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Recently I had the pleasure of photographing Adam for a Branding Session for his business, AHK Coaching. We chatted all afternoon about weddings and the money couples spend on their weddings. I knew Adam would be perfect for a guest blog post about money and weddings!
If you are a couple in need of guidance with communication about financial matters, I’ve linked Adam’s website at the end of this blog post.
3 Essential Tips for Wedding Money Talks
by Adam Kol, AHK Coaching
Your wedding may be the most-important day of your life. It also has one of the highest price tags. And beyond that, it may be the first time that you and your spouse-to-be have serious conversations about money.
For most people this is very scary.
If that’s you, then know you’re not alone. And I’ve helped tons of people in situations like yours. Not only to have these conversations, but to have them in a way that generates more peace and love inside of your partnership.
Today, I’d like to share 3 essential tips for doing these conversations the right way, a way that honors your love for each other and commitment to a beautiful life together.
1. Set a Time
This sounds trivial, right? But far too often, one partner will just bring this topic up out of the blue. Given all the emotions involved, I recommend choosing a mutually-agreeable time and not forcing a conversation right now.
Here’s a model for making the request: “I’m so excited for our wedding! I’ve also been feeling a little nervous and want to make sure we’re on the same page about some money-related wedding questions. When’s a good time to chat?”
This gives your partner the freedom to choose a time where they know they can be calm and present — that will give you the best chance for a successful dialogue!
2. Choose a Topic
If you’re like me, then your mind is often buzzing. There may be one million things you’d like to discuss — and that makes sense! You can get to them all in time.
However, for a first conversation, I recommend choosing one top topic. You can ask your partner what’s one topic they’d like to cover, as well.
You might choose an easier topic to get one good money chat under your belt; or maybe you’d prefer a top stressor to try and alleviate that burden. Either way, keeping the conversation focused will help it feel manageable, which will allow for a healthier back-and-forth.
3. Listen First
Seek first to understand, then to be understood. This Stephen Covey quote continues to be a gem.
Since this is your wedding, you probably have some strong opinions. That’s great!
Still, I recommend first listening to your partner’s thoughts. To help with this, I invite you to ask them questions. The more you understand their dreams, worries, and values, the better decisions you can make — and the stronger your relationship will be.
And once you’ve listened thoroughly to their thoughts, I promise they will do a much-better job of listening to yours! From there, intimacy, compromise, and growth will be yours to have. And as you lay the foundations for a life of love together, what could be better?
Adam H. Kol, J.D. is a Couples Financial Counselor. He helps couples who love each other make sure that the money conversation doesn’t get in the way, allowing them to experience greater peace and love. Adam draws on over a decade of experience as a Certified Mediator, Communication Coach, and a former Tax Attorney and Financial Advisor. Adam received his law degree from Duke and a Master’s in Tax Law from NYU. Through working with Adam, couples have gone even from the verge of divorce to being best friends, all while making huge financial progress. Adam’s work is informed by perspectives of equity and social justice. He is an experienced community organizer, as well as a lifelong musician — you can find his Personal Finance Parodies on YouTube!