After the fun of the engagement has set in, it may be the time to talk about some important issues if you haven’t talked about them yet. Sometimes it isn’t as much fun to talk about, but it’s necessary to prepare for a happy marriage. Weddings create experiences that may make it so you have to have difficult conversations. You are mixing 2 or more families which is a big deal. Many people (not just you and your fiancé) have expectations or ideas of not only how the wedding should be, but how life will be after the marriage. I suggest having these conversations now. Our world is full of different people who have contrasting opinions and diverse backgrounds.
When talking about any issues, ask questions using what and how. Those words aren’t controlling or overwhelming and show you are coming from a place of curiosity and peace. Show respect and don’t make assumptions.
Think positively. If you think these conversations are going to be awful, they will be. So go into these conversations wanting to gain a better understanding of your partner’s perspective. Try to see their point of view to create harmony. It’s fine to tell them your opinion, just be sure to let them know that you want to work together and understand each others different perspective.
I have listed a few important topics you may want to consider chatting about for the WEDDING DAY and the years to come…
Talking about the wedding budget is a very hard conversation to have with both sides (or more) of the family. Talk about the priority list and what is most important to each person. Then move into the budget and ask what the parents are willing to help with. There is a traditional list on WHO PAYS FOR WHAT. But please remember this can be altered.
Usually when you are dating money doesn’t matter, but it changes when you get married. Money in marriage is really important because it is a part of our every day lives. For some reason many couples find it hard to talk about finances. It could be that it wasn’t talked about in their family growing up and families and people spend their money in different ways. Or maybe you don’t realize that people have differing views on how money should be spent. Money also filters into trust, so it’s important to agree on ground rules. What is your spending style? Some people are savers, some are spenders. It is rare for two people to have the same views on spending and saving money. A good thing to talk about is if you have any debt and what your assets are. Will you combine your money? What is important to you and what do you spend the majority of your money on? What if a family member or friend wants to borrow money? What are your goals for the future and how do you plan on saving for it?
Religion is a hot topic in the world, especially in marriage. So what if the families involved are from different religions? How can you mix it all in to your wedding day creation? You can if you talk to the families and see what their traditions are. Do they have parties before the wedding day? Where do they usually have the wedding ceremony? If this place is inclusive is it possible to do two where everyone can go to a ring ceremony? Will there be drinking at the reception?
Once you are married, religion will probably be a part of the marriage as well. What are your beliefs? What are your highest values? Can you live with someone who has differing opinions as far as God or the Universe? What if your perspective changes along the way? If you have children- how would you raise them- in one religion or another?
Do you plan on changing your name after the wedding? Do you want to create a prenuptial agreement? Have you ever had any trouble with the law? Have you ever been married or have children from another partner? Do you have a will or trust and what will you pass on to your spouse or family members? Do you have any other legal issues that your partner should know about?
Communication is important in so many aspects of your wedding- for sure with intimacy. A good place to start on this conversation is talking about how your parents marriage was. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? What do you envision your intimate life to be like? What relationship is most important to you- marriage, kids, extended family? What does being loyal mean to you? What is infidelity? Be open and honest about your feelings and expectations. Remember desires change when you are sick or tired and it will be different once you have children. (Oh, by the way, how many children do you want?) So be open now about your expectations and how you envision life with each other for the next 60 years- not just the honeymoon.
DIVORCED OR BLENDED FAMILIES
Many of the couples getting married today have families that are divorced or blended. What are the roles with each of these in the wedding and after? The budget may also be affected because there are more families involved with the payments and the decisions. You are going to learn a lot about communication by going through the wedding planning process- you may have to be the mediator between families. I suggest you talk to each parent individually and try to understand their expectations and what part they will have in the planning. It would be great if you can come to compromises that everyone is going to put down their high emotions for one day and enjoy the celebration. This will also be a time when you and your partner can become closer and understand the deep issues, emotions and traditions within each family.
SAME SEX COUPLES
What are the traditions in same sex weddings? Do you want to do any of them? If you are both ladies, do you both want to wear a wedding dress? What traditions do your families have that you want to incorporate? Is there anyone that you need to talk to before the wedding day that may have issues that you can resolve before the wedding day? This way you can deal with any problems so they don’t happen on your special day.
Blending two or more families is an interesting process. One really good thing to communicate about is how much influence the extended family will have. How often do you want to see your family? Will they visit you or will you go to their homes? How would you handle the different holidays? If yours or my parent or sibling became ill would you take them in your home? Do you have a family history of any diseases, medical concerns? Can you see family staying with us in our home? (For one night? One year?) Do you want kids- if so, how many? How long would you want to wait before having them? What kind of parent do you want to be? What rules or discipline did you have growing up- what ones would you want to keep, get rid of? How important are birthdays? holidays? anniversaries? How would you want to spend those days? What do you do on the weekends or what is a perfect one to you? Did you have pets growing up- do you see yourself having pets? When would extended family get priority over you?
What goals do you have in the next year? 5 years? 50 years? What would you like to accomplish? What are things on your bucket list- fun things, education, travel? What are your passions and hobbies? How much time do you want to spend on these? How much time do you see us spending together on the weekdays, weekends? Do you set goals weekly, monthly, yearly or never? If you want to set some goals together I suggest talking through them and writing them down. It is said that those who write their goals down are 80% more successful in achieving goals. Going through this process with your partner will help you communicate what is important to you and the future you see for your marriage.
Do you feel like this now?