Ladies, over the last couple of years we’ve met tons of readers of this blog, many of them planning their weddings….. and many of them just ANTICIPATING planning their weddings sometime soon. This post is for those particular readers as this is the biggest engagement time of the year, and the coming couple of weeks may bring you the proposal you’ve been anticipating.
Being engaged is probably one of the more exciting times of a couples’ life, BUT sometimes once the buzz of the engagement ring has worn out for some couples it does raise a lot of questions that perhaps they didn’t think about before. Or, perhaps they did think about it, but maybe haven’t discussed it actively. So, here are some questions that you should discuss with one another BEFORE you start planning anything or even before you talk with anyone else about your ideas for the wedding, or even when you might want the wedding to be. Consider it a little bit of “starter” advice to getting things off to a smooth start.
1. Money. Oh, money. If only we were all gifted one million dollars when we announced our intentions to be wed to do with whatever we pleased. But, since that isn’t the case, and everyone’s circumstances are different, it’s important to talk about money. You and your fiance should discuss who is going to pay for this wedding. It’s possible that your parents have always intended to give you money for your wedding and that this is a known thing amongst your family. It’s also possible that it’s quite known that your parents are NOT going to give you money or that they aren’t in a position to foot the bill, but perhaps they will want to help. Often, especially here in New York , we see a lot of couples who have the means to cover the wedding costs themselves. So, do you/ can you go it alone? If so, what can you spend? If you are going to ask for help from your parents, will they expect to be included in decisions about the style, the size, location, etc? If so, are you both comfortable with that?
2. Religion and Culture. How important is faith going to be at your wedding? And what about culture? Perhaps you are different faiths, and know in advance you want to have a non-denominational ceremony. Or, it’s possible that one of your families is so devoutly religious that you know they wouldn’t be able to “accept” a ceremony that didn’t incorporate their faith. Or perhaps one of your cultures has very different traditions around weddings than the other persons. For instance, Indian weddings are often multi-day affairs, with buffet style meals of Indian cuisine served and several parts of the wedding day itself that are deeply steeped in tradition that are very different from what a typical “western” style wedding day. Do you have definitive ideas about how you would like to merge them, or are you open to getting family input into how to handle them, or are you going to really go all the way with one vs. the other.
3. Size. It’s good for you to have a sense of the size wedding that you are both comfortable with. Sometimes this differs greatly with your families thoughts, and you may already anticipate that, especially if you’ve had a sibling get married, or you’ve been to lots of family weddings. It’s good to just talk about these things and anticipate the conversation. Sometimes, this is generally just a conversation about what weddings mean in your families and how your visions may fall in line or out of line with that.
4. Location. The town/ city you live in? The town or city you grew up in? Someplace different all together? It’s good to talk about some of your options, or what you’ve always dreamed about or how you pictured things.
The next step is to go to each of your families and wash, rinse, repeat. The point of all this is that sometimes it’s good to have a sense of what each of you as a couple are thinking and imagining and hoping for before you open it up for discussion to the masses. This sounds basic and simple, but if, for instance, you know from the beginning that your fiance would ideally have wanted a 50 person wedding on a beach and instead you end up with 300 people at the Plaza, you can remain sensitive towards adding feelings of intimacy to the affair, or having a very low key rehearsal, or just checking in from time to time with your fiance to see how they are feeling about how the wedding is shaping up.