Carly Cylinder, owner of Flour LA, is a florist that provides nontraditional designs for weddings and events using eco-friendly flowers. While I’ve not had the pleasure of working with Carly, I very much want to after reading her posting in The Huffington Post.
From her vantage point as a florist, she writes about what she thinks are the four most important words a couple can say to each other:
When I meet couples for the first time during their consultations for wedding flowers, do I, the lovely innocent florist, make subliminal summations on the probable longevity of their marriage? Of course I do! And I think I’ve got it down to a science. . .
I’ve noticed that there are some couples that you meet where you know that this is meant to be. They didn’t settle, they found love, they make each other laugh and it is just easy. Although her fiancé may not give a damn if there are roses or dahlias or freesia or mums in their wedding, she will ask him, “What do you think?”
This one little question, four little words tied together to show a mutual respect, is one of the best, if not the best, questions couples can ask each other. Those are the four words that can predict the success of a marriage. This applies to any aspect of life: from asking each other’s opinions about where to eat or where to vacation to decorating the home to bouncing business advice off each other — asking “What do you think?” shows that you value your partner’s opinion.
From my vantage as someone who offers pre-marital communication coaching, I think this is a great insight.
And from my vantage as a non-denominational wedding officiant, I know that it’s true there are (many) aspects of wedding planning that a groom, by virtue of being a guy, is not going to be either excited about or interested in.
Yet, I believe your wedding is not some kind of a reality-themed party simply celebrating the whims and likes of the bride.
Your wedding is a celebration of the life you have created and of the life you pledge to continue to create. “What do you think?” can only truly be asked if the two of you have been talking about your shared vision of your celebration.
As I tell every couple who comes to me for pre-marital counseling, the core truth is –
the quality of your life is based on the quality of the communication in your life. “What do you think?” is a question that speaks directly to the quality of your relationship.
I’ll also add ~
If you’re a groom, please remember that when your fiancée asks what you think, she really does want an answer! I’ve met with couples where the bride asks her groom, “what do you think?” and he shrugs his shoulders, grunts and says, “I don’t care.”
I’ve never met a bride who felt reassured with that answer.
Here’s the thing – I don’t think you can “not care” about your wedding and still care about your marriage.
You may not have a strong opinion about flowers, you may feel overwhelmed with the politics of the seating chart, but to say you “don’t care,” well that’s something entirely different.
If you don’t feel strongly about some aspect of the wedding, say something like, “I don’t have a preference, so I’m happy with what you decide.” Those words will have a positive impact, rather than tossing off an “I don’t care.”
Caring enough to share your thoughts, opinions, needs and wants will go a long way to reducing
the stress that comes with planning your wedding.
If you’re a bride, please remember that you can talk about your wedding for only so many hours in the day!
Throughout your engagement, make sure that you and your fiancé consciously, deliberately talk about non-wedding related “stuff.” Even though you’re engaged, there really is still more to life than the wedding!
Let “what do you think?” be laced throughout all your conversations
and not just the wedding related ones.
If you want more tips on how to communicate in smart, healthy ways with your partner – during wedding planning and beyond –
check out my book,
Treat you and your partner to a communications coaching session with me.