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Don't let "I Do!" become "I Don't" when you and your partner disagree on wedding planning.

Planning a wedding is an exciting time in your life filled with dreams, hopes, and a whole lot of decisions! However, amidst the flurry of flower arrangements, dress fittings, and guest lists, it's not uncommon for tensions to arise between you and your partner. When the visions of your perfect day clash, finding common ground can be challenging.

Prior to meeting my amazing new husband, I had been married once before. I did the big wedding with 150 guests where my theme (Christmas Winter Wonderland) was meticulously planned, right down to the perfect shade of burgundy (because red was too harsh) and the Shepherd's hooks with oversized Christmas ornaments hanging from them that lined the aisle as I walked down carrying my overpriced bouquet that smelled like pine needles and cinnamon (ironically both scents that I have never liked). This time I was older and wiser. I didn't want the drama that comes with a bridal party or the added expense of an engagement party, bachelorette/bachelor party, or rehearsal dinner. I wanted nothing more than to elope on a romantic beach in Greece or in that little chapel with the blue roof overlooking the sea that is featured in all the "Elope in Greece" advertisements. I wanted to enjoy a 10-day honeymoon without stress and then come home to have a fun reception with family and friends.

My husband however, had never been married before and comes from a large Catholic Mexican family (if you are Catholic and/or of Mexican descent you probably see where this is going LOL. Did I get my romantic Greek elopement? No. Did I readily agree to a big traditional Catholic wedding complete with a Mass, Arras Coins and Rosary Lasso? Not at first. But in the end, was it the most perfect and beautiful day for both of us? YES! Let's just say there were a lot of compromises made on both sides and some decisions were harder than others to find common ground on, but if we did it without driving a wedge between us you can as well! **There MAY have been a small nervous breakdown on my part the night before the wedding.... possibly one or two others as well along the way due to some floral drama and some misunderstandings around the cost of some "very necessary" items such as custom wine labels featuring our dogs, but that is neither here nor there ;)

Understanding Each Other's Perspectives

Ok, here is what the AI tools say about this topic "Communication is key in any relationship, especially when it comes to wedding planning. Take a moment to sit down with your partner and share your individual visions for the big day. Listen attentively to each other's desires, concerns, and priorities. Remember, compromising doesn't mean giving up what you want; it's about finding a middle ground that honors both of your wishes. By understanding each other's perspectives, you can work together to create a wedding that reflects the essence of your love story." Now, if your partner is anything like mine you may hear a lot of "I don't care" or "Whatever you want, it's your day". I will tell you from experience that the correct response to these statements to avoid even more conflict is NOT "Well, if it were MY DAY, then we would be getting married on a beautiful beach in Greece and not having this conversation!"

It seems common that there is usually one partner that cares much more about the planning process than the other. I am a planner by nature. I love to make lists and check things off and then make more lists. I like to have a good plan in place well ahead of time because to me, it's just the way you should do things. Pete (my now husband), however is much more laid back about the more "trivial things" and failed to see the urgency in having the wedding theme and colors decided on 8 months in advance because I could not possibly make the signature drink signs without knowing what shade of lilac we were going with. Communication really is imperative during this time because emotions will be high, and it is easy to lose perspective and have misunderstandings if you are not communicating. Admittedly, I had to take a step back (ok, a few steps back) and recognize that his lack of concern over wedding colors and whether the centerpieces should all be in the same sized vases did not mean he didn't really want to get married. He understood and appreciated that even though this plan was not my original first choice, I was doing so much to make our day perfect, and he didn't want to add more stress by having more opinions about things he knew were more important to me. He in turn, had to understand that from my perspective I wanted even the most trivial things to be a joint decision because I knew a traditional wedding was important to him and I did not want to make a decision that he would end up not liking.

Prioritize and Compromise

In the midst of conflicting ideas, it's crucial to prioritize elements that are non-negotiable for each of you. Whether it's the venue, the menu, or the music, identify the aspects that hold the most significance. Allocate resources and attention to these key elements while being open to compromise on less crucial details. We sat down and made a list of everything that needed to be planned from the colors of the napkins to the music at the reception and the food to be served. While the ceremony taking place at our church was the most important thing to him, he did not have much of an opinion about the music to be played at the ceremony or most of the details around the reception so we agreed that I would plan all that since I got my heart set on a spring floral theme and my big non-negotiable was that we HAD to have live music at the reception. Our next big hurdle was the wedding attire. I didn't love my wedding dress I wore for my first wedding. I ended up buying it because a very pushy bridal consultant said "this is about the only style that flatters plus sized brides" (yes, she actually SAID that OUT LOUD to me!) Pete made it known that he would love to see me in a big fluffy ballgown with long lace sleeves. I fell in love with my Fit and Flare sleeveless wedding dress the minute I tried it on, and I was NOT about to settle again for getting married in a dress I didn't love. As for his outfit- I pictured him in a nice gray suit with a black tie. Less formal but still classic. He wanted to wear a black tuxedo and bow tie and then change into jeans at the reception. We both understood that regardless of our vision for how the other looked on our wedding day, in the end it was about the commitment we were making and the love and respect that we had for each other. I knew he meant it when he said I would be the most beautiful bride in any dress I chose, and he knew I meant it when I said it didn't matter if he chose to wear a suit and tie or a tuxedo, as long as we ended up married in the end.

Seek Support and Guidance

Ok, more of AI generated advice- "Don't hesitate to seek support from friends, family, or even a professional wedding planner. A neutral third party can provide valuable insights and solutions to bridge the gap between your differing opinions. A wedding planner experienced in planning stress-free weddings on a budget can offer creative alternatives, negotiate with vendors, and alleviate some of the burdens off your shoulders. By delegating tasks and seeking guidance, you can focus on cherishing the journey towards your special day."

Now, while I agree that friends and family can be a neutral party, they can also add stress to the planning process by inserting their own vision of your wedding. Fortunately, we both have the best families who supported us and helped so much with the planning and the execution of the wedding. You may get some strongly worded "suggestions" from those close to you and they may not always be suggestions you want to implement into your wedding day. This may be an unpopular opinion, but I have never been fan of the whole "It's YOUR day. You do what you want." It is also your partners day too, as well as an important day to the people closest to you. and they just want to be a part of it because they love you. So, when your future mother-in-law insists you have two card boxes (one for the ceremony and one for the reception) and an actual gift registry even though you insist you don't need one because you are both in your 40's and have lived together for 2 years, and have everything you need, know she is doing it out of love and ask yourself if it's really worth causing conflict over just so you have things exactly as you want them (Especially when it turns out she is right- People DO actually go to the ceremony but not the reception, so you need a place to leave cards at both locations, and a lot of people on my husband's side preferred a traditional registry over a honeymoon fund). Again though, it's all about communication and prioritizing what is really important at the end of the day.

And as far as a wedding planner goes- I 100% recommend a day of coordinator if it is within your budget! We had the MOST amazing day of coordinator and there is no way our wedding would have come together or ran as smoothly as it did without her! And this is where I insert a shameless plug for Unforgettable Events and Cara Raymond in Idaho Falls, Id.

Enjoy The Process

When things get to be too much, and you find yourself losing focus on what is truly important, don't forget to savor the moments of joy, laughter, and love that come along the way. Take a break from decision-making and spend quality time with your partner. (Talking about wedding plans at Applebees does NOT count as quality time!) Remember that your wedding is not just a one-day celebration but the beginning of your lives together. Trust me, you are going to face bigger challenges and obstacles than pulled pork vs. a taco truck in the many years to come, so you have to learn to let the little things go and compromise out of respect and love for each other. (and yes, this was an actual argument between Pete and I one night LOL. He has some strange aversion to pulled pork that I will just never understand.)

In Conclusion

Don’t be too unwilling to compromise with your wedding vision. It’s your partners day as much as it is yours. There will be traditions that are important to both families and their advice comes from a good place. In the end I promise it will NOT matter that he/she wanted to wear something that didn’t go with your vision, or that you had a MN Twins cake that did not go with your beautiful pink and lilac decor, or that you had to physically move your chairs back from the altar at the church because your GIANT ballgown that he wanted to see you in would not physically allow you to fit in that space 😂 (yes, I ended up with two dresses that I got for GREAT prices to stay within our budget) You will forget that you were adamantly against the chocolate fountain that your fiance wanted so much because all you pictured was drunk people and little kid hands all up in that fountain at your reception! I learned these things from experience and regrets I had from my first wedding years ago, so trust me. It. Won’t. Matter. Later. The day will be perfect!

He didn't know there was a chocolate fountain until the reception. I arranged it with our day of coordinator to surprise him. Look how happy it made him :) I am also happy to report that there were no drunken guest or child related chocolate fountain incidents!

Pete is a huge MN Twins fan. While I knew he didn't care much what our wedding cake actually looked like, I wanted to surprise him with a grooms cake that represented something that was important to him. Our first vacation together was to see the Twins play in Minnesota.

I ended up loving my giant ballgown (not as much as my beautiful Fit and Flare reception dress though!) He could not stop telling me how he couldn't believe it was everything he thought was perfect in a wedding dress and he couldn't have imagined a more perfect wedding dress to see me in. I know it meant a lot to him that I took his opinion into consideration even though it was my dress. It was so big and fluffy I got stuck and we had to move the chairs about 2 feet back from the altar. This picture is when I was telling him I was seriously STUCK.

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