"His family's guest list is getting longer and longer and he’s inviting people that he’s never even met, and they're not even chipping in for the wedding. In fact, they are expecting to be paid to attend which I thought was unusual."
This particular argument is a prototype for future financial dealings. One psychologist’s advice: “Be businesslike. The bride should say to her beloved groom, ‘This is what your family's guest list will cost, this is what my family's guest list will cost.’ He will say, ‘That’s what it cost per person? Seriously? Like seriously? Like seriously? What are we feeding them exactly? Like, what?’
That same psychologist: "Always be on the lookout for conflicts like these to be about 'hidden issues.' Are either of you sensitive about issues of fairness or balance? Are either of you sensitive about bankruptcy? Do you feel it’s ethically wrong to give guests welcome baskets with gold coins, because seriously that’s what it seems like with this wedding budget?”
"He doesn't even seem to care about the color of the table linens, or what we serve for appetizers, or even showing up?"
He's a man. Most men are clueless when it comes to design and décor and where they need to be. This doesn’t mean the bride should give up. “Find out what he is interested in and encourage him to participate in that part," one wedding planner says. “See what he’s planning to do the day of the wedding, and see if he can stop by to ‘hang out for a while no big deal or anything’ just when he’s free that day.”
“She’s spending big bucks on her dress and she won’t even let me buy this house.”
A wedding should be equitable. If she plans to spend big money on the dress, he should be able to buy a house. Sit down, like two adults, and work out the finances of the wedding together. Perhaps she can buy a dress big enough to live under after the wedding. Problem solved.
“In the vows she doesn’t want that part about submitting to the man and obeying him in there but that is essential to my faith. Why won’t she try to understand my religion?”
Perhaps she doesn’t know how important this is to you. Try to explain it to her. Seriously, try to explain that thing about submitting. Try really hard. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
“He wants the wedding theme to be Hunger Games. She has more classic tastes and wants Star Wars. How do we decide?”
Your fiancé is interested in the details of the wedding, which is a good thing. It can be hard to decide thematic elements of a wedding, especially since a Hunger Games-style fight-to-the-death reception might help you get rid of unwanted family members. Still, as bride you have a right to wear what you want, so go ahead with that Darth Vader-inspired dress. He can dress as Katniss. That’s what compromise—and yes, marriage—is all about.
"He wants to get married in Mexico. She wants to get married in Iceland. How do we decide?”
Skype weddings. Each should go their own way to get married over the Internet.
"For his best man, he picked the cat. Is that okay?”
It's time to be both supportive and sensible. Felines are great companions and perhaps the groom feels most comfortable with him. I mean, that’s why they go on extended camping trips together. That’s why they cuddle at night. That’s why they talk to each other in quiet meows during dinner time. That’s why the cat runs to greet him when he returns home at night and why, after they’ve hugged, if he’s in the mood, e might give you a handshake. Okay, maybe you should examine this relationship.
She says, "Who is this detail-obsessed, wedding-magazine-reading man and where is the boy who used to sit with me watching baseball and drinking beer?”
You know, men.
"Why is she so intent on planning our divorce when we aren't even married yet?"
The prenuptial agreement can benefit both of you. It’s a way to discuss the essentials, protect both your assets, and stipulate what will happen if the groom gains too much weight. Seriously, he should keep it tight. The consequences of not doing so are on page 3.
He is good friends with the past, and he wants to send an invite. I only want him to invite the present or maybe the future. What do we do?”
The past can be a tricky wedding guest. Sometimes the past can bring good things, sometimes bad. Do you want exes lingering around all the crudité and getting drunk? That might happen, or else perhaps happy memories will also come.
Maybe of that time you two went to that grocery store and in the frozen food section he got out a pack of waffles and got down on one knee and asked you to waffle him. And you said, “Waffle you?” and he said, “Yeah, will you waffle me?” and you’re like, “What the hell are you talking about? Are you having a brain seizure” And then he slipped and smashed his face into the eggs that were stacked next to the freezer and there was yolk dropping down his head and you all had a good laugh. The point is, if you invite the past make sure to sit him in the back.