I met up with an entrepreneur this afternoon, and I really enjoyed the meeting. It was our first meeting, and we started to get to know each other.
Eventually, we moved to a topic: his upcoming wedding. I’m really happy for him, and I remember how excited and apprehensive I was when I was at “M minus a few months.” So, I started to think about what worked well during that period and what I would do differently. Here you go:
Surprise your significant other with a gift the day of the wedding. I secretly bought a necklace of pearls and furtively passed it to the maid of honor. I requested that she give the gift to my fiancé after she was in her wedding dress and just about ready to leave for the ceremony. I heard later that this went over well in a big way.
I was placed in charge of the honeymoon and decided it would be a secret. I did tell my fiancé’s sister about the destination (Hawaii) and asked her to pack the bags without my fiancé knowing the destination. So, Mrs. T. learned about the destination when we got to the airline gate.
Take out one of your future in-laws for a one-on-one discussion. I should have taken out my wife’s father for drinks and asked him this: “You know her better than I do–what can I do to be a great life partner to her?”
Here’s the rub. Everyone is in sell mode when you’re dating. Everyone is in sell mode when you’re engaged. And, everyone is in sell mode during the early years of a marriage, until, I’m guessing here, Year Four or so. Then, everyone lets down their guard and the masks fall away. I think a parent really knows his/her child’s strengths and weaknesses. So, ask. Plus, you will earn brownie points with the in-laws.
Most important: you fiancé should do this with one of your parents. You think you’ve covered up your weaknesses? Nope. You think you’re an easy person with whom to live? Think again.
There you go.