Bride and Groom Planning a WeddingA wedding’s central focus is the couple’s public proclamation that they will love, support, and care for each other. However, some couples find that planning together is difficult due to differing cognitive styles and executive functioning approaches, along with deeply held assumptions and expectations. Despite these challenges, wedding planning can become a truly collaborative exercise when you observe a few useful tips.

1. Have Your First Planning Discussion Early

Wedding Wire writer Lauren Rodrigue points out that women in heterosexual pairings may assume that their male partners won’t help with wedding planning and thus take on nearly all the associated responsibilities. Shortsighted gender-based stereotypes can lay most of the burden upon women while shaming men who show any enthusiasm or interest in the process. Meanwhile, Liz Susong emphasizes in a September 2017 Brides article that notions like these also put same-sex couples at a disadvantage.

With these kinds of potential pitfalls, the need to talk about planning efforts and expectations is critical. Your first discussions should focus on the kind of celebration you want and establish a ballpark budget figure. From there, you can determine your ideal types of venues and set an approximate guest count. Even though you’ll have several months to a year before the big day rolls around, having this talk as soon as possible sets the stage for the rest of your efforts.

2. Make Critical Decisions Together

Most experts advise that the first major decisions you must make about your wedding are the date and time of your event as well as its budget, guest list, and venues. Unsurprisingly, those are also the same decisions that you absolutely must make together. Brides contributor Jeff Wilser explains that the two of you need to jointly hash out these critical details, ensuring that you’re both satisfied with the final outcomes. Moreover, touring prospective venues together is essential so that you’re both aware of their floor plans, décor, amenities, pricing, and policies.

Ideally, you should also work together when choosing other elements such as your reception’s food and drink menu and important vendors such as your photographer, videographer, officiant, and entertainers. Collaborating on these major details ensures that neither of you experiences an unpleasant surprise.

3. Agree on a Division of Labor

You’ll each need to choose your own attire, select wedding attendants, and pick out their apparel. With that said, dividing up other tasks by interests and abilities may be a smarter move than assuming responsibilities based on traditional gender norms. Leveraging each partner’s strengths and interests is a great way to help ensure that you both are invested in the planning process. For example, a partner who enjoys selecting aesthetic details could pick out potential floral arrangements and décor, then present these ideas to the other before making reservations or purchases.

4. Communication Is Essential

As you each work on crafting your special day, it’s important to regularly update your partner on your progress. Communication can be as simple as a face-to-face discussion, but you can also use electronic tools to stay organized and ensure that you’re both on the same page. Furthermore, you can employ those same tools to share critical information with your vendors, wedding attendants, and family members involved in the planning process. At the same time, don’t forget to talk about your successes and challenges. If you’re having trouble with a key detail, your partner may be able to provide some useful input.

For many couples, planning a wedding together is their first exercise in joint decision-making. While it allows you to gain deeper insight into your partner, it’s also a great opportunity to learn how to work together. Clearly determined expectations, an equitable division of labor, and keeping the lines of communication open are all keys to successful collaboration.

Category: Wedding Planning

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