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I m a wedding planner Here are 3 things I wish couples would stop doing and 3 I wish they'd do more often
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I'm a professional wedding planner and I've seen issues arise as couples plan for the big day.

I wish couples would be nicer to each other and keep going on dates.

I want couples to stop making insensitive jokes and to stop worrying about making tough decisions.

As someone who's planned more than 50 weddings, including my own, I've gained perspective and gathered my best recommendations for couples doing the same.

Here are three things I wish couples would stop doing and three things I wish they would do more often:

I wish couples would stop being mean to themselves and each other

There's no way around it: Wedding planning is stressful and when many of us are stressed, we shut down or lash out.

Unfortunately, we often lash out at the people we love most, including our partners.

A couple can learn to manage how they treat themselves by asking crucial questions: Are we checking in with each other about how we're feeling about our wedding? Are we leading with empathy when we talk to our loved ones, vendors, and ourselves?

I wish couples would stop being afraid of making a decision

Couples have more options than ever when it comes to hosting a wedding that is both legal and safe.

They rarely have the law to point to or a pandemic to blame when it comes to setting boundaries for their wedding. That's a big difference from last year and one that many are struggling to address.

Are people still setting rules for their wedding - like a vaccine boundary, masks, and/or social distancing? Do they feel conflicted by the choices they're making?

None of us have done this whole "living through a global pandemic" thing before but I'm here to tell you that everyone will be much happier if you both make a decision and then clearly communicate to the people involved.

This has always been true about wedding planning, but the pandemic shed new light on how necessary boundaries are.

I wish couples would stop using problematic language

Take one of the most common things I hear: "I'm just along for the ride."

That sounds like a joke - often, it is - but that phrase sounds all kinds of alarm bells to me. It screams "I'm a grown adult who is ceding my agency."

All couples deserve to have an equal say in their wedding plans, even though cisgender men can typically be pushed on the backburner in the process.

Consider what you say to yourself, too. Are you labeling yourself in an attempt to get out ahead of the problem? What is the actual problem?

Making harmless jokes are fine, as long as we are willing to address the actual issue - especially if it's causing harm.

On the other hand, I wish couples would remind themselves of the most important question in wedding planning

The question to remember: Why are we having a wedding?

It goes back to the roots and unlocks all kinds of answers that help us avoid things - like spending money on stuff we don't want.

Are you having a wedding to have an endless dance party? You're going to want an incredible DJ, so budget accordingly.

Figure out the "why" and the rest gets easier.

I wish couples would remember that wedding planning is an exercise in boundary-setting
Two brides in white dresses looking at each other.

When we're talking about setting boundaries in wedding planning, we're talking about ways to help people experience pure joy.

If you're struggling with doing this on the health and safety front, I recommend you and your partner create a COVID-19 safety policy and then share it with guests and vendors. The goal is to tell the people you care about what they're getting into if they choose to attend your wedding in person.

I encourage you and your partner to approach the challenge together. Consider this to be one of the first projects you two will do together as a married couple. When you get stuck, revisit the "why" then follow the next piece of advice.

I wish couples would keep dating each other

Go on a date during the wedding-planning process. Seriously.

I don't care if you do or don't talk about the wedding on this outing. Just go do the thing and have some fun together.

This is, after all, the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. I imagine they make a pretty good date.

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