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Very Significant Other: Getting Your Fiancé Involved

Posted on: 17/12/2012

David Lawson Studios

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Let’s get Christmas week off to an all-inclusive start with some advice from our regular guest blogger the lovely Rachel of Mosaic Brides about how you can get your other half involved in the wedding planning process.  And this isn’t just about getting the boys in order either, as this advice can apply to any wayward fiancé on either side of the partnership.  Get ‘em involved, people!  Using images from my own wedding (a groom who did as he was told FYI!) by David Lawson Studios

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Rachel says: For most of us girls an engagement ring isn’t necessary to start planning our big day, it simply signals a time to put our thoughts into action.  Long before we meet Mr or Mrs Right we spend time swooning over wedding dresses, deciding who our bridesmaids will be and how we will dress them – we even think about the flavour of the sponge and filling for our three-tier wedding cake (mine’s a simple iced white cake with vanilla, lemon and chocolate layers, decorated with fresh vintage style flowers)!

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By contrast our significant other may not have given any consideration to their wedding day, and for some even getting down on one knee does not prompt such thoughts.  As a result it’s sometimes the case that a bride can feel alone during the planning process when her partner takes a back seat and utters those three frustrating words "I don’t mind". But with many couples ditching traditional weddings in favour of more personal affairs, it’s never been more important that input comes from both sides to achieve a day that’s a reflection of both of you. 

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David Lawson Studios

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So, if your husband or wife-to-be is under the impression that their duties end at the proposal, suit hire and picking a best man or woman who will plan them a send off to rival The Hangover, I suggest the following…

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In the beginning

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Sit down and talk. From the very start make clear to your fiancé that you want them involved with planning the wedding and the ways in which they can help.

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Next, discuss your opinions on the main areas like destinations, venues, styling, size of the wedding, food, entertainment and, of course, the budget. To encourage your partner to come up with their own ideas, or to prevent them just going along with what you say, try writing down your ideas separately and then coming back together to discuss your thoughts. While you might have the same ideas on some things other areas might need compromise – it’s no good asking for their opinion and then ignoring it.

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David Lawson Studios

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Work as a team

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Part of being in a relationship is working as a team, a quality that can be incredibly useful when planning a wedding.

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Discuss which elements you can do together such as attending wedding fairs and venue visits then look at your strengths and divide some of the other jobs between you.  For example, if one of you is particularly creative then take the lead in styling the venue or designing invitations, if the other is good at research they can spend time looking up venues, entertainment, transport and so on. 

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It also makes sense to let the person who is good with numbers handle the budget while the more ballsy of the two can take charge when it comes to haggling.

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David Lawson Studios

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Talent spotting

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Don’t be offended if your partner doesn’t take an interest in every little thing.  It may well be the case that they don’t mind (or even care) which flowers, favours or bridesmaid dresses you have in mind but this provides the perfect opportunity to involve other relatives and friends. Meanwhile your fiancé can take some time out with their side of the bridal party to pick their wedding attire.

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Also allocate your other half jobs that you know will spike their interest. So if they love music leave them to look for a band or to plan the play list, if they fancy themself as the next Jamie Oliver ask them to consider food options or if they usually organise your annual holiday let them arrange a dream honeymoon.

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David Lawson Studios

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Keep calm and carry on

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If despite your best efforts you feel that your husband or wife-to-be is still not taking an interest talk to them – communication is key in a relationship and is absolutely essential when it comes to planning a wedding.

Let your other half know that you want them to be involved and explain the ways in which you can inject elements of your personalities into the day as this might help to engage them.  Equally don’t get carried away and leave your partner out – the day belongs to both of you.

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There is no doubt that planning a wedding is a stressful and demanding task that can lead to arguments but it should also be a time you enjoy together.  To avoid fall outs don’t talk wedding all the time. Try to have a night or two where discussing weddings is strictly off limits, giving you both a break and a chance to spend quality time with one another.

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Finally and most importantly don’t lose sight of the reasons why you are actually getting married, beyond the paper pompoms and that three tired cake there should be a whole lot of love.

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  – Images © 2012 David Lawson Studios

Rachel Parry of Mosaic Brides is a regular guest writer for Brides Up North

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