So you’re engaged and planning a wedding! Yet, it appears that you and your fiancé couldn’t be farther apart on your visions for your Big Day. One likes shabby chic, while the other likes architecturally modern and stark. You adore strawberry filling, but they’re a coconut lover all the way. You dream of pinks and ivories, yet they like silver and black for your color scheme. The question is: How to merge your wedding style ideas when they seem so far apart?

Don’t let your wedding style ideas become major departures that bother you.  See your differing concepts as the perfect opportunity to incorporate compromise and set boundaries all at the same time. Learning how to come together and plan this special day is an ideal way to practice your communication skills.  These tools will unlock many doors in your lives for years to come.

Here’s a five-step plan for getting on the same page, and lets you merge your wedding style ideas — or at the very least creating a day that makes you both happy.

1. Gather some visuals.

It’s no secret that some people are visual creatures. Start by doing your homework and pulling images from everywhere: magazines, Pinterest, websites, wherever you can. Then, put together a presentation for Mr./Ms. Wonderful of both types of weddings you’re considering.  Well, some may not be what you’re considering, but they are!  Then set a time to go over what you’ve found. Their vision may change (or yours may) when you see some examples.

Spring Wedding Theme Ideas

2. Ask him/her to be specific.

Using those images, find out what they like about both your vision and their own.  Ask them to be very detailed in their feedback. You may have interpreted their liking of geometric lines, stark contrast, and black and silver as some kind of a mirrored balls ablaze, disco-themed party. But, actually, they may have been describing the whole rather than breaking it down to the parts.  They may respond favorably to a specific pattern on a tablecloth, or a particular decorative item, or the shape of a cake.

Use your discussion to create your own individual compilation of specific wants item by item. It may help to make a list of all the details.  Flowers, food (all courses, as well as dessert).  Entertainment, wardrobe, and so on. Divide up what are the most important items to each of you. Then, see how the wedding would look if you each had it your way within those categories — there may be more similarities than you think!

3. Find areas in which you can blend styles.

Progress!  You’ve compiled a detailed, itemized list of your combined ideas! Now it’s time to enlist your trusted wedding planner, florist, and caterer.  Let them illustrate your vision further so you can find out what’s doable and at what price point. These professionals have seen and done it all.  They’ll be able to guide you and provide suggestions on how to create a day that reflects both of your wants.

4. Give them ownership of details that matter.

Perhaps you won’t be able to come together on every last detail. That’s okay. Building on the discussion you had of what matters most to each of you, ask your wife or husband-to-be to select some of their most important wedding aspects themselves. You can also remind them about the tradition of the groom’s cake.  It’s a great opportunity to do something out of the box and totally in their style. Or even ask them to plan the entire rehearsal dinner (with their parents, if they are paying). That way, they’ll feel like this is their event, too. It is, after all!

Groom's wedding style

5. Be proud of your ability to compromise.

Truthfully, many brides run the show when planning their Big Days. This is simply what’s accepted as the norm. But more and more couples pay for their own weddings and choose to marry later in life.   The idea that the bride (and, typically, her mother) should have the final say in every last detail is a bit outdated, to say the least. By giving your fiancé the chance to show off their personality and tastes, you’re setting an example to your friends and family.   You two stand on equal footing in every aspect of your relationship.  This is a wonderful message to project on your wedding day.  Your wedding style ideas and your relationship skills will both win.