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The Art of Compromise: How to Plan Your Wedding Even if You Don’t Agree

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It’s totally normal to bicker with your partner over wedding-planning decisions—but figuring out how to compromise will make your planning experience much smoother.

You may be head over heels in love with your partner, but that doesn’t mean that you two always see eye to eye. We all know that a big part of a successful relationship is learning how to compromise—and now that you’re planning a wedding, figuring out how to fight fair is even more important. You and your partner will have to make what seems like thousands of decisions throughout the planning process—things as seemingly minor as the style of fork your guests will use and as major as where you’ll go on your honeymoon. It’s totally normal not to agree on every detail—the important thing is figuring out how to plan an event you’re both happy with, even if it means a little give-and-take along the way.

Wondering how to compromise with your partner on your wedding? Here’s our best advice. Create a priority list. One of the first steps of planning a wedding is deciding what’s most important. This will not only help you figure out how to compromise on your wedding, but also help you decide where you can splurge and save, budget-wise. Sit down with your partner and decide which one or two aspects of your wedding is top priority for each of you. For example, perhaps you’re most into the flowers and décor, while your partner is focused on the food and music. If you and your partner find yourself unable to agree on a certain aspect of wedding planning, let the person who cares the most about that detail make the final call.

Enlist a neutral party. There are lots of reasons why hiring experienced and professional wedding vendors is a good idea. Perhaps most important is the fact that they’ve worked at lots of events in the past, and have pretty much seen it all. They can also serve as a neutral voice of reason if you and your partner are having trouble figuring out how to compromise on your wedding. For example, if you’re debating between two color schemes, ask your florist which would suit your venue best. Or if you and your partner can’t decide on a first dance song, ask your bandleader or DJ for his or her top picks. Trust your vendors’ expertise and don’t be afraid to ask their opinion. In particular, wedding planners can be extremely helpful in mediating any conflicts.

Keep looking… When it comes to major decisions like your wedding venue or your photographer, it’s important that you and your partner are both happy with the final choice. A little extra research and legwork can make all the difference in building the right vendor team for your big day. For example, it’s unlikely that you and your partner will both love the first venue you look at, but if you look at a few more, you’ll either find a new location that you both adore or realize that the first venue was the right pick all along.

…but give yourselves deadlines. Fighting over wedding-planning decisions can be a total time suck. Especially if you’re running with a shorter timeline to plan your big day, you’ll need to make decisions quickly and efficiently. Instead of spending days (even weeks!) going back and forth about certain wedding details, give yourselves a firm deadline to keep the bickering to a minimum. “We’re going to decide on our cake flavors by Saturday” or “We need to choose ceremony readings by 3 p.m. today.” And once you’ve made a choice and informed the appropriate vendors, that’s it—no going back and changing your mind. Move on to the next wedding detail instead of agonizing over past decisions.

Divide responsibilities—and don’t micromanage. You won’t win a medal for planning your entire wedding yourself—so divvy up those tasks and don’t be afraid to delegate. Remember though that if you’ve assigned a task to your partner or a loved one, that person has full ownership of that responsibility—and you have to trust him or her to do the job. For example, if your partner is creating the wedding playlist, don’t stand over his or her shoulder whispering song names into his or her ear. That’s just annoying and shows that you don’t trust your partner. Know that your loved ones have your best interests at heart—and even if they don’t make the same decisions you would have made, be appreciative that they made the effort on your behalf.

Remember—your guests are the real VIPs. Yes, we know that a wedding is all about celebrating you and your partner, but don’t forget that there are lots of people who are spending a good deal of time and money to share in your joy. A good way to figure out how to compromise on a wedding-planning decision is to consider your guests’ needs foremost. For example, if you’re debating between certain meal options, think about what might be most appealing for your loved ones. Or if you can’t decide on a particular wedding favor, consider which one would be most useful for your guests. By taking yourselves out of the equation and thinking about your guests, you and your partner may be able to come to a decision with less conflict.