planning has its fair share of ups and downs. Working with your best friend to plan your dream day celebrating the start of your lives together is equal parts exciting and stressful. Couples quickly learn that in order to keep tensions low, and excitement high, there needs to be some healthy communication and boundary setting!
For starters…have a plan! Ask yourselves these few important questions:
Do we want outside help/input with wedding planning?
How will we handle differing opinions?
Are there any “must haves”?
How do we want to divide the workload?
What is our budget?
Help from Others
This can be hiring a planner, recruiting a wedding party member, or reaching out to parents for suggestions. If you decided ahead of time how much outside input you’re willing to accept, it will be easier to enforce the boundary later on. For example, let’s say you agree that the two of you want to be the sole decision makers on your ceremony location and entertainment, but you’re open to other’s opinions about florals and stationary! When your mom (who means well) starts suggesting that you say “I do” at the same chapel she did, you can confidently respond with:
“I appreciate that suggestion, and we actually have some ideas of our own that we’d like to explore. If you’re up to it, I could really use your thoughts on our centerpieces though!”
Difference of Opinions During Wedding Planning
This is bound to happen at some point and it could be over something so simple like the table linens, or bigger like whether or not you want a first look. My advice, have a plan for how to handle this BEFORE it happens. Maybe the small stuff can be decided with a coin toss, or our favorite, rock paper scissors! The larger stuff can be decided with a good ol’ fashioned pros and cons list, a third party vote or by choosing which categories each partner has final say in!
Wedding Day Must Haves
Talk about these early on so both of you are equally clear on what is most important to each other. There is a difference between a true must have (a photographer who’s work you’ve loved from day one, or a family tradition that you’ve been dreaming of including) and an illusional “must have” (when you’re elbow deep in decision making and are presented with something shiny and new that you suddenly want). It’s okay to get excited, but keep yourself in check with what really is important to you on the wedding day, and what might just be giving you FOMO because you’ve spent 4 weeks scrolling Pinterest wedding planning!
Dividing the Wedding Planning Workload
This is a great way to avoid decision fatigue and stick to the things you are best at. My advice, split the tasks by what makes each of you most excited to plan. If you are a total foodie and your fiance is the music buff- then you take the lead on finding a caterer and let your partner tackle the entertainment. This is also a great way to determine who has final say in what category (should you happen to disagree on something). Don’t be afraid to divide and conquer here (or even delegate to others if you wish!)
Talking about Budget
Regardless of what the number is, it’s important to decide this ahead of time. Do you want to have one overall budget for everything or do you need to have one for each category? Is there any flexibility in this when securing your dream vendors? How much are each of us and/or our families contributing to this? Is this budget something we are both comfortable with? Being on the same page about how much of a financial commitment you’re making will save a lot of heartache when one partner vetos the others suggestion because it is “too expensive”. My advice- determine and overall budget and book your “must haves” first. Then decide how to divide the rest! Psssst, some vendors offer payment plans which can be incredibly helpful when deciding on how to plan and pay for an entire wedding!