Personality differences can hide for a while, but one place they become evident is in the wedding planning process. Growing up, I had this strange dream of others planning my wedding for me and me just showing up and getting married. Since I’m not a fan of stress and I didn’t have anything I was determined to have in my wedding, I thought the less stressful approach was to not have an approach at all.
My understanding of the groom’s job in a wedding was to buy a ring, rent a tux, and show up. Eric had different plans. Eric is a driver. He doesn’t do anything half way and he had specific plans as to what he wanted in his wedding.
As the actual wedding planning commenced, I realized there were a few details I really did want; yet, at that point in my life, I was not as up front with my wishes as I am now. Interestingly, being married to someone who is open about his desires and opinions has made me more comfortable in making myself heard.
Needless to say with the above, there were some issues. Yes, I had planned on not having to plan my wedding, but I had not planned on my groom wanting to be so involved in the process. Additionally, I learned that there aren’t many people who are willing to put an entire wedding together without the bride’s opinion being addressed. My wedding planner (who was also my godmother) sometimes had to squeeze my opinion out of me. (In retrospect, the phrase “surprise me” is not what most wedding planners want to hear. I don’t even like Eric to say “surprise me” when I ask him what he wants from Subway, so the pressure of planning a wedding with little or no input from the bride is more pressure than most people are willing to take on themselves.)
Looking back, I’ve realized a few truths about my wedding indifference: deep down, I really did have an opinion. Now when I think about various aspects of my wedding, I wish I had spoken up and said “No, I would like it this way,” instead of ignoring large details and telling myself, “All I care about is that I’ll be married at the end.” I would address the problems politely and not have been so worried about disrupting the harmony. By not giving my opinion more, I paved the way for drama that was unnecessary.
Maybe you’re planning your wedding and you are finding that your bride or groom seems indifferent. Maybe you have a lot of family members giving their, not so humble, opinions about what should be done and what shouldn’t be – with your wedding. Maybe eloping is sounding better and better.
Here is my humble advice:
- First, have an opinion. Sit down with a notepad and your bride or groom to be (or alone if you are not yet to the wedding planning stage), and think hard about what your vision is for your special day.
- Next, communicate together. Both the bride and the groom should have aspects of what they want in their wedding, but neither should steamroll the other.
- Then, incorporate others. For an indifferent bride, the temptation is to put this last step first. However, after deciding what both of you want for the wedding (or what you would want if you are not currently in a relationship), think of ways that your family can have a part in the process. If you don’t have a specific opinion about the flowers, but you have an aunt that loves to arrange flowers, give her the opportunity to do the flowers for your wedding. If you are not concerned about having a particular meal plan for the reception, but your mom or sister has some great ideas, hear them out and potentially give them the task of planning your catering.
It is important that you know what you want in your wedding and that you have a lot of what you want in your wedding (though, no wedding is worth becoming bridezilla…). Determine which aspects of your special day are the most important to you and focus on making those happen. Remember that the person you are marrying is more important than winning your wedding planning battles. Do your best to give to each other during this process. It will be one of many loving compromises you will have to make in your life together. And lastly, find ways to give your family and friends (if they want the opportunities and if they are trustworthy) a little part of the planning. Not all family dynamics can work well together, but if your family can, let them have a little fun. That way everyone can feel involved and connected with you and your special day.
What details of your wedding will be the most important for you? In what areas are you willing to give a little?