10 Wedding arguments engaged couples have (and how to resolve them)

You want the wedding of your dreams – but not at the expense of your relationship. Here’s how to cope with common wedding arguments.

wedding arguments
Photograph: Love Jennifer, Photography by Jennifer Skabo

Planning a wedding and getting married is supposed to be one of the happiest times of your life – right? Yet for many of us it’s often plagued by silly wedding arguments over who to invite, or how much money is being spent. If this sounds like you – read on for how to resolve or avoid the top ten wedding arguments you’re likely to face.

1. Your partner doesn’t want to be involved in wedding planning
If your partner’s eyes glaze over every time you mention the wedding, and you’re worried it’s a reflection of how much they care about your relationship – don’t panic! It may be a sign that you’re expecting too much. The best way to engage them is to find out what they are most interested in, and encourage them to work on that. If they find it hard to get excited about wedding flowers, for example, but they love food and wine, then involving them in the reception plans is a great starting point.

It’s also a good idea to make sure they don’t feel as though they need to defer to you every time they want to make a decision. If you’re able to choose certain aspects of the wedding that are important to each of you, and work on them, perhaps checking with one another before you make a final decision on large items, that’s a great place to start.

2. Life goals
No matter how long you’ve been together, the engagement period is often the time when you learn the most about your S.O. You may discover you have different views on whether to have children, or where you want to live. You may find that you have made assumptions about what your partner thinks about important issues, so take the time to discuss these issues thoroughly. This may also be a good time to seek the help of a relationship counsellor if necessary, to learn how to compromise within your relationship.

3. The budget
Yes, money is all too often a cause for disagreement. Keep in mind that if you’re both financing your wedding yourselves, it really needs to be an equitable deal between both of you. So if you want a lavish reception, and your partner wants a fabulous honeymoon, you really need to work through this together to find some middle ground, preferably the earlier the better, before you get too far into your wedding plans. Keep in mind too, that it’s a great idea to discuss your finances for the time after you are married. Being on the same page with your views about money – how it should be spent and saved, and who will pay for what once you’re married, is a big thing to get out of the way in order to prevent issues later.

4. The in-laws
If your in-laws are chipping in to help your wedding budget, or if they’re playing a role in the planning, it’s likely that one of them may get a little too involved. The answer is simply to maintain a united front as a couple so as not to offend anyone. Make your decisions as a couple, acknowledge and thank your family members for their help, and politely explain your decisions and reasoning with them.

5. The styling
If you find yourselves having wedding arguments over the colour scheme or the invitations, it’s a great idea to rate each detail of your wedding styling on a scale of one to ten, and share the power and decision-making according to what is most important to each of you. After all, it’s a great life skill to be able to prioritise, compromise and negotiate.

6. The location
If you can’t decide on where to get married, and we mean states here – not just venues. For example, you both live in Queensland, but your family is from Tasmania, and your partner’s family is from Victoria. Your partner would prefer to get married in Brisbane, and you’d rather get married in Launceston. Discuss the reasons as to why you differ. Maybe having friends at the wedding is more important to your partner than having family included. That’s not unreasonable. Perhaps you can compromise and hold the wedding at your family’s home in Launceston, with a big engagement party with friends in Brisbane?

7. Your friends
Problem: Your partner may not love all of your friends, or even your maid of honour, and you might be struggling to like one of his groomsmen. Solution: The key is to be supportive and sensible. Remember that, even though you might not get along with each and every one of them, your partner’s friend hold a great deal of importance to them, so keep it nice, be diplomatic, and who knows, you may become better friends in years to come.

8. Your involvement in the wedding
Problem: Your partner is getting tired of your new obsession with all things wedding, and you’re no longer doing the things you used to love doing together. Solution: It’s time for a rethink. If the wedding has become more important than your relationship, take some time out. Why not book a romantic weekend away, rediscover your relationship, and schedule in some wedding-free time?

9. Each other’s past
Problem: Your partner is good friends with an ex and wants them to be at your wedding, and you’re not happy. Solution: This needs to be a conversation between the two of you as soon as possible. Your partner should know better than to add their ex to the guest list without consulting you first. However, keep in mind that your partner chose to marry you – not their ex. Whether you choose to invite their ex to the wedding or not, come to a decision together, and remember that this person may simply be a good friend and nothing more.

10. The wedding guests
Problem: Your families have long wedding guest lists, and they aren’t chipping in financially. Solution: In this case, you need to be firm, but fair. Mention to your partner, “This is what your family’s guest list will cost, and this is what my family’s guest list will cost. How can we limit the cost? Can we ask our families to chip in some money to help out?”

Remember that compromise is key, and whatever problems and wedding arguments you encounter during the planning process, always show your future spouse the respect they deserve. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

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