How Planning a Wedding Is Kind of Like Marriage

It takes a village after all.

Photography by: Erich McVey

You've always fantasized about an intimate wedding – just you and your love on a remote island somewhere thousands of miles away. And then you get engaged and your partner announces that they want a giant 300+ person wedding with a full band, a sit down dinner, and a weekend full of events. This is when you pump the brakes and start thinking, "Will we ever be on the same page?" In short, yes. This is a very normal part of the process.


Planning a wedding quickly teaches you that your differences actually aren't a bad thing and that sometimes you need a little compromise, a lot of trust, clear boundaries, and a smidge of outside help. Maybe you go to that little island for a private ceremony and head back home for a smaller reception. Maybe you bring half that guest list to a less remote beach destination. The bottom line is that, if you pay attention, navigating your way through planning a wedding may give you some insight into what marriage will be like once you get past the honeymoon phase.


Planning a wedding requires compromise

From selecting a band you both love to hiring a coordinator each of you feels comfortable with, you may find yourselves struggling through small compromises about your wedding based on what's important to each of you.


Of course marriage requires a ton of compromise—what to invest in, where to send the kids to school, etc. By navigating the small decisions while planning your wedding, you'll learn a lot about how you each approach and communicate your differences.


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It takes a village

Everyone says that raising a family takes a village, but you probably won't fully understand that until you're in the throws of child rearing or dealing with a family illness. In both situations, you'll take all the help you can get from others.


Likewise, planning a wedding requires the input of family members, event professionals, and friends who have been through the process before. Learning how to ask for help and advice when you need it is a big key to a successful, happy marriage and also key to planning a fabulous wedding. It's impossible to do it all on your own and planning a wedding is much more enjoyable with the help of friends and family.


One of you may have to take the reigns

There are many instances in a marriage when one of you may have to step up to make decisions on behalf of you both. Whether it's a matter of representing both of you while purchasing a home, or dealing with your kids at school, it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to make all of your decisions side by side throughout your marriage.


Planning a wedding can be similar in that sense. There are often decisions you'll make on behalf of the two of you if one cannot be present due to work obligations or a prior engagement. The important thing to note here is that your partner trusts you to make decisions that you'll both be happy with.


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Setting boundaries with family becomes really important

No matter how idyllic they may appear from the outside, every family has its issues and complicated ways of dealing with stress. Hopefully you've learned a bit about the family you're marrying into prior to planning your wedding, but if you find yourself wondering if the chaos will pass, take heart in knowing that it will.


Planning a wedding is said to be one of the most stressful life events, and we have to imagine it's in part because of the stress of being initiated into a new family. If you can learn how to set clear boundaries with your own family as well as the family you're marrying into, both you and your partner will benefit greatly in the long run as those skills can certainly be applied throughout the course of your marriage as you face additional stressful events.


It's a learning process

Marriage is a learning process that requires listening to one another, patience with one another, and an incredible amount of trust. If you pay clear attention to the emotions, differences, and priorities you discover while planning your wedding, you'll find that you learn a ton about your partner in the process. Learning how each of you faces this time of chaos, beauty, excitement, emotion, and rapid change can really help you assess how you'll address future decision-making and the stresses of everyday life.


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