How to Strengthen Your Relationship While Wedding Planning

4 Habits to Strengthen Your Relationship While Wedding Planning

It’s supposed to be a joyful time, but so many couples seem to find themselves in a slump. Some say that wedding planning makes them not even want to get married. Others just can’t wait for the wedding day to be over. Maybe you are wondering yourself why this feels so hard when you love each other and just want to spend your life together.

What if changed the way we look at wedding planning? 

What if wedding planning can actually strengthen your relationship as a couple? Planning a wedding may be one of the first things that you are doing together with complete shared decision making. It may be the first big challenge you are experiencing as a couple that’s testing your relationship and communication. This is a good thing! Marriage is all about learning to work together as a team. And wedding planning is a place you can start to practice skills that will keep your marriage strong for a lifetime.

I’m Lucy, a wedding photographer in Charlottesville, and I’ve been married for 8 years. Today I’d love to share about a few habits and mindsets that have helped our marriage, and I hope they will help you and your partner keep your relationship strong during wedding planning and beyond. 

1. Guiding principle: Prioritize your relationship over a specific decision outcome

In your life together, you will make a million decisions together, big and little. Today, it’s whether to have a sparkler exit or how much to spend on your wedding day. In the future, it may be which city to live in or how to parent your kids. Do you know the common thread between all these decisions? It’s you and your partner. You get to do all of life together, and you will still be together after all the wedding cake is eaten, after the honeymoon tickets are bought, and after your kids are grown and out of the house. 

I was the oldest child in my family and grew up getting my way a lot of the time. In marriage, this meant that I often found myself not wanting to back down when there was something I wanted. I often found myself trying to convince my husband why my idea was better. But what I’ve learned over time is that even when I “won” and got my way, we really both lost because the way that I said things hurt the relationship. I chose to prioritize getting what I wanted over loving my husband well. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t communicate our thoughts and desires. Being honest with each other is one of the keystones of a healthy relationship. But HOW we can communicate, whether we REALLY listen to the other person, and whether we are willing to compromise makes all the difference.

Remember that your relationship matters more than whatever decision you are making. With each decision, you have an opportunity to strengthen your communication and relationship during the wedding planning process.

2. Keep the romance alive and make time for your relationship outside of wedding planning

Wedding planning is a lot of work. You might be having meetings every week with various vendors and a seemingly endless number decisions to make as a couple. But remember that your wedding is only one day. After that, you will have your whole lives together. Isn’t it even more important to prepare for your life together after the wedding? 

It’s important to keep the romance alive and do things that help you remember WHY you love your partner and want to get married in the first place. Here is an idea that I call the Wedding Planning Sabbath:

One day a week, don’t do any wedding planning. Don’t talk about wedding planning. And try not to worry or think about wedding planning. This is a day that you and your partner have fun together. Try something new together. Go on a date. Dream up your future together. I think you’ll find that if you do this each week, you’ll be able to go back into the rest of your week with more love and affection for each other, and be reminded what’s most important in this whole process. This practice will go a long way to strengthen your relationship while wedding planning.

3. Talk about issues regularly before they get big

Have you ever left dirty dishes in the sink and come back to a mess of dried, stuck-on food that takes 4 times longer to wash than if you did them right away while the stains were fresh? 

How often do you do this with your own relationship? Maybe something he said bothered you and you didn’t say anything, and find yourself having imaginary arguments in your own head later. Maybe you’re feeling like she cares more about having the perfect wedding dress than about spending quality time with you. You dismiss it as just a season, but then you start to feel more and more distant.

Don’t let this happen in your relationship! Take care of small things regularly before they become an issue. Of course some issues are small enough that we can just let them go. But if you sense that something is causing you to feel irritated with your partner and causing you to feel distant, it’s probably a sign to say something. Talk to your partner about having regular check ins to address issues and make sure you are both feeling good about your relationship. Be sure to start with something encouraging and positive!

4. Speak other other’s love language

In Gary Chapman’s renowned book The 5 Love Languages, he talks about how each person has specific ways they like to receive love. The love languages are quality time, service, gifts, physical touch, and words of affirmation. You can each take a simple quiz to find out each of your love languages. Then you can start to practice loving the other person in the ways that speak loudest to them! For example, if his love language is service, it might make him feel really loved if you surprise him with a freshly cleaned apartment. If her love language is words of affirmation, a letter saying what you love about her might mean especially much. Simply learning to speak each other’s love language will help so much to strengthen your relationship during wedding planning and for the years to come.

Closing Thoughts

Wedding planning is a joyful and challenging season. When you have a perspective that this season can help you develop a stronger marriage, that makes all the difference in the world. I hope that these habits can help you in your journey toward marriage. I’m Lucy Jalin, a wedding photographer passionate about helping couples have stronger marriages and families. If you are looking for wedding photography in Charlottesville VA and the words above resonated with you, I’d love to chat

This post is part of a series on Relationships and Well-being While Wedding Planning. If you are interested in more posts like this, you can find the full series below:

Relationships & Well-being, Tips For Couples


How to Strengthen Your Relationship While Wedding Planning

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