How to Establish Healthy Wedding Planning Boundaries
My name is MK and I own Your Day by MK, a wedding and event planning firm based out of Chicago.
A quick disclaimer: I’m a much better talker than I am a writer. So this blog post is definitely going to read like I am just talking to you. It’s fun that way!
A big tenant of Your Day by MK is valuing your life outside of your wedding. So many of our couples are involved in their communities, have high performing careers like lawyers and doctors, or simply want to be married and aren’t a huge fan of planning. Plus we strongly believe planning your wedding shouldn’t compromise your relationships - you are more than just a party.
Just like we create work/life boundaries, we encourage all of our couples to create healthy boundaries when it comes to wedding planning. Here are our best tips on how to establish a
healthy relationship with wedding planning.
1. Set Up Recurring Meetings
Have an established, pre-planned time to discuss wedding planning. Maybe you decide that every other Sunday morning, you sit down at breakfast and discuss what’s next in your planning process. This alleviates the fear that at any moment, one of you could randomly bring up a wedding item.
When you have a predetermined time to sit and chat, you come to the table ready to make decisions and can enjoy the rest of your week.
If you can’t set a regular meeting, at least plan the next time you will sit down and talk at the end of each meeting. Put it in your calendar then and then you know when you will next get to discuss various items.
2. Have Clear Communication With Family
Maybe you’re the first of your family to get married, or the 5th and every family member knows what is ‘best’ after planning so many. Every family member has an opinion or wants to be involved. While sweet, it can easily get out of hand. Just like you’ve created expectations on your own planning timeline, you need to set expectations with your family members.
Maybe this means sitting them down and having an honest conversation about budget and financial contributions. Maybe you invite them to your recurring planning meetings and explicitly say you will not discuss, at large, the wedding unless in one of those planning meetings. This could mean assigning them a specific task, especially if it is something you don’t have strong feelings about. Whatever it is, be sure you are upfront about your expectations.
3. Don’t Plan Around The Holidays
OK, you can plan SOME things, but do not expect to get most of your planning done. We all know that week that’s a black hole, you know, the one just after Christmas and before New Years. Plus, spoiler alert, many of your vendors will not be working either. They might have holiday offers like wreath workshops or maybe it’s the one week they give themselves each year to enjoy a weekend.
Plan to get your big items decided before Thanksgiving. Write out a few of the “fun” decisions you want your family to weigh in on, like first dance songs or specialty cocktails. Let yourself enjoy the holidays without the stressors of wedding planning.
Decide Your Top 3 Priorities and Everything Else is Whatever
You read that right. I’m not in the business of pretty parties, I’m in the business of happy people.
Look, I’m not advocating for DIY everything, because trust me that will stress you out more. I am advocating for taking a step back and thinking about what actually makes you happy.
What are your top 3 priorities for the day. What are your partner’s top 3? Write them down, put them in front of you at every planning meeting, and they will be your north star.
Good Photos, Good People, Good Music. After that, maybe you don’t get the uber select bar package? Maybe you don’t have a getaway car or the most extravagant dress, but if your top 3 are fulfilled, really the day is a win.
Trust me, you’ll end up caring way more about having a killer dance party with your people than any other detail out there.
We are so much more than our wedding planning selves. Maybe we’re not good budgeters or type A enough to keep on a schedule. Heck, I’m more than just my wedding planning/business owning self. I play ultimate frisbee, dance on tables with my gal pals, and an avid early morning riser. When you hire a planner or coordinator, we ensure that you still get to be fully yourself during your engagement. You get to be a good partner, enjoy wine with your friends, and maybe save a dollar or two.
Cheers to you, now get those meetings in your Calendar!