The planning stage of your upcoming wedding can be a tumultuous time. With the potential stresses of securing your vendors, finding the perfect wedding ensemble, and all of the other added pressures that accompany planning one of the most important events of your lives, it can get more than a little overwhelming. This is made doubly difficult if you find that you and your soon-to-be aren’t seeing eye-to-eye on certain aspects.
If these chosen facets leave one or both of you resigned to the feeling that there’s no room for discussion, or, even worse, other tasks in the planning process are being held hostage pending their approval, learning how to agree to disagree could save you more than a headache–it may even save your relationship.
Like the Montagues and the Capulets, yin and yang, and even Tom and Jerry, there are certain conflicts that will never find proper resolution. Sadly, even in less epic battles, try as you might, sometimes it’s just easier to throw up your hands and say, “Honey, you’re right! I like the gingham better than the argyle, too.” Even if you don’t, depending on the severity of the argument, your partner’s level of attachment and your level of distaste, this may be the best solution to lingering planning arguments.
Humans are complex creatures, shaped by years of cumulative experiences, interactions, and emotions. When you make the commitment to partner up, these ideas and experiences multiply. Your lives are no longer governed by your intentions alone, but are guided by agreed-upon and deliberate decisions based on the insight of the two of you. No matter how much you love one another, this process isn’t always easy. You’re not always going to agree and you’re not always going to know how to react when this occurs.
This is why communication is such an imperative ingredient to a successful pairing, and is the key to resolving moments of discord. While some people hold on to their ideas or opinions for fear of rocking the boat, still others may become defensive when confronted with the thought that their views don’t match that of their partner’s.
As it can be difficult to predict how your partner will respond should issues arise throughout the planning stages, discussing the matter fully is the first step to determining if and how resolution is possible. Knowing why he or she is making a certain request or demand, and why it means so much, may be all the convincing you’ll need.
This vetting process will allow you an equal chance to express your views as well. As important as what you say is how you say it. Well-thought-out and articulated opinions are easier to receive and comprehend than immediate, guttural reactions. These reactions often result in a more emotionally-driven response,
while well-assessed evaluation may require a deeper investigation of exactly what it is you’re feeling and why. Thus immediate emotional reaction can result in a misinterpretation of your own ideas, and worse, can trigger a more excitable response–both resulting in an inaccurate expression of yourself and your opinions.
Still finding yourselves at a seeming impasse? Try a little give and take. While you’re not sure that you can unquestionably support a floor-to-ceiling striped bass theme, maybe you can sacrifice the favors and the boutonnieres to your betrothed’s vision. Or perhaps you can have a combined, if not entirely complementary theme–say a futuristic/striped bass theme or a purple striped bass theme. Compromise is a beautiful thing. Not only are you making a concerted effort to incorporate your partner’s ideas, but you are demonstrating a willingness to sacrifice your own vision to do so.
Another form of compromise may involve allowing you something in exchange for an idea or aspect he or she is especially attached to. Maybe your beloved wants to include karaoke at your reception but you can’t carry a tune, while you want a horse-drawn carriage but your betrothed finds him or herself more than a little wary of anything equestrian. Compromise by incorporating both into a celebration that represents the two of you.
If compromise and communication aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to resign yourself to a simple “yes” or “no.” While it’s important that you are receptive to your partner’s wants and desires, especially when it comes to a collaborative celebration such as this, it’s equally important that he or she respects your input as well. If the aspect in question isn’t grotesquely unthinkable to you, it may be easier just to let it happen. If, however, its mere prospect is keeping you up at night, you might need to let your partner know just how much it’s affecting you.
No matter how you find your own degree of resolution–whether compromise does the trick or you simply have to cede–remember that, while the wedding is a monumental and significant event, it will only be one day in a lifetime of monumental and significant moments that will make your relationship one for the history books.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.