happily ever after starts here sign

Photo: Reese Moore Weddings

Don’t get us wrong, planning a wedding with your spouse-to-be is a great bonding experience – working together toward a common goal will ultimately strengthen your relationship. However, there are bound to be a few bumps along the way – you and your future spouse won’t always agree on all of the details of your wedding (and that’s totally normal!).


Budget

The drama: Creating a wedding budget comes with lots of difficult questions. How much can you afford to spend on your wedding? Who will pay for what? Plus, you and your fiancé(e) may have differing opinions on where to splurge and where to save.

Our advice: Have an open and honest discussion, not only with your future spouse, but with any family members who may be contributing financially to your wedding to come up with a firm budget. Use a budget tool to help stay organized and divide up how much you want to spend on each aspect of your wedding. If your budget allows, you and your fiancé(e) can each choose one “splurge” item where you can have a bit more wiggle room in terms of cost, but try to stick to your budget as much as possible.

Formal or Casual?

The drama: You want a casual, rustic-chic wedding outdoors, while your future spouse has always dreamed of a formal, black-tie affair in a grand ballroom...

Our advice: Start looking at venues together to help visualize how you’d like your wedding to actually look. If you’re still having trouble deciding, try to meet in the middle. Host an outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour, and a reception in that grand ballroom, or include some informal elements (like a candy buffet!) to a black-tie reception.

couple with family members guests

Photo: The Big Affair

Guest List

The drama: Are you having a big wedding or a small wedding? If you and your future spouse can’t agree, it can cause drama throughout the planning process (“What do you mean I can’t invite that guy from college who I went bar hopping with four years ago?”)

Our advice: Have an open discussion about your vision for your day. Does it include just close family members and friends, everyone you know, or something in between?

If you’re still conflicted, find a venue that you both fall in love with. Most venues have a capacity limit, which will help guide you toward a firm guest count. Also, set limits and create rules right away – and stick to them. For example, if you decide no kids/co-workers/plus-ones, don’t allow for any exceptions. And make sure that family members are aware of these rules so there are no disagreements later on.

Music

The drama: From your processional music to your first dance song, there are lots of moments throughout your wedding day that will require a song choice. If you and your fiancé(e) have different tastes in music, choosing these songs can be difficult.

Our advice: Talk to your band or DJ and allow them to use their expertise to help guide you in the right direction. If you’re set on a particular first dance song and your spouse-to-be wants a different one, choose the song that’s the easiest to dance to (not too fast or too slow), and play the runner-up later in the evening or as the last dance.

Honeymoon

The drama: It’s the trip of a lifetime – but you can’t agree on where to go! Perhaps you want a place with lots of museums and sightseeing, but your fiancé(e) wants to lounge on the beach all day. Or you want to visit Bermuda but your spouse-to-be has his/her eyes set on Paris. What to do?

Our advice: You have a few options here. If your budget and schedule allows, you could go to both places, or visit one place on your honeymoon and the other for your one - or five-year anniversary. Or, you could start from scratch and find a place that would suit both of your needs – a site that offers both activities (water sports, museums, nightlife, etc.) and a more relaxing scene (hello, pool, beach, or spa!).