What Your Wedding Fight Might Say About Your Marriage

The silly spats you and your fiance get into while planning your wedding can be red flags for hot-button issues down the road.

If You Fight Over: Your Cake

What Your Wedding Fight Says About Your Marriage

Anda Photography

Your hot button may be: Your home decor

Lemon and raspberry curd versus white-chocolate mousse, cupcakes versus classic tiers—wait, can frosting flavors really impact how you decorate your house? Well, in a word, yes! Your wedding cake symbolizes your style as a couple, and the fact that you each want to assert your own taste (literally) is a sign that you may struggle with creative control over furniture, rugs, paint colors and more. Suddenly, his insistence on that crazy groom’s cake and his quest to turn the guest room into a man cave make total sense! To prevent a style standoff, realize that while your tastes may not sync up, you both get to express them. Pick a “free pass” room where you each can put your personal stamp (even if that means antlers over your flat-screen). The rest of your pad calls for more give-and-take, but allowing each other a room of your own makes sharing the decorating reins a whole lot more bearable.

If You Fight Over: The Size of Your Wedding

Your hot button may be: Where you live

One of you dreams of a glamorous country-club extravaganza, while the other is fine with a 20-person, barefoot ceremony on the beach. Sounds like someone prefers to stay under the radar, while the other wants to make a statement. No matter who wins in the end, the friction you feel over how grand or low-key your wedding day will be is a tip-off that future battles may be fought over neighborhoods during your house hunt. Here’s what could happen: The statement-maker wants a hip address where you can be in the thick of the action, while the chill spouse would be perfectly happy on a no-name street in the burbs. Whoever wants the over-the-top wedding needs to ask: “Am I trying to keep up with my friends? Or am I truly attracted to a faster-paced lifestyle?” You’re not wrong to want to be in a prime spot, but listen to your spouse’s side too. Living just outside the trendy zone may be the perfect compromise.

If You Fight Over: Your Seating Chart

Your hot button may be: friends vs. family

Who commandeers the guest list for their genetic nearest and dearest? Is his fourth cousin twice removed an “A-team” invite? Bickering over the friends-versus-family final tally (him: 150 family members, you: 23) hints at future power struggles over how you will prioritize the key people in your life. Moving forward, will your spouse expect you to attend family dinners 24/7, while you’d rather spend more time getting to know the couples in your new neighborhood? Don’t make the mistake of guilt-tripping your partner into doing things your way; you will regret that decision sooner than you think. Rather, the trick to keeping the peace is creating a balance so neither of you ends up feeling resentful.

If You Fight Over: Your First Dance

Your hot button may be: How romantic you are

It all just seems so perfect, choosing your wedding song together…until you realize that you have opposing ideas of what tune encapsulates your relationship. (“Excuse me, The Black Keys? Who actually wants to hear The Black Keys at their wedding?”) While you may be able to pull off the wedding music list without losing your cool, prepare to have this issue resurface when it comes to how you define romance as a couple. Will one of you hate gazing at each other in front of a huge crowd at your wedding while the other will eat it up like some sort of fairy tale? Watch out for the same kind of friction in newlywed life—how you view Valentine’s Day, anniversary gifts, PDA. You can’t change your partner; only accept that you both have different ways of expressing yourselves and appreciate when the other person makes an effort.

If You Fight Over: Your Honeymoon

What Your Wedding Fight Says About Your MarriageYour hot button may be: Your downtime choices

Your first postwedding vacation is supposed to be carefree, relaxing and fun—this isn’t like registering; trust us, we know that one can be super-stressful—so why is it so hard to settle on a destination and activity schedule? You two can’t seem to get on the same page on how or where to spend those couple of weeks. If planning something as pleasant as a honeymoon can turn into a nuptial nightmare, think about your potential fights? We can imagine many disagreements over how you’ll spend your free time together. The person who is all about having a spa week or chill Caribbean trip may crave that same mellow vibe when it comes to filling your weekend calendar, but the energetic sightseer may feel stifled by their partner’s slow pace.

The key to not clashing? Stop trying to turn your future spouse into your twin and embrace the fact that you two are different people with different interests. You won’t know how fun it could be to have opposite kinds of stimulation during downtime if you don’t at least give it a try. Loosen up every once in a while and tag along for one of your partner’s favorite hobbies. Who knows, you might.

Written by: Riann Smith; Originally published in The Knot Florida Fall/Winter 2013 Issue

Want More? (Of Course You Do!)
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  • Sari Rojo
    11/04/13 at 02:13

    Honey, if you’re fighting with your man over all this materialistic crap, you better ask yourself WHY you are really getting married! Is it to impress everyone else or is it because you truly want a marriage? Of course couples fight but I thought this article was insulting to couples who are getting married for the right reasons (ie. love). No offense to the author, just my opinion and a caution for anyone who finds themselves in such a situation….

  • Julie
    11/05/13 at 08:48

    While I wouldn’t say these are all invalid points, I would agree that they are, to some extent, materialistic and trivial. The main concern here may not be that they’re trying to impress everyone else, it may simply be the couple lacks the skill to compromise or work as a team. That being said, even the most coordinated and well-oiled couple (couples marrying for love) will run into issues when planning a wedding. When you plan a wedding you sign up to deal with families and families are stressful. Often what the couples are disagreeing about are not necessarily their own desires for the wedding, but their family’s expectations for the wedding.

    Does that mean they’re trying to impress someone? Perhaps, but a good support system is important for a new couple.
    Does that mean the couple is doomed? If the stress of planning a wedding spells doom to a couple, then you’re right, they probably shouldn’t be getting married. Not because of all the “materialistic crap” but because maintaining a marriage is a lot more work than planning a wedding.

  • C
    03/07/14 at 12:37

    These aren’t “materialistic crap” – they’re decisions that come up during wedding planning. It takes all kinds to make the world go ’round – meaning, not everyone will automatically come to the same conclusion when making such decisions. Not to mention, often, opposites attract! Not everyone will be lackadaisical towards one of the most important events in their life :)

  • Rachel
    11/04/13 at 04:15

    The premise of this article had me raising eyebrows, but our two main conflicts in planning (size & guest list) is actually pretty accurately analyzed in this. He wants a fantastic soiree with a cigar bar and 300 of his nearest and dearest, while I have (not so subtly) hinted at eloping several times.We do feel that we’re getting married for the right reasons, but our upbringings are very different. His family is full of extroverted, country clubbing, five-kid families…while my group is a bunch of INFJ’s that don’t even call eachother on their birthdays. Sigh.

  • Shyanne
    11/13/13 at 10:45

    Balance and compromise. If you can’t find a way to achieve both of those things, why bother? Yes, you will disagree. Yes, those disagreements may turn into fights. But you have to find some kind of common ground. In the end, work together- the wedding and the life after it.

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Escort cards are extremely easy to personalize and an excellent way to bring in your wedding day colors -- from calligraphed seating cards set atop a textured linen to apples tagged with each guest's name or small personalized bundles of lavender tied off with string. Other ways to display escort cards: Pin them to a clothesline, post them on a board covered in color-coordinated ribbon, or incorporate them into your cocktail hour using personalized stirrers tagged with guests' names.
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