Ring Cam is a company dedicated to love and happy marriages. Per that mission statement, we love to see successful relationships. Few things bode as poorly for a relationship as differences in planning a wedding budget. Slight issues are one thing, but glaring differences in money, budgeting, and saving are harbingers of doom for a married couple.This post isn’t necessarily about personal finance, although we have written about wedding planning in the past. It’s about the communication and agreement necessary to plan as a team. If you both decide that you want to spend the GDP of a Pacific island-nation on the wedding, have at it, so long as you’re on the same page. However, if one half of the happy couple is saving like it’s the Great Depression and the other is spending money like an oil tycoon at a casino, then some frank conversations are needed.

1. Be honest.

You can’t solve a problem if you never admit that there is a problem. This will take some candor and maturity on both sides, but if you can’t discuss a budget difference like adults, then you have no business being married. That’s simply a fact. Sit down with your partner and address the issue. But make sure to….

2. Stay calm

Don’t have this discussion while angry, stressed, tired, or sad. Make sure that your beloved is in a good place as well. This discussion could turn into the Hindenburg disaster if both parties aren’t tranquil and prepared to work through this potential minefield. Make a date out of it. Have a good breakfast, make a pot of coffee, and find a quiet place to get heavy.

3. Understand.

This isn’t a bad courtroom drama. Don’t have a “J’Accuse” moment. Lambasting him for the 3K he wants to spend on an open bar will not be productive. Understand where they’re coming from. Maybe she’s had her heart set on the fairytale wedding ever since she was six. (The issue here is that her six-year old self had no concept of budgeting, but that’s in the past.) He might have learned his congressional spending habits from his parents. Regardless, understand their concerns without venting, blaming or psychoanalyzing. You’re here to solve a common problem, not fight like it’s the world heavyweight championship.

4. Compromise.

You might confront your bride about her lavish spending, only to realize that you’re a bit of a skinflint. In your eyes, your parsimony is a boone. However, she thinks you’re a Grade-A micromanager with an obsessive need to account for every nickel and dime. Make some sacrifices. Maybe she’s willing to be austere on the total budget, but cannot budge on the dress. Inversely, maybe you’re willing to spend more on the honeymoon if it means having a small wedding. A good compromise leaves everyone unhappy. Welcome to marriage.

5. Get help.

There’s no shame in counseling. If you are truly incapable of setting a reasonable budget, you need to go. The failure to compromise isn’t the main issue here. If the two of you can’t agree on a wedding budget, your finances are in trouble. Mortgages, credit cards, savings, retirement planning….You will not be able to effectively control any of these without being on the same page as your spouse.Money troubles are as dangerous to relationships as infidelity. Don’t view it as a failure: view your decision to seek professional help as a savvy step to safeguarding your future. It may be uncomfortable in the moment, but it will make for a happier wedding and marriage.

Conclusion

Marriage is difficult without money troubles. Don’t exacerbate your problems by blowing a king’s ransom on the wedding. Again, the dollar amount spent on the wedding is irrelevant. It’s the lack of agreement that will sink the HMS Your Relationship. Hopefully this list will help you improve your communication skills.