When a couple used to plan a wedding—long, long ago—they did so from their respective, separate homes. In fact, they probably did it from their parents’ homes because that’s where they lived until they tied the knot with somebody. There were formal, scheduled meeting times to discuss the guest list, pick out flower arrangements, and talk about how the couple wanted the menu to look. Now, with so many couples cohabitating before they get married, wedding planning looks very different. Living together changes pretty much every aspect of a relationship so, it’s to be expected that it would affect one of the most stressful times of a couple’s lives: the planning of the big day. When you live together, there’s almost no escaping wedding talk. But, it also has its perks. Here is how living together changes the wedding planning process.
It takes over your relationship
The wedding planning process can consume a relationship when the couple lives together. Just like you accidentally wind up talking about chores and errands when you live together, because you think, “We have all the time in the world to talk about other things later—we live together!”, you wind up talking about the wedding all of the time. And that time to talk about other things never comes.
But, you’re less alone in it
At least your partner cannot escape participating, all with the excuse that he lives in a different house or apartment. You don’t need to get him on Skype or FaceTime to show him an invitation sample: he’s sitting in the other room so you can just put it in front of his face.
You take vent calls outside
Naturally, you need to call some friends to complain about how your partner is behaving during the wedding planning process, or some of his terrible choice in music for the play list. But you live together so, you need to go for a walk to make these calls. And when you go for a walk, he knows you’re making those calls.
You work hard to hide the dress
You have to work extra hard to hide the dress so he doesn’t see it before the big day. It’s not just about hiding the physical dress—there is the vision board and all of the photographs from magazines you’ve compiled to show your designer.
You watch each other’s spending more
You’re acutely aware of your partner’s spending habits. You need all the money you can save for your wedding, so you pay particular attention to how much your partner spends on cabs to go out with friends or on new shoes.
There could be less sense of urgency
If you haven’t even set a date yet, you may drag your feet on that. It’s not like you don’t get to live together until you get married—you already live together. You don’t feel like you can’t start a life together until you’ve tied the knot, so you may delay in setting a date.
Prep parties take over
You have your bridesmaids over to address envelopes, pick out bridesmaids dresses, assemble guest gift bags and more. But these parties happen in your shared home with your partner, so he often comes home to the floors and surfaces littered with stamps and ribbons.
You always drag the other into a call
If your planner calls with you with a question or concern, you put her on speakerphone, and track down your partner to involve him in the conversation. He does the same to you. At any given moment, no matter what you’re doing (even if you’re on the toilet) you may have a phone shoved in your face.
You want a chiller wedding
Couples who live together before getting married tend to want slightly more low-key weddings—at least, that’s what I’ve found. Maybe that ties into the wedding not being such a huge deal since they’ve already joined their lives before the wedding.
You’ve already run a household together
You have one very major thing working in your favor: you’ve already run a household together. So you’re already comfortable speaking openly about finances, and giving one another constructive criticism.
Nowhere to go during planning spats
When you get into big fights about the plans, you’re stuck in the same house. It can be pretty tense in there for days or even weeks until things blow over. You can’t retreat to your separate homes.
You can track his to-do list better
You can keep a much better eye on your partner’s progress on that to-do list. I mean, you live in the same home—you see his comings and goings—and you know whether or not he has actually picked up his groomsmen’s custom cuff links yet.
But, tracking his to-do list causes panic
Being able to see so closely how well he’s doing on that to-do list also induces some panic. Sometimes you think you’d be better off not seeing what’s going on behind the scenes on his end, and just have faith that it will be complete on the big day.
You’re both in charge of documents
All paperwork, documents, invoices, and receipts from wedding planners exist under one roof. You don’t necessarily love that because it provides too many opportunities for one of you to misplace things, and think the other one did it.
It’s better, and worse
In many ways, living together before the wedding makes planning the actual wedding so much easier. You’re well past the phase of always playing nice around each other, so you can tell it like it is when it comes to your opinions and needs. On the other hand, you feel like you literally never get a break from wedding talk.