While movies and magazines portray engagements as a time filled with cake tastings and happy little butterflies, it can sometimes turn into something much more heated and intense. Being engaged means the decisions you make and the directions you go are agreed upon as a couple. For the first time, you’ll be making high-stakes decisions together. Amidst the wedding planning, you’re bound to come across at least one of the issues or situations below. The important thing is to keep these touchy topics from turning into something fiery.
Money is a tough topic in any setting, but in an engagement, things can heat up pretty quickly. While he may want to go all-out on the DJ or the open bar, you may want to bend the budget for the dress and flowers. Or, it could be that one person feels their family is contributing more than the other, so their opinion should trump any opposition.
Whatever the sticky situation may be, the important thing to keep in mind is that you are a team. Make sure you’re on the same page when it comes to how you want to spend “your” money as a couple. This means you’ll have to talk about it in a respectful, humble, loving way — as adults.
While you’re at it, get all your financial skeletons out of the closet. Are you a big spender or a diligent saver? Do you have any debts, whether for credit cards, school loans, etc.? Do you want a joint bank account after you’re married? The more you straighten out now, the better.
2. The Guest List
Maybe your future mother-in-law has 16 third cousins that just have to be invited to the wedding, or maybe you and your fiancé disagree on the size of the wedding in general. The best way to approach this issue is to step into the wedding planning prepared. Have an open conversation with your fiancé where each of you share your dreams of what you want the wedding to be like. It will be much easier to move forward if both of you are on the same page, with the same expectations.
Draw up a guest list together and then send it to each set of parents, allowing them a certain number of people they can add to the list. This number and procedure will be up to your judgment though. No one’s families are exactly the same size. If one of you has a significantly larger family than the other, take that into consideration. Understand that in that situation, the numbers each of you invite are bound to be greatly different to begin with. Be considerate of each other’s feelings (and that of the parents and in-laws), and keep in mind that the wedding is for both of you.
3. The Ex
If one of you still maintains a friendly relationship with an ex and wants to invite them to the wedding, there’s no doubt that it will cause a rift. [Cue the bouts of insecurity and jealousy now.] While this particular guest suggestion may not be your cup of tea, it’s important to hear each other out. What used to be a fling may truly be just a friendship now. Take time to talk together and evaluate what the relationship with the ex really means to each of you. The key is to remember that at the end of it all, your fiancé chose you to do life with them!
4. The Bachelor Party
This topic can make even the sweetest brides-to-be deploy the big guns. While you may swear up and down that you have complete trust in your fiancé, when it comes time to plan the bachelor party, chances are you’re a worried hot mess. The truth is, a lot of guys nowadays are choosing more outside-of-the-box type bachelor parties. That may mean camping, laser tag or even tickets to the big game with their favorite guys.
If you’re not sure what the best man has in store for your fiancé, rather than approach him with a list of do’s and don’ts, just make sure you and your fiancé are in agreement. If the two of you have similar moral values and character, rest assured that you can trust your guy’s judgment.
It’s also important to clearly communicate your concerns before the bachelor party planning begins. While you two are on the topic, go ahead and discuss both the bachelor party and the bachelorette party. It’s healthier to come to an agreement about each of them as a team, because you’ll be setting limits within your relationship and not on each other.
5. The Wedding Fixation
As a bride-to-be, it’s easy to absorb yourself in the bliss and busy-ness of wedding planning. Being excited and indulging in everything wedding-related is perfectly fine, up to a point. Just be careful not to become focused solely on the wedding, or you’ll run the risk of becoming Bridezilla. You may also find that the more you concentrate on wedding things, the more frustrated your fiancé will get.
Everyone has emotional needs, and this includes your fiancé. Chances are that he misses getting to spend time with you (and more importantly, without your wedding agenda). To diffuse this explosive topic, be proactive by setting aside time for just the two of you. Leave the wedding planning alone for a bit, and focus on the one you love.
If you’ve come upon one of these explosive topics during your engagement, how did you work it out? Chat with us on Facebook or Twitter!Tags: wedding planning tips, wedding tips, weddings