After the “Yes” and before the “I do” there is a lot of conversations that go into wedding planning. Although the dream is to agree on everything and it go smoothly, sometimes couples assume they are on the same page about things when they aren’t. You need to talk things through to truly make sure you’re both on the same page. Here are the top conversations to have with your future spouse before the planning begins. 

The Budget

For some couples, this conversation is the most awkward and toughest to have, but it’s really good practice for the thousands of conversations that will come up during your marriage. Danielle McWilliams, the coordinator of Everhart Gathering Place sees this issue come up during her tours often. “It’s pretty obvious when the couple hasn’t discussed budgets. A lot of times, the groom will have sticker shock with no frame of reference to what a venue costs. Having those conversations before you get too deep into wedding planning will save a lot of time and stress,” she said.

Sit down and discuss your budget, how you’re going to pay for it, and how the budget is going to be split up. Budget sheets for this purpose are a great resource for planning. Since sticking to the budget is difficult, add in some provisional funds just in case. To make things easier, finding a venue where you can purchase a package tends to work better for budgeting purposes than paying for individual things as you go.

The Guest List

Obviously, you need to set a number for your wedding, but what a lot of people don’t realize or discuss is how that number will be divvied up. Will you split the guest list 50/50? Are you allotting a certain amount for your parents to invite? Are you going to provide an allotment for family and an allotment for friends? While some people start with a guest list and then trim it down, it’s much easier and less stressful to discuss it before you create the list. It feels worse to cut people out than to not add them in the first place.

Parents Involvement

Even if you love your future in-laws, weddings heighten a lot of stressors. Discuss with your future spouse how much involvement your parents will have with the planning process.

Sometimes meddling parents can bring out the worst in you and your planning process. You and your future spouse should discuss these expectations early on to avoid awkward conversations down the road. Especially if one or both is helping pay for the wedding, it’s important to have those conversations with each other and them to set boundaries from the very beginning.

The Final Say

You aren’t going to agree on everything, and your families won’t agree with all your choices either. Figuring out how you’re going to compromise before there’s a disagreement will help quell them down the road. If a parent is paying for the wedding, do they have the final say? Should one person have autonomy in the areas that matter most? Will rock, paper, scissors solve most disagreements?

Just as a note, don’t get caught up in things that don’t matter. If it’s important to your spouse and not so much to you, just let them decide without having an opinion about everything. This whole give and take thing is going to be something you will try to perfect your entire marriage, so starting now is a big first step.