Weddings are an exciting time filled with plenty of anticipation and joy. It’s a huge deal not only for the couple getting married but for their friends and family as well. With so many people involved in such a big life event, we often find ourselves in situations where we are surrounded by high emotions and stress, so good communication is essential in keeping everyone happy and informed. Just like in any life situation, communication between those involved is important in avoiding uncomfortable situations. The root of most wedding relationship problems is often that someone is feeling like they aren’t being heard. Good communication and letting everyone know your expectations from the very beginning is the key to eliminating drama during the wedding planning process.
Here are four conversations you absolutely need to have.
Conversation with your fiancé.
This is the most important conversation you will have regarding your wedding plans. You want to make sure that you and your fiancé are on the same page when it comes to the details of the wedding. The overall style of the wedding, the budget, number of guests, size of the wedding party – these are all details that need to be decided on soon after getting engaged. You want to make sure you are both on the same page before these decisions come up so that you can be a united front on all aspects. Differing opinions need to be ironed out before the planning starts – otherwise, you are just creating an environment for arguments to occur. And when parents give their opinions (as they often do), being a united front is crucial in order to avoid parents overstepping their boundaries.
Conversation about the wedding budget.
This is where communication breaks down the most for couples. Discussing money is not always a fun topic, especially if there are differing opinions. Before the planning starts everyone who is contributing to the wedding financially must get together to discuss the costs. If you are lucky and your parents are giving you a flat amount to spend however you like, that’s great, but most of the time there are expectations attached to those dollar signs. Sitting down with everyone involved and putting the numbers in black and white is a good way of showing everyone the whole picture. Asking parents what their expectations are for the money they will be providing opens up the table for discussion. Asking everyone what they are comfortable spending is important so that you don’t plan a larger budget than everyone is comfortable with. This might be an uncomfortable discussion to have, but you don’t want to assume anything when it comes to money.
Conversation about the guest list.
Everyone’s favorite – the guest list. Often your budget will determine the venue size and the number of guests your budget can accommodate. Ask everyone involved to make a list starting with the most important people at the top, and work their way down. Every wedding is different, so you will all have to mutually decide what the breakdown will be. No one likes surprises – and it’s more difficult to ask your parents to cut their list in half at the start of planning instead of when the invitations are being sent out. Everyone has to agree on the limitations as well – kids or no kids? Are you allowing plus ones? First cousins only? You need to decide where you are going to draw the line and everyone has to be on board to avoid hurt feelings later on.
Conversation with the wedding party.
This seems like an easy conversation to have but is often the most overlooked. Everyone has different ideas on what it takes to be in a wedding party. Maybe some of your bridesmaids and groomsmen have never been in a wedding party before and have no idea what the expectations and duties are. Or maybe they were in a wedding party where the couple didn’t have many expectations at all. You need to give everyone a heads up on the formality of the wedding and an idea of what the costs will entail – it’s only fair. Just like a budget for the wedding, you should come up with a mutual budget that everyone is willing to spend on their attire, hair, and make-up. Will they have to buy their own jewellery? Do you prefer the groomsmen buy suits or is renting tuxedos fine with you? What are you expecting in regards to engagement parties, bridal showers and bachelor and bachelorette parties? If you envision a bachelorette party in Las Vegas, it’s only common courtesy to give everyone a heads up so that they can either save up or let you know ahead of time that they won’t be able to take part. This gives them the chance to decide if this is something they can afford. Please be considerate of their financial situations and don’t make someone feel bad if there are certain things they can’t contribute to or participate in. As long as you all know each other’s expectations from the start, there won’t be any drama later on.