You’ve paid the now it’s time to plan the wedding. We chat to clinical psychologist Tertia Myers about planning a wedding without losing your bride in the process.
When you and your fiancée have different expectations of what the wedding day should be, how do you reach a compromise?
It is important to remember what a wedding is all about. It isn’t about the stag night, the height of the cake or the cost of your outfit. The most important thing about a wedding is that it is the beginning of your life as a married couple. In five years’ time, what may seem important on the day can become quite trivial. As a couple, you need to think about the things that are important to you, such as where you want to get married, etc. Know that there will be great deal of compromise and often a lot of differing opinions. It is a day that the couple weds and two families merge. Don’t think that everything will go smoothly; expect a lot of bumps along the way.
What do you need to remember?
• Weddings are highly stressful events. They are joyous occasions, but the bride in particular can be highly stressed and may tend to be more emotional than usual.
• Wedding planners are often useful as they know the ins and out of wedding and possible pitfalls. If a wedding planner isn’t an option, consult a neutral third party regarding issues that may come up.
• Think about what you are willing to compromise on and what you aren’t. Establish these as early on as possible.
How involved should the groom be in the planning?
Some grooms like to be very involved and others don’t. Try to think about how your partner will view your involvement. Most brides want to feel that the grooms are involved and aware of most of the wedding plans. Other brides will feel that you are too involved. It may be best to discuss this with your bride prior to the wedding. Ask your bride what she would like from you, for example, some brides want their partner at the dress fitting while for others this would be viewed as bad luck. Whatever you may decide, your bride needs your support.
What fights can happen and how can you work through them?
There are so many reasons that fights can occur. This is a stressful time and it will become more stressful as the wedding day draws closer. Such stress will make you both more prone to arguing, sometimes over petty things.
The involvement of two families also adds many points of potential conflict. can prove to be difficult to deal with and there will be alliances with your own family in many instances.
Different ideas about aspects of the wedding, failure to compromise and to keep the real reason for getting married at the centre are some other reasons.
How do you decide on who pays for what?
There are traditional ideas about who pays for what, but these days, this is usually decided by the couple and their families. Many established couples are paying for their own weddings, or at least a portion of it. It is important to resolve financial issues early on and to have a budget for all those extras that pop up just before a wedding. There needs to be a clear idea of the exact cost of the wedding and for the couple and the family to realistically look at these costs and take responsibility for it. It may be useful to divide the total cost or to agree for certain costs to be paid by each of the families. It would seem best that money is approached in a rational manner and based upon who can afford to pay for the wedding. This will avoid grievances later on inmarried life.