Sometimes, one of the hardest things to do (especially if you're a control freak, like me) is ensure that both the bride and groom are involved in getting things done. If one of you is used to taking the lead or has more emotion invested in certain aspects of the wedding, it can seem easier to just make plans and decisions on your own. While this might work out at times, it can also lead to one of you feeling overwhelmed, left out, uninformed, or resentful. Sharing the responsibilities can be a great step towards a planning process with less stress. So it's time to divvy up some duties!
- Discuss what is most important to each of you. A fabulous way to kick-off your wedding planning adventure is to share your priorities with one another. What do each of you feel strongly about going into the wedding? Consider aspects such as food and drink, entertainment, photography, decor and design, location, theme, dress and attire, colors, and more. Is it important to have an amazing gown? A really great photographer? A rockin' live band? The color purple? A meal everyone will rave about? Decide the top 2-3 priorities for each of you, and agree to ensure that you both have those top priorities met.
- Discuss what is least exciting to each of you. Maybe the idea of creating the guest list is terrifying, or you just don't give a darn about cake flavors. How great would it be if your spouse-to-be were able and willing to take on tasks that make you shudder, but don't bother him or her too much? Try to make sure that responsibility for the less squee-inducing items are shared. Meaning, dear brides, don't push all the un-fun stuff on your groom, as tempting as that is!
- Create a shared calendar to keep the two of you up to date on deadlines, meetings, and other events. Man, do I wish my hubby & I had had our shared Google calendar back when we planned the wedding! These days we keep things together by putting shared reminders and family events on that shared calendar, like due dates for bills, gatherings and outings with friends and family, and a weekly reminder to put the garbage out. While you're planning this gigantic event, it would be beneficial for each of you to have appointments and reminders all in one place.
- Set up a routine, and include celebrations & rewards! In order to keep your energy & excitement steady throughout the planning process, decide on a day or two during the week that you'll dedicate to tackling those checklist items. Make it fun, too- get out of the house every once in a while and haul that magical binder to your favorite restaurant or happy hour spot. Reward yourselves with a fun activity or treat when you cross off something big.
- Practice gratitude. I believe that two of the most important phrases in a marriage are "please" and "thank you." It's so easy to get so comfortable with one another that we just assume they KNOW we are grateful for the things they do- but that's not always true. So when your future hubby or wife does something that takes a little pressure off, or completes a task that you are grateful you didn't have to do, tell them so. Give them a hug and say "thank you for doing that." It's amazing how such a little thing can make you feel so good!