Wedding Planning Your Way
Spurred on by rigorous questioning, some consult wedding planning checklists in magazines and on web sites, which can send even the most composed couples into overdrive. “I looked at one checklist that assumed you’d have 12 months to plan a wedding, whereas we were only going to have six,” explains Nico. “It only made me feel worse.”
So how can you deflect questions, suggestions and manipulations gracefully? “First, remember that people are just sharing their excitement with you,” Moir-Smith advises. “Then, be polite and say, ‘That’s a great idea. We’ll definitely think about.’ If you like the idea, discuss it with your fiancé. If you don’t, let it go.” She adds that using scripted dialog may help you defuse the tension of the moment and provide a sense of control during uncomfortable conversations.
Friends and relatives can be finessed, but financial worries often make us panic on a deeper level because we have very little control over money. When researching locations and expensive vendors, it’s easy to imagine costs spiraling out of control. The good news? One simple strategy can help couples manage this early stressor: communication.
Now is the time for you and your fiancé to talk with your families to determine how much everyone can afford to contribute. “As soon as it’s convenient, couples should have a frank conversation with each other and with their parents about how much money everyone is comfortable contributing,” Kingsdorf advises. “It will help you define parameters, which will also help you make decisions.”
The next step is to decide upon a rough size of the gathering and stick to that estimate while firming up the guest list. A smaller affair will allow you to devote more money to costly niceties, such as a wedding planner, videographer and entertainment.
Phase Three: United You Stand
Once the initial emotions of exhilaration and anxiety about planning a wedding pass, it’s time for you and your true love to discuss your personal visions for the wedding ceremony and reception. “Working together to set priorities for the wedding is the equivalent of writing a mission statement for your business—don’t start spending time and money on planning until you both know what you want,” Kingsdorf says. “The average couple spends $27,000 and devotes 250 hours of planning to their wedding. If they start rushing into decisions, they’ll have to spend even more money and time renegotiating later.”