RELATING: Couples Retreat

You think he’s lazy. He thinks you’re crazy. Wedding planning takes its toll on even the strongest relationships. Here’s how to keep things fun up to the day you say “I do”

In addition to date night, take independent time, too. “Do something with your friends,” suggests Ellenbogen. “Make sure you have your own lives. Go to yoga. Send him off to watch football with the guys.”

And on those days when he can’t seem to do even the simplest thing right? “When you’re thinking something negative about your partner, accompany it with a positive thought,” Ellenbogen says. “When you’re thinking ‘This is driving me nuts,’ remind yourself of something you do like.”

All of these little steps will have the two of you heading into Wedding Week with the right attitude, which is important, because that week leading up to the Big Day will likely be your most stressful yet. In May of this year, Bridget Spayd and her fiancé, who live in Upper Darby, found out about the swine flu outbreak the week before their Mexican honeymoon. “We were on the phone with the travel agent for days,” she says. But despite “freaking out,” she knew they’d be just fine “with communication and a refocus on why we were getting married. We ended up going to Aruba. We were lucky.”


Setting aside one night a week to do anything (anything!) other than wedding planning is a great idea. But once in a while, try to put down the to-do list and devote an entire Saturday to relieving stress. Here, three ideas.

1. So you’re saving every penny for Big Day expenses and hoarding your vacay days for the honeymoon. There’s no reason you can’t plan a getaway right at home. Book Friday night at a local hotel (try the sexy new Hotel Palomar in Center City, where the weekend rates start around $139/night and an in-room couples massage.

2. You’re planning the biggest party the two of you will ever throw, but you might be surprised just how fun it is to host a casual party for a few close friends at home. Think of it as a way for the two of you to make some easy decisions together for a change: Should we play Clue or Apples to Apples? Cool ranch dip or salsa? Tell your guests there’s one rule: no wedding talk. Trust us, they’ll enjoy hanging out with the “pre-engaged version” of you, too.

3. If things are really crazy, sign up for a one-day counseling retreat to focus on your relationship with some objective professional guidance, like the “PREPARE for Your Marriage” program at the Council for Relationships