Wedding Planning Your Way
However, melding two unique, personal visions into one wedding is a tricky proposition, as groom-to-be Neil Binkley of Philadelphia discovered. “I had some ideas about what my wedding would be like, and my fiancée had some ideas of her own. The problem was that our ideas didn’t jibe.”
As you negotiate the creation of one vision, you’ll likely bicker. “Fighting about wedding planning is perfectly normal and, surprisingly, an important part of the process,” explains Moir-Smith. “Of course the bride and groom are going to have different ideas because they have different backgrounds and viewpoints. The key is to look at this process as an opportunity to develop your communication skills.”
While in the thick of negotiations, remember that you’re laying the groundwork for a lifetime of collaboration. “As I’m helping couples plan their weddings, I see plenty of fights,” Kingsdorf says. “Grooms often just don’t get the level of detail involved in planning a wedding, while brides often get frustrated that the groom doesn’t seem to care about the same things she does.”
The best way to defuse tension, Kingsdorf advises, is for you to acknowledge the efforts of your partner—and pick and choose your battles. For grooms who are overwhelmed with the sheer number of decisions to be made in the wedding planning process, Kingsdorf suggests an attitude of respect rather than apathy. “If your bride asks what you think about the flowers, don’t say, ‘I don’t care.’ Instead, say, ‘I don’t know that much about flowers; they’re not high on my list of priorities. I know you’ve put a lot of thought into this, and whatever you choose will be great.’ ” For brides who are struggling to find a way to involve the groom, let him concentrate his efforts on his specific interests. The groom could pick the band or DJ if he’s into music, or the invitations and other printed materials if he’s passionate about design, recommends Kingsdorf.
Allowing each of you to work on your specialties will keep the enjoyment level high and establish an effective working partnership while you're plannign the wedding. “We always communicated well before, but I was surprised to learn how all the planning has helped us become even more considerate of each other,” bride-to-be Nico says.
To Plan, or Not to Plan the Wedding
Beyond making some preliminary decisions, the experts disagree on how much actual wedding planning should be accomplished in the first 30 days. Kingsdorf suggests booking the main vendors—such as the ceremony, reception site and, perhaps, the caterer—in these first few weeks. “Most couples find that filling in the broad strokes—such as the date, the location, the band and the caterer—allows them to fill in the finer strokes—the exact hors d’oeuvres and the individual songs—at a more leisurely pace,” he says.