Wedding planning is often one of the most joyous experiences a couple can experience, but with it may come a great deal of stress. It’s perfectly normal for a couple in the throes of wedding planning to be overwhelmed, frazzled, and even more argumentative than usual—and in need of a relationship reboot. After all, the process involves a lot of hot-button decisions involving everything from finances to family dynamics. How you treat each other during the wedding planning experience, as well as how you treat others, says a lot about how you’ll fare in your marriage.
Here are some red flags that you might need a relationship reboot before your big day.
Saying "my" or "me" instead of "our" or "we"
Even though one of you might take on more of the wedding planning to-dos, the event is in celebration of both of you equally. That’s why it can be a red flag when one partner refers to everything wedding planning-related as “my or mine.” “You can immediately sense a gap in the connection shared between the couple in these circumstances,” says Sarah Quinlivan of Quintessential Events in Kansas City, Missouri. “We find that the partners who tend to be more focus on the singular possessive nouns tend to be more focused on the wedding versus the marriage.”
Not considering guests
Couples who refuse to consider their guests comforts or needs give Amber Anderson of Heavenly Day Events in Austin, Texas, pause. “Yes, the wedding is about the couple themselves, but taking it to a level of self-absorption is a sign that they view life from this lens in general and that is a really fast way to derail a marriage,” she says. "When a couple forces outdoor ceremonies in bad weather, lightning and all, I have little faith in their ability to be selfless when at some point marriage finally requires it to survive.”
Talking down to each other
Aside from harmless, funny jabs here and there, neither partner should be saying anything negative in front of or behind the back of their significant other—and if that’s the case, a relationship reboot should definitely be in your future. “Some couples we have worked with make several snide comments to us about their partner, which makes this real uncomfortable fast,” says Quinlivan. “We all understand little fights during planning, but if couples are tearing each other down in front of us, it doesn’t bode well for the future of their partnership.”
Allowing a great deal of outside influence
This one has more to do with the couple having clear boundaries on who gets a say, who does what and how much involvement they allow from outside sources, explains Brandi Hamerstone of All Events Planned in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. “If one part of the couple has an entire bridal party contributing ideas and opinions and the other isn't comfortable with so much outside involvement, it puts a huge strain on them as they plan,” she says. The same goes for their respective families, especially in-laws, want a say in the details of the big day. “It is so important for the couple to respect each other's boundaries and to trust that they will not give in because someone pushes a little harder or speaks a little louder than the other,” adds Hamerstone.
Being rude and short with vendors
The biggest thing Anderson observes while spending time with couples is how they communicate with their vendors. “It tells me so much about them as humans—for example, when I see a couple respect ‘hired help,’ treating them with kindness and even going as far as to use language like ‘No rush on this email, I know it’s after hours, have fun on date night,’ I know they choose to see life beyond themselves and are likely doing that with their partner,” she says. “When couples are demanding, picky and end up overthinking details, however, I’m never surprised to see them interacting with each other in the same manner.”
Not communicating with each other
When everyone around the couple has to serve as the mediator between them, it signals a serious dilemma and a cry for a relationship reboot. "If the couple doesn't share ideas, doesn't stay on the same page or emails me at different times asking about the same things, it tends to mean they don't communicate,” says Hamerstone. “Communication is the number one key to a successful marriage, so seeing how they are able to manage it during a process that has so many moving parts, is huge.”