The Wedding You Want, with No Drama! by George James, LMFT

The summer is a time for warm weather, vacation, family reunions and weddings.  Many couples plan their wedding during the summer and fall months.  Planning a wedding can bring a lot of stress and drama to the couple.  From deciding when and where to get married, to working on the guest list and to figuring out how you will pay for the wedding.  Stress and drama can also come from what other people want for your wedding and from handling major conflicts such as faith, money or where to live after the wedding.  It is possible to get the wedding you want and not have any drama, even with all the possibilities leading up to the wedding.

Here are 5 steps to getting the Wedding you want with no Drama.  For more on each step, check out my interview on how to have a Perfect Wedding, No Drama.

1)      Design the Wedding Together – Discuss with your fiancé what you want and what he or she wants in a wedding.  Before you bring other people in the discussion, talk it over with your partner.  Get an understanding of what you both are looking for, design how you plan to make it happen and go after your vision.

2)      Define and Discuss Boundaries – Once you know what type of wedding you both want, you can now discuss potential pitfalls and set boundaries.  A pitfall could be people who can’t make it to the wedding who you want to be there, the overall cost, or family traditions that you like and dislike.  Setting boundaries together helps to set limits on what will and will not happen in your wedding and in the process of planning the wedding.

3)      Keep your Autonomy & Include your Family – Family members, especially parents, are excited and want to be a part of the wedding planning process.  At times, family members want the wedding to be their vision and not your vision.  It’s important that you keep your autonomy by sticking to your vision.  You can make adjustments, include suggestions, but at the end of the day it should still be the vision you and your partner came up with.

4)      Work through Major Conflicts – Major conflicts will come up, how you handle them can determine if you have drama or not.  One major conflict could be around money, such as does giving money equal influence.  If your parents are contributing to the wedding does that mean they get the final say on the guest list or style of the wedding?  What role will faith play in the ceremony, especially if you are not of the same faith as your parents or partner?

5)      Develop Healthy Ways to Handle Stress – Are you still having fun, going on dates or even smiling?  What are you doing to handle your stress?  Having someone you can talk to as a couple can be helpful in handling the many stressors of the process.  Pre-marital counseling can be helpful with navigating the stress of the planning process as well as equip you with the skills necessary for a healthy marriage.


George James is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and CEO of George Talks, LLC.  For more on this and other topics, please visit

Twitter: @GeorgeTalksLLC 



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