Planning a wedding is an exercise in patience, especially when you and your partner come to a disagreement. Something as simple as choosing napkin colors or picking who makes the guest list shouldn’t turn the process into a nightmare — but if communication isn’t prioritized, it’s easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture.
Fortunately, practicing strong communication skills during the wedding planning process is the perfect build-up to a life of honesty, openness, and intimacy. After all, isn’t that what marriage is all about?
Planning your big day should feel exciting and filled with love. If it’s starting to feel like the opposite, take note of these communication tips from wedding experts who have seen everything (and more!) working with couples on their way to the aisle.
Teamwork makes the dream work (seriously).
A wedding joins the two of you in matrimony — so don’t let it become a 1 v. 1 situation in the months leading up to the big day! This isn’t a time for competition or “being right,” but rather togetherness and cooperation.
“When discussing your wedding planning, start the conversation by reminding yourselves you are on the same team,” says Megan Estrada of NSWE Events. “Your goal isn’t to beat your partner. Your goal is to make choices that you both are happy with. Starting the conversation that way can remove a lot of tension from complicated discussions.”
You’re going to spend the rest of your life with this person. Who cares if they have very specific opinions about cake flavors? Your wedding is one day, but your marriage is a lifetime — so go into it like a team.
Be an open book – and ask the same of them.
Tiptoeing around certain subject matters is not how you want to plan a wedding — and it’s definitely not how you want to start your married life. As the old adage goes, honesty is the best policy. Those words ring especially true when hosting a major event with your partner, especially when you consider the investment of your time, energy, and money!
Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events offers, “My best advice for couples to effectively communicate is to share honestly and frequently, especially if one person is taking the lead with planning. No one is the same and no one is a mind reader, so you have to be honest and share how you feel; otherwise, you may not be happy with the result or a fight could ensue because information and feelings weren’t shared previously.”
With that said, Chang cautions against overcommunicating as well, adding that “this doesn’t mean you have to talk about the wedding every day, but set aside time to go over all wedding things weekly. It will give you both a chance to talk things through, discuss how you feel, make decisions and make sure you’re on the same page.”
If you want to make it extra special, consider setting a weekly appointment together and pairing it with your favorite meal or bottle of wine. You’ll both look forward to it!
Find common ground and compromise.
Disagreements are inevitable, but they don’t need to create turmoil in your relationship. Think of these moments as the perfect opportunity to practice conflict resolution, a skill that will serve you well for years to come.
To navigate disagreements, Monika Kreinberg of Furever Us encourages couples to “talk about your wedding vision before starting the planning process. Talk about what you both want. Create a list of must-haves by ranking them in terms of importance 1-5 (1 being the most important).”
Kreinberg continues, adding that you “may create this list together or separate, but make sure to talk about this list together. When they find themselves at a standstill about something in particular they can look up to see how it ranks and choose the one with the higher ranking.”
At the end of the day, remember that your wedding is about more than pretty details and the perfect, Insta-worthy guest experience. While both are important, the big star of the day is the love you share with one another — so let go of the little things and celebrate what matters most: you, your partner, and the support of your friends and family.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
We’ve partnered with OFD Consulting to bring you this great advice from their collective of wedding professionals.