Great! You’re engaged! While it’s a happy and exciting time, there may be some bumps in the road to the alter. Knowing the most common landmines and how to avoid or handle them is bound to make the trek to the alter a bit less stressful.
“His family’s guest list is getting longer and longer every day, and they’re not even chipping in for the wedding.”
This argument is a precurser for future financial dealings. Try to be rational and business-like. Say to your future husband, “This is what your family’s guest list will cost, this is what my family’s guest list will cost. What can we do to limit the cost? Will your family chip in?” There may be more here than meets the eye. “Always be on the lookout for conflicts like these to be about ‘hidden issues.’ Are either of you sensitive about issues of fairness or balance? Does one of you have a greater sense of obligation to your parents that the wedding be a certain way?”
“He doesn’t even seem to care about the color of the table linens!”
If this is an issue for you, you could be expecting too much: “He’s a man. Most men are clueless when it comes to design and decor.” This doesn’t mean that you should give up on including him, however. Find out what your fiance is interested in and encourage him to participate in that part. Make sure there are not any underlying issues; say that he feels he should defer to you because you are the bride so it’s ‘your day’ or he feels that your parents or his parents are interfering with the wedding plans.
There are likely to be differences in how you each feel about wedding expenditures.
It needs to be an equitable deal. Don’t spend tons of money on your wedding dress and then have nothing left over for the honeymoon. At least the honeymoon is something you’ll both enjoy. Sit down like two adults, and work out the finances of the wedding together.
“Why does he think we should be married in New Jersey just because we live here? We need to be in South Carolina with my family. His relatives can fly in from Ohio.”
Ask that question for real, not just rhetorically. Why does he want to get married at home? Maybe having friends at the party is more important to him than having family. That’s a reasonable want. Perhaps you can scale things down and have a wedding at your family’s home and a party in New Jersey.
“Why isn’t he making an effort to understand my traditions?”
First, be sure that the groom understands what is expected of him — the poor guy may not even know that you want him to learn about your traditions. This topic may even bring the two of you closer and says, “If handled calmly and sensitively, a discussion like this can be an opportunity to get to know yourself and your partner better just by getting clear about what these traditions mean and say about each other.”
He wants black ink in the invitations and you want the ink to match your color scheme. He wants a single tose at each place setting and you want an elegant floral arragement on each guest table. And so on. You wanted your fiance to be more interested in the wedding details. Now you have a more involved groom, and a new problem. Both of you need to share the power and decision-making regarding wedding plans. Decide on priorities by having each person rate on a scale of one to ten the importance of each detail. Remember, it’s good practice to learn early on how to prioritize, negotiate, and compromise. These skills will come in very handy later on.
“For his best man, he picked his jerk of a college roommate who’s just intent on getting my fiance drunk at our wedding.”
He and his former roommate may have a strong bond — just make sure there are some more reasonable men around them to keep a lid on things. Arrange with your brother or a male friend to befriend your fiance and help him resist the ploys of the best man. Talk about your anxiety with the groom, so you can handle the situation together. If the best man has a drinking problem, the groom might address his concerns directly to the best man before the wedding.
The groom is thinking, “Who is this detail-obsessed, wedding-magazine-reading woman and where is the girl who used to sit with me watching baseball and drinking beer?” Drop the Martha act. Your guy may have a point. He’s right, if the wedding has become more important than your relationship, that’s a warning sign. Yes, you want a lovely wedding, but not at the expense of your relationship. After all, what’s the point? Keep your future in mind.”
“Why is he so intent on planning our divorce when we aren’t even married yet?”
This could be a blessing in disguise, according to our experts if you pay attention, the prenuptial agreement can be as big an asset for you as it is for him. It’s another way to discuss essential financial issues before you commit. Naturally, the prenup brings up more than just finances for many couples. This is usually experienced as an emotional issue between the couple, often involving feelings of trust, commitment, and faith in each other and the future of the marriage. Don’t let this issue remain unresolved, because it can erode the love you have for each other.
He is good friends with an old girlfriend and wants her to attend the wedding. You wouldn’t mind if she were dead.
Get over it! You’ve already won this battle — he chose you. Don’t mess up things now by being petty and jealous. Those are not becoming traits. Befriend her, get to know her, and you may like her yourself. Invite her to help with a shower. If you’re too insecure to do that, perhaps you should rethink getting married. You two need to discuss how involved ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends are going to be in your life together.”