This story is from my Wedding Coordinator and Coaching experience. A couple came in to select a wedding and reception package. They started out happy, and it turned into an argument and breakup within the hour. That is how fast a relationship can crash.
This was a professional couple who had great careers. She was an attorney, doing well and he owned his own business. When I met with this bride and her groom, the two really liked the idea of a wedding chapel and reception hall together. They both fell in love with our location. The two of them took a look at a wedding package that included the wedding and reception, the outdoor gazebo area set-up, DJ, wedding cakes for bride and groom, buffet selections, and a limo to carry them away - they were both very excited. They agreed on a package. She wanted to see if a date was open because she was ready to book the event that evening. She was smiling and happy about what she thought would be the perfect wedding.
While I was talking with the bride, the groom walked over and started looking at some of the other wedding packages. He picked up a package for a basic cake and punch reception that was less than half the cost of the package they had picked. He said out loud, across the room, "Look at this one, honey, it's cheaper."
Instantly, her expression changed as she walked over to him. The two of them looked at his cake and punch package. The expressions on their faces started changing and this told me that these two needed to talk to each other alone. Smiles left their faces - this couple's debating turned into an argument over money and values. She got up and walked out. Her groom followed her.
The next morning, I had just arrived and there at the front door was this young man from the night before - alone and unhappy. He was waiting for me to open so he could talk to me. He followed me around telling me he thought the two of them were breaking up over the wedding package they looked at the night before. He said they had a big argument and she felt he did not want her to have a nice wedding when he picked a cheaper package. She told him she felt he was cheap, and she didn't like that about him. His feelings were hurt and so were hers.
I shared my view with him that his bride had picked a reasonable priced package and was happy. She was looking for his approval, and she wanted him to be happy with her selection. He said he agreed with her at first and he still did. He just thought they could consider the cheaper one and save money for the honeymoon. I smiled and told him rule number one is do not use the word "cheap". Women do not like words that make them feel you are looking down on them. The package she had chosen was named "First Class Wedding." She felt she was first class, and she was surprised to hear her groom try and take that away from her. He did not understand that. She liked the wedding package because it took the stress of planning and organizing away from her, so she could enjoy the day and the celebration.
He smiled and thanked me for counseling him. He took the package and was going to see her for lunch to tell her he was sorry and never meant that she should take less. I think you can guess the ending of this story. In a couple of days, the two of them walked back through my door. They were all smiles and booked the event of their dreams.
The couple, whether it is a romantic couple or a couple of friends, or a couple of relatives, who can talk and work things out will have a happy relationship and be able to move forward together. Setting boundaries together about what is acceptable and what is not; learning you can still be in this relationship and still put yourself first so you are both strong and independent of each other is a lesson in resilience that will serve your well.
Excerpted from The Coordinator's Shoes by Sandy Winnette