Should We Have Designated Times When We Talk About the Wedding?
Ultimately, it's up to you, but this is a smart away to keep wedding planning from taking over every aspect of your life.
When planning the biggest event of your life, it's hard to keep it from taking over your life. However, it's important to remember that this is just one day in a lifetime together, and it's important to prioritize your relationship right now. Sure, it can become easy to slip into discussions about welcome bags and centerpieces over dinner, but all that wedding talk can actually become harmful for your relationship if that's truly all you're talking about. Laura Froyen, a relationship coach with a PhD in Couple and Family Therapy, suggests that designating specific times to discuss wedding plans is one easy way to ensure organizing the details of the big day doesn't undermine the relationship foundation you've worked so hard to create.
Setting boundaries around when you will and won't discuss wedding plans can be good for your relationship.
"I think most couples would benefit from setting boundaries on their time in general," Froyen explains. "Like having a set time each night to put phones and social media away. It's a great skill to learn!" More specifically, Froyen says wedding planning can be extremely stressful for couples, and the time that goes into it can really distract from the rest of your relationship if you let it. That's why coming up with a schedule—such as devoting one hour per night to wedding planning, or reserving the first and third Saturday of every month for to-dos—can really help you establish a manageable routine.
What if just one person thinks these boundaries need to be set?
Tread lightly, Froyen says, or else it may seem as though you aren't as invested in planning the big day as your partner is. "These conversations have the potential to hurt someone's feelings or make them feel rejected, unappreciated, and defensive. In these cases, it is best to come from a place of softness and vulnerability, make it clear how much you love and appreciate them, and use 'I statements,'" she adds. An example, according to the pro, would be: "I love thinking about our wedding; marrying you is going to be the best thing that ever happened to me. I also really miss just being with you sometimes, I'd love to connect more over things outside of the wedding in addition to all of the fun planning we've been doing recently. I just don't want the wedding to take our focus away from our relationship, which is so important to me. What would you think if we had time set aside each week (or day) for wedding stuff, so that we can really be present with each other during the other parts of the week?"
Create "wedding time zones" in your relationship.
"What works for one couple could be so problematic for another, but the skills of respectful communication are universal," says Froyen. "The simple process of asking each other what they think and how it feels serves to bring the couple closer together, and that's the ultimate goal right?" The pro suggests coming up with a schedule and outlining it in the notes app on your phone, in your wedding planning binder (if you've created one), or blocking out times on your shared digital calendar.