The 6 discussions you should have with your partner before the wedding

Updated Jan 24 2017
Here are the 6 discussions you should have with your partner before the wedding
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Is it getting down to the wire? Wedding date almost here?! Have you had these six big ol' convos with your partner yet? Oh, it's on. Time to start waylaying fears, saying thanks, and talk about TV shows. Wait, what? Yep, all of the above need to happen stat. Here are the six discussions before the wedding that probably need to happen. Let's get to it…

Your wedding expectations

It's no wonder we have a whole archive on wedding expectations… it's a big deal for those of us who grew up in a time when weddings are SERIOUS BUSINESS. Wedding propaganda starts young, y'all. One or both of you probably have expectations that exceed reality, and figuring those out ahead of time is the best defense against any post-wedding blues.

Figure out what you both WANT versus what is LIKELY. You may even find that these are divergent expectations. When you both know what's in your dream scenario, you can better prepare to console or intervene the other when things are going exactly as you know the other wants it to be.

Here's some previous wisdom we've extolled from reader Sabrina:

I find that the vision of the wedding continues to evolve but the players have never changed. It's not about the food or the bouquets. It's not about the centerpieces or the venue. Those are special additions to a day that is about us.

More about managing expectations:

How your relationship might change (or not)

fordyce-and-chillAre you worried your love life will stall? Your romantic ideas of marriage will deflate? It won't be all Fordyce and chill? We know some longtime couples totally separate after marriage, even if they've been together for ages. Addressing that before the wedding can absolutely help prevent you from hitting walls later on.

Here's some real talk:

For better or for worse, each of us has expectations about what being married will mean to the relationship. For some people, that expectation might be, "Absolutely nothing will change, other than that we'll be wearing rings and will have had a big party." For other people, the expectation might be, "Everything will change. Our whole relationship will be on a different level, and how we interact with the world will be radically shifted!"

Don't get scared, though! Knowing your partner's fears is half the battle. Discuss, and then decide what you'll do to prevent those fears from being realized.

More about relationship changes:

Potential conflicts at the wedding

Family expectations are a thing, too, right? How will you band together to defend each other from your families' "must-haves" and "why didn't you's?" Whether it's before or after the wedding, you'll want to make sure you've got each others' backs when it comes to dealing with any wedding backlash from family and friends.

The best advice for how to deal with hitting the brick wall of family expectations is to make sure you both understand why the friend or family member has that particular expectation, and what they really want. If you're both on the same page with the issue, you can be better prepared to address it (or ignore it, if that's the best case scenario for conflict resolution).

Make a quick hit list of potential conflicts that have the highest likelihood of arising and determine how you'll address them as a team. Then when any of them actually occur, at the wedding or after), you can give each other that knowing look and rise to the occasion with confidence.

More about conflict resolution:

How to stay connected AT the wedding

Wedding expectations includes timing and logistics, of course, but also more nuanced details like feelings you want to feel, guests you want to thank, and amount of time you want to spend with your partner at the wedding itself. It's easy to get separated all night, trust me. If a worry is that you won't have enough time together at the wedding, we've got some helpful hacks to stay physically connected, take in the moments, and relieve some… stress. Ahem.

More about staying connected:

How much you appreciate each other

You know you're both working hard at wedding planning and/or supporting each other in the endeavor. Maybe it's time to spend a little quality time saying thanks, relishing in the fun parts, and giving each other back rubs and BJs. Take a minute to remember WHY you're doing all this work and who it's actually for. YOU. And that other person. Both o' y'all.

Any topic BUT the wedding

Oh, and after you're done giving each other thankful handies, it's time to CHECK OUT HARDCORE. Yep, no more talk about the wedding. Time to talk about The Walking Dead, the election (or not), and your cat's awesome paws. Make sure the wedding hasn't changed your life too much and that you're ready for get back to post-wedding real life ASAP.

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