Working with brides for more than 15 years, I have seen time and time again the relationship with their fiancé become strained during the engagement because of the intensity of wedding planning. Stress kicks in with all of the decisions to be made, overwhelming schedules take over (trying to meet with all of the vendors), communication goes out of the window… and before you know it, the intimacy and romance take a back seat before the marriage even begins!
Much of this is due to stress, lack of self care, and the breakdown of clear communication. You might be thinking…“Well, how the heck can I change that? There is just soooo much to do!” My advice? It comes down to three things: Connection, Communication and Commitment.
Make a time to have a non-wedding related date night on the calendar once a week. What I mean by non-wedding related is that you make an agreement to NOT discuss the wedding at all during this time together…admittedly, it’s difficult as you’re excited about your wedding planning, but it’s essential. Even if it is just enjoying each other’s company for dinner and a movie at home—one day a week where you commit to spending quality time together genuinely connecting and having fun being a couple.
It is also important to schedule some specific times in your calendar to talk openly and clearly about the wedding arrangements. How often may vary depending on where you are at in the planning process. Once a week is great, even if it’s just to touch base briefly. This is vital so that you are both sure your feelings are being heard and considered. It also sets you up to have “normal” living and conversation throughout the rest of the week. Not that you aren’t going to chat wedding here and there on non-scheduled times, but setting up this designated time will help you get a lot discussed in a short amount of time, leaving more balance in your life. It’s a great time to really practice being present to both talk and to also actively listen to one another. Neither of you can read each other’s mind, so it’s important for you both to speak up about your thoughts while planning the wedding—you don’t want resentment to occur during the wedding planning process that could potentially carry over to your married life.
Commit to check in often with your “why”…Why are you getting married? What do you love about each other? What do you look forward to experiencing with your spouse-to-be? Putting the focus back on your “why” will help you to stop sweating the small things. A suggestion: write down your “why” and put it by your nightstand or on a stickie note in the front of your wedding binder so that you can remember this as you move forward in planning your big day.
—Jennifer Gilchrist, Blissful Bridal Coach
JENNIFER GILCHRIST—BLISSFUL BRIDE COACH
As a Bridal Stylist and Blissful Bride Coach, Jennifer Gilchrist helps brides enjoy the wedding planning process in a stress-free way that is authentic to who they are, and also supports her clients in looking amazing through her work as a hair and make-up artist in the Sacramento area. After 15-plus years in the bridal industry, Jennifer created her Blissful Bride program for brides who want to set the tone for a soulful marriage, and supports them in working through all of the unexpected emotions and fears that arise as they take this next big step into their married lives. jennifer-gilchrist.com
Photo of Kristina & Chris by Angelee Arceo Photography, www.angeleearceophotography.com