There are few people you spend more time with during the wedding-planning process than your planner herself. You hired her to handle the most important big-day details, which means you can expect her to be fully involved in everything from planning the reception layout to selecting the cake flavor. She has a front-row seat to just about everything, including the dynamics of your relationship. For this reason, wedding planner and owner of Rothweiler Event Design, Danielle Rothweiler, always says that part of her job is playing psychiatrist without the prescription pad. "When I work with my couples, I treat them no differently than I treat my friends in my life, so I'm able to learn how they really feel about everything from each other to each other's mothers," she says. "I see how they treat each other in good and bad situations of all sorts." While most planners see only the happy moments, since being engaged and planning a wedding is such a momentous time, some see the less-than-ideal side of a relationship, too. Here, they share some examples of behaviors they consider to be potential red flags for the couple's future marriage.
Lack of Communication
Some people are just not good at handling the stress. Vicky Choy, owner of Event Accomplished LLC, has seen situations where the bride is doing the majority of the planning and it's stressing her out, but she doesn't know how to articulate these feelings to her fiancé. As a result, she keeps it all bottled up inside, and usually ends taking it out on him over the most inconsequential thing. "There are bound to be stressful situations in the future and figuring out how to help each other in stressful situations can only be an asset," she says.
Being Disrespectful to Each Other
Especially when this is done in front of other people, this kind of treatment is a major red flag, according to Rothweiler. "An engagement is, theoretically, the happiest time in a couple's life, so if you are at each other's throats during this time, it's not a good sign for the future," she says. What planners want to see is a mutual support for each other, not a lack of respect.
Ignoring Each Other's Feelings
It's often the case that the bride has been dreaming of this day for her entire life, so she might have very particular goals in mind that may or may not involve her partner's input. "Sometimes a bride or groom can get caught up in the excitement and they don't bother to take an active consideration into how this piece will make their partner feel," says Meghan Moloney, lead planner at DC Engaged. "Whether a night gone too wild at a bachelor or bachelorette party, or a total disregard for family traditions, if one member completely ignores how their choices will impact their partner it is a pretty solid red flag that it will be a bumpy marital ride."
Only One Partner Is Excited About Planning
While it's fine for one partner to be more into wedding planning than the other, both should be invested to at least some degree. "If the groom is continuously checked out and doesn't participate in any of the decision-making, it could be a major problem in the future," warns Rothweiler. "If the wedding is the only time the groom doesn't participate and make joint decisions with his bride, that's one thing, however, if this is a pattern where the bride is making all of the decisions in every aspect of the relationship, it will likely permeate to other important areas in the future."
Being Divided on Family Issues
It's not uncommon for a few hiccups to arise involving each other's family (after all, the two are coming together), pushing one family's taste and style and ignoring the other is a major red flag, according to Moloney. "When couples present a divided front to the family it starts to plant the seeds them apart."