When we talked, I felt brilliant, fascinating;
she brought out the version of myself I like most.
Ashley and Dan invited me to have pizza as we finalized the ceremony details. It was going to be ninety degrees the afternoon of their outdoor ceremony and Dan reminded me he wanted it kept barebones short.
As he droned on, I noticed Ashley was quiet and no longer smiling.
Her family was Roman Catholic and not happy that she wasn’t getting married in the Church. At our first meeting, she said she wanted a ceremony that wasn’t rushed.
As Dan dove into his pizza, Ashley took out some tissue. She was clearly upset, so I asked her to tell Dan her concerns.
Caught off guard, he put his pizza down and listened as she blurted out her fears that the ceremony was going to be hurried and too short.
He was surprised and admitted that although Ashley had told him what she wanted the ceremony to be like, he’d forgotten what she’d said.
In the weeks leading up to this final meeting, he hadn’t really listened to her.
As they continued to talk – and listen – they were relieved to discover that they both wanted the same thing.
Dan’s idea of “short” was no more than twenty-five minutes. He didn’t want the full-blown one-hour Catholic service. Ashley didn’t want that either. She wanted a twenty to twenty-five minute ceremony, which she thought was just right and not short.
It’s been said that listening is the greatest act of love.
If so, then the greatest thing you can do for each other is to listen to each other.
Text messages. Emojis. Scribbled notes. We do business and live our lives in a swirl of information.
Yet, how often are we actually communicating, listening?
I know you have a gazillion things to juggle, professionally and personally.
But, why go to the expense, time, and emotional investment of your wedding if you aren’t going to be present to it – and to your partner?
You protect and keep each other safe when you talk with each other. Really talk—silly to serious.
You can’t plan your ceremony, your wedding, or your life, without talking.
Real listening keeps you on the same page and helps you to remember what’s important and why it’s important.
Your wedding vow, in its essence, is a vow to listen to each other
in mutual fidelity and perseverance.
7 Tips to Help You Listen to Yourself and to Your Partner
Get rid of all distractions. Yes, turn the TV off and agree not to answer any phone call. You’ll have time for all those other things later. Don’t ever multi-task when talking about wedding “stuff” – particularly your vows!
Listen openly to what your partner has to say without becoming defensive, even if you don’t readily agree with what he or she is saying.
Let the other person complete their thought. Don’t interrupt or finish each other’s sentences.
Engage your partner in genuine conversation. Don’t deliver a monologue or a scolding.
Ask your partner to explain what he means, she means, if you don’t understand his thinking or her take on things.
Pay attention to the feelings that lurk underneath what your partner is and is not expressing.
Paraphrase back to your partner what they’ve said, so you confirm that you do understand what they’re saying. Ask for clarification.
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,
How to Plan Your Wedding AND Stay Sane!
Treat you and your partner to a communications coaching session with me.