Written by: Cally Worden
Planning a wedding is a task that brings great excitement, happiness and anticipation into your world. Unfortunately it can also be fraught with stress. There are so many delicate issues around the varying expectations from you, your partner and your families that it is easy for simple discussions to descend into family feuds. Knowing where the flashpoints are, and being prepared to manage them, can help keep the arguments to a minimum.
Always a tricky subject. You will each have priorities that are important to you. Being realistic about your budget will not only keep issues of potential future debt under control, but will allow you both to get what you want within reason. Blowing the budget on a fairytale dress that leaves only enough cash for a weekend break is a little unreasonable if your future husband dreams of a sun-kissed two-week honeymoon on a desert island, for example. A pretty but less expensive dress, and less ambitious but still-sunny honeymoon destination could be a suitable compromise. Learning to compromise graciously is a life-skill you will both benefit from later.
The idea of the nuclear family went out with the nuclear arms race. Increased divorce rates have resulted in an abundance of step-families, and many bitter relationships linger where families have divided loyalties. Catering sensitively to the wishes of all family members may simply not be possible. In these situations appealing to the love that your families feel for you may be the only option. Can they put aside their issues for all or part of one day so that you can share it with everyone who is important in your life? Acknowledging their issues whilst appealing to their better nature works in all but the most stubborn of cases.
Colour schemes, invitation themes, table decorations, flowers, cake, transportation – the number of decisions to be made for any wedding is mind-boggling. If you and your partner have different views on these areas, sit down together and sort out which are most important to each of you on a scale of 1 to 10. Be prepared to compromise, and embrace your partner’s burning desire for certain things in the way you would like them to do for yours. Give and take is what it’s all about.
Many other decisions about location, religion, friends, guest lists, seating arrangements, pre-nuptial agreements etc. will also need to be addressed. You are grown-ups now, so try to avoid petty rows and consider this:
You are about to embark on a life together as a married couple. Being able to work through issues in respect of your wedding arrangements is great practice for all the other challenges that will arise through the course of your lives together. Learning how to compromise and respect each others wishes is part of being in a partnership. As long as you both recognise this should be able to work through any issues as a unit without a major gulf opening up between you.
Where family are concerned, try to remember that this is your day as a couple. It is for you, not anyone else. If all else descends into chaos around you then seeking sanctuary and sanity in the strength of your relationship is key – as long as you are both in agreement about the main issues, everyone else will simply have to cope.