This week I received an email from a bride that I thought would be a good topic to write about instead of answering it through Facebook Live.
In her email, she expressed her frustration because her fiancé didn’t seem interested or excited about the wedding. When they do talk about the wedding, he makes jokes about it and responds with “I don’t know, I’ve never planned a wedding before.” She is frustrated, irritated, and the joy of wedding planning is completely gone for her. She wants him to be happy about the wedding and it doesn’t seem like it is.
When I use to coordinate weddings, I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have seen this situation happen. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence. Because you as the bride-to-be may have dreamed about your wedding day for years. You may have Pinterest boards, magazine cut-outs, even a binder full of things you like. And wedding planning fills you with joy and excitement.
But then you turn to your fiancé and you expect him to feel the same way and when he doesn’t you feel frustrated, irritated, and depressed. You argue because you want him to help out but he’s not helpful and he’s just adding to your stress even more. It’s to the point where wedding planning isn’t fun and your excitement has been replaced with irritation and maybe even depression.
So what do you do? Is it possible to turn this situation around? Is it possible to stop feeling tired and drained and feel excited and energized again?
The one thing I’ve told the couples I’ve worked with in the past is that wedding planning is not your typical party. For some couples, this could be the first event they’ve planned together outside of home gatherings. There’s a lot of decisions that need to be made and when two opinions don’t align, this can lead to some tense moments.
Here are some things to consider that can help bring your excitement back to planning your wedding:
When you plan a party at home, how involved is your fiancé? This is a good indicator as to how involved he will be with your wedding planning. If he’s usually the guy who you tell what to do, what to buy, how to help out, etc. then there’s a good chance when it comes to your wedding, he may operate from the same standpoint. For him, if leaving things in your control is what he’s used to doing, planning a wedding (in his mind) shouldn’t change that.
Ask him what areas would he like to help out in? I get it, choosing colors, a theme, what flowers to pick may not be his thing. He really may not be able to see the difference between a rose and a carnation and to him, it may not rate high on his scale of interest to have an opinion about it. So ask him what is he interested in helping out with. Maybe he likes cars, so then you can tell him to figure out transportation on the wedding day. Or he likes to drink, he can decide if there will be an open bar, cash bar, a specific drink to serve, etc. for your reception. He likes food so he’ll go with you to the cake tasting and in choosing the meal for the reception. Or he's into music so he can choose the DJ or band. It’s not a lot off your plate, but it’s something and it involves him in areas that he’s interested in so he will be more enthusiastic about being part of the decision-making process instead of you doing it all solo.
Find your support system. So he’s not interested in wedding planning, instead of arguing with him and trying to make him feel guilty for not helping make decisions, look to someone outside of your fiancé who can help you. Sometimes, weddings, parties, and big event aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s annoying, frustrating, and depressing for you. But you love your fiancé and he loves you. You both want to get married. Having conflict over the planning shouldn’t take away from the fact that marriage is the end goal. So if your fiancé isn’t as involved as you’d like him to be, instead of taking your frustration and disappointment out on him, I recommend you find a support system that is enthusiastic, helpful, and excited for your wedding. That could be your mom, your soon-to-be mother-in-law, your sister, best friend, even co-worker. It doesn’t matter who it is, the person just needs to show enthusiasm and be supportive of you. The food, the DJ, the photographer, and all your other vendors, it's nice to have someone go with you to these appointments whether they participate in you deciding to hire the vendor or not. It may not be your fiancé, but it’s someone who cares for you and is on your side. They’ll make sure to support you and they’ll help remember information, especially when you feel overwhelmed.
Hire someone. If you are beyond frustrated, you argue all the time, and you don’t want to do it anymore, but you love your fiancé and you want to marry him; this would be a good time to hire a professional. That’s what wedding planners do. They can take your ideas and help make it a reality. Yes, you’ll still need to interview vendors but they can help narrow the field so instead of having to interview a half dozen vendors for one area, you may be interviewing 2 or 3, which will save you lots of time and energy. And a wedding planner, will help you stay on track, keep the details organized, and let you know when something is missing or not. A wedding planner can also go with you to vendor appointments, so when your fiance or support system isn't able to attend with you, your wedding planner can.
Remember, planning a wedding is often the first time a couple plans a large event together. You are bound to learn things about one another that you never knew before. Keep communicating with one another and playing up each other’s strengths. And when all else fails, hire someone that can help you through the entire process. You want to look back on your wedding day with fondness, not with regret and love, not anger.