couple with sandy feet during beach picnic

You will probably learn more about each other during the wedding planning process than at any other time in your relationship. Conflict can pop up over the silliest of things sometimes, so it is wise to be proactive. Handle communication smartly by starting your planning with three simple questions!

What's the best way for me to disagree with you during wedding planning?

Don't wait for the first argument to erupt before discussing communication styles. Planning something together is probably an entirely new experience for the two of you. Make sure that you aren't offending him if you shrug off his suggestion for the boutonnieres or that you don't get cranky when he tells you that he doesn't like the wedding colors you adore.  The best way to avoid taking things too personally and to work through these differences in opinion is to own up to your communication styles and listen to your partner well.  Be honest about what you need in a conversation, and take note of what he needs. Maybe you prefer constructive criticism be worded in really positive ways, or perhaps he needs specific examples when you bring up something with him. And remember, these insights into how you two communicate are going to help you throughout your marriage, not just this phase.

How should we talk about our respective families' contributions to planning?

Families, often unintentionally, can add a lot of stress to the wedding planning process. Whether it's over money or guest lists or style or location, everyone has an opinion.  Before anything occurs (again, proactive is best to avoid blaming), talk to your future spouse about what they expect from their family, and how they will handle any surprises. The two of you need to be ambassadors for your relatives in order for the planning process to go as smoothly as possible.  Make sure you are communicating with your own family so that as the two of you discuss details there aren't many surprises along the way.

When's date night?

Planning a wedding takes awhile, and it can be all-encompassing, if you let it.  As the two of you are looking at your calendars and scheduling venue tours or dress fittings or cake tastings, remember to also schedule time for just the two of you to build your relationship without the stress of planning. Come to an agreement ahead of time that you will limit the amount of time you discuss wedding planning, or that you will avoid the topic altogether during your quality time.

Photo: Let's Frolic Together