couple kissing on beach

Photo: Karina Jensen Photography

You’ve heard it since kindergarten: Teamwork makes the dream work. And this adage is never more true than during wedding planning. During this time (and, well, for the rest of your lives), you and your future spouse are going to have to work together toward a common goal—this time, it’s creating an amazing wedding that is personal and memorable. While the majority of wedding planning is pretty darn fun, even the strongest relationships can find themselves a bit strained and stressed along the way—and that’s totally normal.

Difficulty Prioritizing

One of the first steps of planning a wedding is prioritizing. What are the aspects of your wedding that are most important? Great food, lots of guests, amazing flowers, the list can go on and on and unless you have an unlimited budget, you can’t have it all. The tough part comes if you and your partner can’t agree on what your wedding priorities are—your future spouse wants an amazing band, but you could care less about music, for example.
How to resolve it: You and your partner should each be allowed to select one “non-negotiable”—a product or service that you can splurge on. Even if your partner’s priority isn’t something you care about, remember that your wedding day should be a reflection of both of you—even if it means adjusting your wedding vision a bit. Marriage is all about compromising, so think of this as good practice!

Delegating Drama

It can be difficult to feel like your partner doesn’t care about or isn’t participating in the wedding planning process. You might feel awkward about bringing it up, but silently seethe every time you’re stuck writing another thank-you while your partner catches up on Netflix.
How to resolve it: Wedding-related tasks should be divided up as equally as possible. If you’re unhappy about taking on a heavier load or feel that your partner is dominating the responsibilities, be open and honest about your concerns. If your partner isn’t helping out enough, be specific about the tasks that he or she can help out with, rather than just griping that they’re not contributing.

Family Issues

Like it or not, your in-laws are going to be a big part of your life moving forward, so it’s best to start the relationship on the right foot. Your partner is responsible for communicating with his or her family—and sticking up for you if there’s a disagreement. There may be times where you feel like he or she is taking his family’s side over yours—and that can be a big source of drama.
How to resolve it: Don’t do the whole “it’s them or me” thing—that never ends well. Instead, talk to your partner about your concerns with their family—and how it may be interfering with your joint vision of the day. For example, “We had agreed on having a small wedding, but your parents gave us a list of 100 people. How can we resolve this in a way that makes everyone happy?”

Money Concerns

If you and your partner are paying for your own wedding, the whole money debate can be a hot topic. You may feel that your partner is overspending or perhaps being too frugal.
How to resolve it: Money will likely be an important issue throughout your marriage, so it’s a good idea to be open and honest about this subject sooner rather than later. Create a budget as soon as possible (in writing!) so that you and your partner can be held accountable for how much you’re spending. If you feel that your partner isn’t sticking to budget, don’t be afraid to speak up. Remind him or her that overspending in one area means you’ll have to save in another.

Communication Problems

Whether it’s discussing where you’re going for dinner this weekend or which house to purchase, you and your future spouse will be communicating on topics both big and small for the rest of your lives. There may be times during your wedding planning journey when you feel that your partner doesn’t want to discuss the wedding or seems like he or she doesn’t care.
How to resolve it: Set aside a specific time during the week that is meant for wedding-related discussion (“Wedding Wednesdays” for example). That way, your partner will be prepared to talk about the wedding at that time. Be sure to ask for your partner’s opinion whenever possible, and value their thoughts—your partner may be worried that you won’t like what he or she has to say, so they clam up at any wedding-related discussion. Be positive and your partner will follow suit!