Planning your wedding is supposed to be a happy time, but it can be one of the most stressful times of your entire relationship. Dealing with the expectations of family and friends-sometimes you end up pleasing everyone but yourself. When your wedding is approaching and you find yourselves stressed out, try some of these tips to get back on track.

1. Be Vulnerable

Don’t be afraid to share your dreams, your feelings, your fears. It’s best to learn early to not hold back, as your spouse should be your greatest ally and best friend.

2. Walk Together

Sometimes the best way to let down the pressures of the day or week is just to walk with the person you love. Going on walks around the neighborhood, the beach or on a hiking trail is wonderful therapy and can build connections.

3. Ask Questions

There is so much to get to know in another person. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to explore their thoughts, past memories and future hopes. Learning to ask questions not only offers insight into the other person, but breaks the bonds of our selfishness of wanting to deal just with our desires.

4. Don’t Criticize

This is huge. As Jesus said, it is so easy to see the speck in our neighbor’s eye while ignoring the log in our own eye. We tend to pick apart those we love the most. Usually because we feel they are a reflection of us. Once we realize they aren’t, it can free us to be secure.

5. Accept Them Totally

Our fiancé needs to be totally accepted by us. Sure, we see their weak spots and that is healthy. As Dear Abby once said, “Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.” Don’t ever think that you will change your partner. Its not fair to them and it also puts pressure on you. What is most important though is to love them DESPITE their failings and problems. This world easily beats us down and being supportive and accepting of them just like they are is like giving fresh water to a soul in a parched desert.

6. Participate In Their Interests

How better to get to know someone than to spend time doing something with them that they love? It will give you insight, a broader perspective of life and . . . who knows . . . you might actually like it! Compromise on both ends is a key component to a happy marriage.

7. Play Games Together

Be a kid again. We all have that inner child within and discovering it with the most special person in your life can be a real joy. Whether it’s cards, hide n seek, wrestling, telling jokes or basketball- find ways to enjoy the lighter side of life.

8. Be Quiet

Just sitting on the couch reading together can be a foundation for building your relationship. Relax, lay down together and drop the deep talk, the worries, and just enjoy the sound of your hearts beating.

9. Get This Book

I’ve been blessed to have been married for 34 years (I got married at age 20 ) and rarely recommended a book. But, ALL couples have problems, fights, disagreements, and obstacles to overcome. (If you don’t, someone is not being honest.) Safe Haven Marriage is a book written from a Christian perspective (which is also my world view). However, even if you don’t subscribe to their theology, the insights and material is still 95% applicable to you. Best $15 you’ll ever spend.

10. Commit

Let’s be honest. Relationships are hard work. Especially when the dizzy feelings of being in love wear off. Having a commitment to honor, love and respect one another no matter what, is key to a long and happy marriage.