Does it seem like wedding planning can take over your life? Sometimes all you can talk about is the wedding – and sometimes it leads to endless arguments, resentment, and can cause stress in your relationship. Know what I mean?
I’ve Been There 🙁
My now-husband and I did a lot of the wedding planning together (his name is Luis by the way). One night, we were wedding planning and we couldn’t agree on something. We were both frustrated and tired of arguing (I forget what it was – ha!).
We decided that it wasn’t going anywhere so we called it a night and I went home. When I got home, Luis calls me and asks if he could pick me up and take me to dinner.
I was still pissed off about the argument we were having, but I agreed to go. When he picked me up, he explained that all we ever talk about is the wedding.
He complained that it was too much wedding talk and it was starting to take over our relationship. I agreed with him 100%. I felt the same way too.
That night, he declared that he didn’t want to talk about wedding-related stuff. Instead, he wanted for us to take a break from it and just enjoy our date night.
And we had a really good time that night – it was nice to block out all the wedding stuff for a little while! But it didn’t stop there …
The Solution: A Weekly Wedding Planning Meeting
Days later, I proposed a new idea: “How about we limit all wedding talk to one day per week?” The idea was to have a recurring weekly “meeting” to get all of our wedding planning out of the way. He was on board, of course. This meant that we’d only spend one night per week on wedding stuff. And it was awesome!
We quickly found that we had to set some ground rules to make this work:
- Do Not Talk About the Wedding Outside of Meetings: Just like the first rule of Fight Club!
- Time, Location, Duration, and Frequency: We agreed to have our wedding planning meetings only once a week on Tuesday nights, after work at his house. The meeting would usually begin after dinner (because we both get grumpy when we’re hungry – not a good idea to start the meetings on an empty stomach!). The meeting would end as soon as we accomplished everything on our to-do list for that night (usually around 9pm). In total, we’d spend a good two hours in deep planning mode.
- Show Up: We agreed to show up every week and treat it like we would any other important appointment.
- Vendor Meetings and Errands: There were times when we had to schedule vendor meetings (site visits, tastings, shopping trips, etc.) outside of our regular meeting time. For these meetings and errands, of course, we agreed to discuss wedding stuff even if it fell outside of our regular Tuesday night meetings.
- Exceptions: We knew there would be times when one of us would want to discuss a wedding-related topic outside of our weekly meeting, so we came up with a rule specifically for that situation: No matter how small the topic or how “quick” the conversation could be – the initiator has to ask permission to bring it up for discussion. And the other person is allowed to say “no.”
The Meeting Agenda
At first, the meetings were kind of all over the place. We needed to give them some structure.
So before each meeting, I would send Luis a quick email with our “agenda” about things to do and discuss during the meeting. This made our meetings WAY more productive because we were on the same page and we knew exactly what to do during each meeting.
Here are some examples of stuff we worked on during our meetings:
- Divide research tasks
- Share research findings
- Compare options
- Make decisions
- Make phone calls
- Work on projects like addressing invitations, creating our wedding website, etc.
Of course, there’s more that goes into wedding planning besides this list. So we did other wedding planning tasks on our own time (outside of our regular Tuesday night meetings). For example, when we were looking for venues, we’d do research on our own time. Then, at the meetings, we would share venues that we found, discuss our options, and then agree on next steps.
If any questions came up during the meeting that required more research, then we’d just agree to do the research on our own time and come back to the topic at next week’s meeting. This helped us to keep things moving forward – rather than turning our meeting into an agonizing marathon of all-night work.
Why it Worked
Wedding planning was really stressing us out as a couple. Instead of constantly discussing and arguing about wedding stuff all the time, we finally had a system in place that would let us actually ENJOY our time together. These meetings helped us get our relationship back.
Plus, I loved the weekly meeting idea because my schedule was REALLY packed at the time. It was really helpful for me to have “wedding time” scheduled on my calendar each week – because I’m a planner; I live by my calendar. Basically, if it ain’t on my calendar, it ain’t happening.
These meetings were also great because it forced us to work on wedding stuff each week – even if it was just small tasks. This kept us on our toes and we became super productive by getting stuff done each and every week.
And on weeks when we had a long to-do list, it was really helpful to pack everything into one meeting because of Parkinson’s Law, which states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
For example, if you give yourself an hour to finish a task, it’ll take you an hour to finish it. If you give yourself two hours to complete that same task… you guessed it, it’ll take you two hours to complete it.
This meant that we had to get as much done as we could on our wedding planning night because it was the only time that we would be able to plan together that week. It was awesome because we got SO MUCH done during those couple of hours because we had to.
Talk to your partner about the idea of setting boundaries around your wedding planning. Ask if it would be helpful to contain the wedding talk and set boundaries on wedding planning so that it doesn’t take over your life and your relationship. Take a look at your schedules to find an ideal time that works for both of you.
Commit to it for a few weeks and see how it goes – you can always make changes as you go along. If your wedding is coming up very soon, you can meet twice per week; or if your wedding date is super far away, you can meet every two weeks. There are plenty of options – you can come up with your own plan and your own rules!
Whatever you do, I truly believe that having a wedding planning session just once a week is like self-care for your relationship and I really hope you’ll give it a try!
If you like the idea of having a weekly wedding meeting – download the cheat sheet to kick things off!