Partners in Planning

 Getting your significant other on board…

It’s not uncommon today for couples, not parents, to pay for their own wedding. This can translate into said couple doing all the work as well. When this is the case it is important that both partners are on board. Wedding planning can be fun or a nightmare, but most often it’s somewhere in between.

I’ve seen all the extremes. One person doing absolutely everything and becoming exhausted, or an over-zealous mother taking control of her daughter or son’s wedding plans. A controlling parent can be a real problem, but I’ll leave it for another day, another column. Today let’s focus on the couple themselves.

One good solution is, if you can, hire a wedding planner. It is well worth the investment.  A great venue with a top-notch coordinator on staff will also ease the burden. But that’s not always the case either, so read on…

And even with help and strategic planning, there are still countless decisions to be made, and simply recognizing that is important. Don’t underestimate it – there is always more to do than you anticipated.

Where do you start? First pick a venue and date, not necessarily in that order. After that come all the details; from clothing to cake, music to photography, flowers, décor, and of course, choosing the right officiant – there are so many decisions. You must prioritize. What really matters to you?

Here’s the important part: a wedding is not the sole purview of a bride. These are modern times, people! Examine your gender biases. Women – are you thinking this is your exclusive domain? Is this something you’ve planned and dreamed about for years? Or maybe you are a bit of a control freak. If so, you maybe be shutting out your partner.

And men, examine your biases as well – perhaps you see it as a woman’s territory and think you shouldn’t be involved. But a wedding, like a marriage, is about two people joining together as a team.

And even same-sex couples fall into these same traps – one partner doing everything!

All the details need to be decided

I love this much-used, adorable wedding quote: “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” To which I might add – we join up with them and plan a wedding.

When interviewing couples, I have sometimes found one partner less engaged in the process than the other. Then something wonderful happens. Once they realize that a ceremony can be real, honest and yes, interesting, curiosity is peaked! It’s the same with the other wedding plans. It really doesn’t have to be the ‘same old, same old.’

So, what does spark someone’s interest? That’s your starting point; from there keep encouraging (not nagging) your partner to be involved and then you must be truly open to his or her ideas, even the ones you don’t like. There may be a way to work with those ideas, remembering that (as in marriage) compromises should be made.

Some areas that might get a disinterested manly-man type groom more involved might include: choosing a play list, selecting beverages, wine, beer, mixed drinks, or food.  A hobby or passion in life can become a theme. Ask your partner questions and clearly express that you need help.

Together on the journey? Start with the wedding planning.

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