I Tried Building a “Wedding Planning Love Map” With My Fiancé

– In an earlier episode my partner of five years Brian and I, tried building a love map. A series of questions designed
by The Gottman Institute that you discuss with
your significant other. That are meant to deepen your connection as your relationship evolves. Fast forward four months
and we’re engaged. It’s been so exciting, but wedding planning has a reputation for being a stressful, overwhelming time. And I’ve heard that if handled poorly it can strain the
relationship between families and the couple getting married, even after the wedding is over. Luckily there’s a love map
specific to wedding planning that can prevent things from
spiraling out of control. Karen Bridbord, the
Gottman Institute therapist I spoke to for our first
love map experience, said that planning a wedding
is often the first time a couple is planning something so large, that incorporates both of their families and multiple opinions and visions. She also confirmed that when
wedding planning conflicts are left unresolved or ignored, particularly problems
around money or in-laws. The issues can plague a couple
well into their marriage. Since Brian and I both
want our wedding planning, our actual wedding, and
our ensuing marriage to be as meaningful and
healthy as possible, we were excited to work with Karen again and to get the wedding planning
love map questions going. – What’s the best way
to communicate with you when you’re feeling overwhelmed? – Who are those people that we don’t want to get married without? – How do we integrate
our family and friends into the planning process? – What would make our
wedding a meaningful event that reflects our lifestyle and values? We had casually discussed
some of the topics before we got engaged, but still. Each question really helped us zero in on what’s important about our wedding day, and what’s important to us as a couple. How do we approach planning financially if we feel like we’re
going to go over budget? We don’t want to spend
ridiculous amounts of money to just spend ridiculous amounts of money. – I think we’ve tackled the things we care most about upfront like the band, and the
photographer, and the venue. And those are the more
big ticket items anyway and we understand that later on we may have to sacrifice
different tiers of flowers, or less expensive invitations. But we’re fine with that, because we don’t care
about those items as much. If things get heated, what’s
the best way to help you reset and bring you back to the real reason we are getting married. – When we were picking
between the venue options and we were feeling unsure
of which one was right. I remember I was on the
phone with my Grandma and she said at the end of the day whenever you start to feel
stressed or overwhelmed or upset. Just think about the
moment when you and Brian each put a wedding band
on each others finger. – No matter how things play out, we will be getting married and that’s the most important thing. – How do we manage
preexisting family conflicts in the wedding planning
ceremony and celebration. – We just take that into consideration as we plan our smaller
aspects of the wedding, like who’s going to sit where, but we don’t make it the key theme across every decision we make. The wedding is about us. – If you go into it with
just like the attitude of like oh it’s about us, we’re not even going to
pay attention to this, then you’re literally setting
yourself up for failure because you’re not prepared for conflict. Plan for everything. Like we planned for our engagement. We knew that my Dad wasn’t
gonna be at our engagement you planned it so that
it was going to be okay. You said he’s not here tonight, but we’re going home next
weekend, to celebrate with him. And that planned it. If you hadn’t done that and
we hadn’t already talked about how we were going to handle
my parents and our engagement, that would have been very upsetting. And it would have been like a huge miss. My favorite question
was about how we wanted to feel the morning after our wedding. Once everything was said and done. – I want to feel the same way that we felt the
morning after we got engaged. – Yes. – Which was like pure
bliss and excitement. I told you like when we got engaged, I’d never really felt that feeling before. So I think I want to
try and replicate that the morning after the wedding. – If your thinking about getting engaged or it’s already happened and you’re in the throws of wedding planning. Building a love map with
your significant other is definitely a smart move. Since Karen says the questions
are specifically designed to avoid the kind of problems
related to money and in-laws that can fester for a lifetime. In addition to actually
building the love map there are micro steps to
help you manage stress throughout the wedding process, and to help you focus
on what matters most. To start, whenever the wedding
comes into conversation try considering the other
persons perspective. It can be as simple as asking yourself, what might this person be feeling? Also, make sure that you’re
listening as much as you speak. Instead of giving your opinion or changing the subject
when things get sticky invite the other person to go deeper. Remember, the impact of a thoughtful wedding planning process, will last long throughout your marriage.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *