- For most engaged couples, one partner takes on more wedding planning responsibility than the other.
- The disproportionate burden can make the planner more stressed about the wedding than their partner.
- Wedding therapist Landis Bejar told Insider the pandemic has heightened the stress imbalance.
People often talk about being engaged as one of the happiest times of a couple’s relationship.
But planning a wedding is extremely stress-inducing, particularly for couples who have had to alter, postpone, or cancel their weddings because of the pandemic.
And according to a wedding therapist, the burden of planning — and the stress that comes with it — often falls on one partner more than the other, which can lead to tension in a relationship.
Landis Bejar is the founder of AisleTalk, and she and her team of therapists help couples manage the stress that comes with wedding planning.
In an interview with Insider, Bejar shared that it’s common for one partner to take the lead in wedding planning, while the other takes a more hands-off approach. She added that in heterosexual relationships the bride is generally more involved than the groom.
That dynamic can be stressful no matter what, as the planning partner may feel like the weight of the event falls solely on them and that they don’t have support from their significant other.
But the pandemic has drastically magnified that imbalance, according to Bejar.
“If there’s been any change to the plan, whether that’s downsizing, postponing, postponing three times, or whatever it is, it’s usually that the person who carried more of the responsibility for the planning is going to be more affected when those plans are changing constantly,” Bejar said.
The partner who is less involved in planning might not react as strongly to wedding changes caused by the pandemic because they don’t fully grasp the work that went into planning the original event.
“What we see is a lot of people coming in and saying, ‘I’m so worked up about this. I’m devastated about this. It’s so hard for me to even talk about it. And my fiancé is like, ‘We’ll figure it out, it’s fine,'” Bejar said of her clients.
Bejar also said that different emotional responses to plans changing can lead to conflict too.
For instance, if one person is more anxious by nature and the other has a go-with-the-flow attitude, the former might feel like their partner is being dismissive of their concerns.
“It’s a common dynamic that we see outside of the pandemic, but what the pandemic will do is really heighten that and bring awareness to it because the feelings about how the pandemic is impacting the wedding might be heightened as well,” Bejar said.
Couples can avoid some of this stress by ensuring one partner isn’t forced to plan the wedding alone. They can also work with a professional like Bejar who can give them a neutral space where they are able to acknowledge their feelings and move forward.
Bejar also said that it’s best for couples to prioritize their relationships over the details of the wedding. By focusing on each other and their marriage, they can decrease the stress they put on the wedding itself.
“When everything feels so overwhelming and everyone has a different opinion, try to just look your partner in the eye, have a cuddle with your partner, or have dinner or a drink with your partner,” Bejar suggested. “You guys are both going through this.”
“The more that you guys can get on the same page, the more support you’re going to feel as you make each decision,” she said.