Frustrated Couple Planning Their WeddingFor a couple who has decided to do life together as partners, a trip to the courthouse is all that’s needed to solemnize the union. However, a wedding ceremony provides an occasion for families and friends to celebrate the marriage with gifts, well wishes and merriment. It’s an opportunity for existing families to come together to celebrate the start of a new one. Because the ceremony usually includes close loved ones, there’s often pressure to make sure that everyone involved is happy with the details. While you may want to honor those who are closest to you, it’s important to remember that the ceremony is about you and your spouse. Here are some ideas for dealing with pressure from the ones you love.

Prioritizing Your Fiancé

One of the key things to remember is that you’re about to exchange vows that affirm your union with your spouse-to-be. While you’re technically not yet married, recognize that your partner’s needs and desires should take precedence over that of friends and family, including parents and best friends. If your partner’s feelings play second fiddle to others’ opinions now, this sets a bad tone, not only for the wedding but for the life ahead. You and your fiancé should put your heads together and decide on your must-haves and deal-breakers as a team before you consider what loved ones think. Establish and reinforce boundaries at the beginning.

Envisioning Your Wedding

If you and your partner have a clear vision of what you want your nuptials to be, including the details, it’s easier to let others know what you want and don’t want. This can be everything from the venue to wedding colors as well as preferences for surrounding events such as the reception and rehearsal dinner. If there are details that you aren’t clear on or don’t have strong opinions on, these are areas in which parents, relatives and close friends can have a larger share of input. Again, it’s necessary for you as a couple to set boundaries up front, even for the specifics that might not stand out as critical to either of you.

Consulting Parents and Relatives

In many cultural traditions, parents and relatives have considerable input and involvement with various aspects of the wedding celebration, including engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelor or bachelorette parties and rehearsal dinners. For many parents, a marriage ceremony is even more symbolic of “leaving the nest” than other rites of passage such as adulthood, college and financial independence. Consider the fact that for many parents, there is a significant emotional investment. Although you and your partner may have ideas about the ceremony, if possible, welcome your parents’ and relatives’ ideas and contributions, especially if they are providing financial support. An open, honest conversation in the beginning can help avoid discord and misunderstandings later on.

Paying for Everything

If the wedding is being mostly or completely funded by others, they might feel like their opinions are most important when it comes to your special day. While you hope this never happens, family members and friends may demand to have things done their way because they’re paying. If they don’t respect your choices or the boundaries you’ve set, you may have to decline their help and pay for everything yourselves. While wedding costs can be significant and despite the peace of mind from knowing that these costs are subsidized or fully covered, it may not be worth the drama of dealing with overbearing loved ones.

The day that you tie the knot with the love of your life is a special day that is your own. While the events may be about celebrating with your nearest and dearest, your and your partner’s opinions, needs and wants should be centered above those of well-meaning friends and family. It is important to communicate openly and regularly with everyone involved to make sure that respect, as well as love, leads the way.

Category: Wedding Planning

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