This article originally appeared on WeddingMagazine.com
Don’t let table-planning and bunting-buys take over your relationship. There’s a special set of vows to help you stay on track, but you need to say them before you get to the altar...
The planning of your wedding might have started because you were in love – but sometimes the stress of preparing for your nuptials can have the opposite effect on your relationship. If you’ve found yourself at loggerheads the past few months, you’ll be happy to know it’s normal to have some niggles as you plan your big day together.
“Organising a wedding is a very intense experience, with high expectations and a lot of pressure all round,” says consultant psychologist and author Dr Cecilia d’Felice. “It’s well worth putting some time and thought into the way the two of you come together to plan your wedding, because it will say a lot about how you organise and support each other in daily life.”
And don’t panic if you feel your big day is doing more to break rather than bond you: “Nothing is insurmountable and now is a good time to discover how you can work harmoniously together because it will give you a great foundation for the years ahead. Remember, there’s no set recipe, so enjoy finding the one that works for you,” adds Cecilia. To give you a hand, we’ve created five pre-wedding vows to help you stay in tune with each other until you say ‘I do’ and beyond...
I PROMISE TO... HAVE FUN WITH YOU
This might sound like an obvious one, but it’s easy to get so caught up with planning that you lose your fun factor. Re-visit all the little quirks you both took so much joy over discussing when you first became engaged. Create a playlist of songs which are meaningful to you both, plan your menu with fancy practise meals and have a giggle rehearsing your first dance together.
“You could even sign up for some dance lessons; they’ll be fun and you’ll find out what it’s like to learn a new experience together,” says Cecilia. “It’s often good to have differences, but make sure your relationship allows for give and take in your decision-making, so you can both enjoy the process.”
I WILL... COMPROMISE WHEN WE DISAGREE
You never thought you’d find yourselves arguing over place settings but now, what might have been a joke in your carefree past, is more serious in the planning present. “If you’re both digging your heels into the ground over something minor, there’s no point in getting angry with each other – just take time out.” says Cecilia. “If you do find you are arguing over trivial things, it could be a sign you are looking for an excuse to release tension so take stock and discuss the pressure you’re both under and how you can alleviate it.
Are you expecting too much from each other? Understanding things from each other’s perspective is one of the key ingredients to a really good marriage.”
I PROMISE... NOT TO LET THE WEDDING CONSUME ME
If you can’t remember the last time you talked about something unrelated to your big day it might be time to step away from your organiser; you’re in danger of becoming a bridal bore. “Your wedding is such an important day for everyone, it’s not surprising it can get a bit out of balance with the rest of your life,” says Cecilia. “But it’s important to keep your sense of perspective and you can help each other with that. Whether it’s you getting uptight over the details, or him withdrawing from proceedings, be gentle and bring each other back into the light again by keeping a sense of balance.”
Create wedding-free zones in your house where you can relax together, and organise date nights. “You might find in the build-up to the big day you don’t get as much time as a couple and need to re-connect with intimacy again,” says Cecilia.
I WILL... REMEMBER WHY WE ARE GETTING MARRIED
You always said you wouldn’t become a bridezilla, but the low-key ceremony you wanted has probably gained a few extra layers since you started, right? That’s OK – it’s when the scale of the event overshadows your time for each other that you need to worry.
“Be careful you don’t work so hard on the wedding of your dreams that you feel an anti-climax on the day and find it hard to enjoy the first few days of married life,” says Cecilia. “The honeymoon is there for you to relax and unwind, but don’t go into your holiday in such a high state of tension that you can’t enjoy it.” Take some time out to talk about the day your fiancé proposed, your dreams of married life and all the things you love about each other.
I PROMISE TO... REMEMBER THERE’S A FUTURE AFTER THE WEDDING
Your big day’s bound to be your focal point right now, but don’t lose sight of the fact that when the last glass of champagne has been sipped it’ll be the beginning of something wonderful, rather than the end. “Plan some activities in your diary for when you come back from honeymoon, either as a couple or together with friends,” says Cecilia. “By getting that sense of balance and continuity back after the wedding you’ll avoid an anti-climax.”