Q: The bride and groom can't agree on a wedding date. Who gets the final call?

A: The only instance when it's OK for one half of the couple to make the call is when the other person says, "I'm good with whatever date you decide."

The notion that brides have more sway in these matters is passé. More grooms are getting involved with the wedding planning than ever before; this is every bit as much his wedding as it is hers. Coming to a mutual agreement on a date is where all the wedding planning begins.

Many factors can complicate setting a date, among them the cost of the venue and the availability of family members to attend. If a conflict over the date arises, it's important to explore the reasons behind it. Honor a time frame that works for both of you.

Remember: It's not about who "wins" the argument. If you can negotiate something that works for both sides, everyone wins because you will be setting the tone of what's ahead in a lifetime of mutual decision-making.

MARY CHATMAN, editor-in-chief of Black Bride Magazine

A: Planning a wedding involves both logistical and emotional decisions. But in the end, emotion is a stronger force and has a longer memory.

Down the road, a couple will care less about what actual day the wedding was on; they will, though, care about the conflict over choosing the date and how that squabble affected not only their planning process, but also their relationship.

My suggestion is that couples should focus more on what type of memory they are creating. Someone getting the final call can create resentment, and that doesn't set the couple up for a healthy relationship.

If you end up in a stalemate, throw away both your dates and start over again.

JEN ELMQUIST, licensed marriage and family therapist