Thursday, July 2, 2009

Keeping the "WE" in Weddings: How to Deal With Four of the Biggest Pre-Wedding Arguments

Congratulations! You are engaged. You’ve met the man of your dreams and can spend the rest of your life in marital bliss … right?

Well, yes. And no.

As I’m sure your mother has told you, marriages take work. You have to listen, be compassionate and (gasp!) compromise. The same goes with your wedding.

It is possible you and your fiancé will be the one couple in 100,000,000 that doesn’t argue during the wedding planning process and if you are yet to tear into it over table linens or font choices, then kudos to you!

The Knot lists 10 of the biggest pre-wedding fights and gets insight from psychotherapist, Tina B. Tessina on how to avoid them. I’m going to choose four my favorites, summarize Tessina’s advice and add my own notes in parentheses.

1. Familial Issues
One of the main arguments newly engaged couples have is over his-or her-family, their ever-growing guest list and how much money they’re adding to the pile. Tessina believes this type of argument is “a prototype for future financial dealings” and suggests for couples to approach the issue as if it were a business dealing. (Smart woman, this Tina Tessina. However, this assumes you are “splitting” the guest list in threes (her family, his family, and the two of you ... and if you are, that’s awfully nice of you. But remember, it *is* your wedding and you and your fiancé have precedence. If you guys aren’t on the same page-get there, quickly and start practicing supporting each other through difficult decisions.)

2. Getting the Groom Going
I know, I know … your groom doesn’t give a rat’s rooter what color the tablecloths are or if you choose lilies or roses. I get it. Tessina advises brides to realize that men don’t normally care about things such as design and décor, and sadly, their wedding is no different. She suggests to find something they are interested in and try to get them involved in that. (IF you can. Most brides I know have tried this technique to no avail. My advice is to get over it. You know you wouldn’t be happy if he chose the invitations from the bottom of your list, anyway, so be glad you can do all of the planning and get him to help verify non-RSVPers or confirm vendors just before the Big Day.)

3. Busting Bridezilla

We’ve all known women who somehow take on a monstrous facade when they planned their wedding. They were horrible to deal with, had unrealistic expectations and were basically all-out witches. Witches. I said witches. Tessina says if you see yourself in this scenario, then “drop the Martha act.” (I say, if your fiancé thinks you are getting out of control, take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. Remember, your wedding is a special day-but it is just one day. You don’t want to cause conflicts that could leave a mark on your new marriage.)

4. Old Flames
So what would you do if your fiance wants to invite his ex to the wedding? Tessina tells brides to “grow up” already, because he already chose you and suggests for brides to reach out to the friend and try to get to know her. (I, personally, couldn’t disagree more. I don’t understand why either of you would insist on any guest being present that could potentially upset your wedding day. This isn’t a dinner party he wants to invite her to, it is your wedding and unless you and your fiance are both 100% ok with inviting exes, then save that invite for your great-great-grandmother. Or your dog groomer.)

What other pre-wedding fights do you think engaged couples encounter? Do you agree with Tessina’s assessments? Do you agree with mine? Please share your opinions!


Tina B. Tessina "Dr. Romance" said...

Cherrye, I love that you did this!
Thanks for calling me "smart;" and for giving your own opinion on it. Of course, every couple has to work out their own wedding scenario, but if your parents are paying, you have to face the reality that they probably will want some say. If you two are paying by yourselves, the decisions are all yours.

About the ex-girlfriend, this is not just a wedding issue, but a life-together issue, so work through it, don't just stamp your foot and try to make it go away.

Cherrye Moore said...

Thanks for your comment, Tina! I agree that healthy communication through the wedding planning stage will help set a strong foundation of good communication throughout your marriage. And you are right, every couple has to work through their issues and showing each other mutual respect goes a long way to help them!