This is no walk in the park… you’re navigating a precarious and delicate political minefield. Here’s your roadmap to coming out the other side with all of your limbs intact.
Ah, wedding planning.
For some, this is a right of passage into a new chapter.
For all who are part of this process, it involves unforeseen politics and drama from family members and friends.
Even the most level-headed loved ones seem to lose their marbles as soon as the word “wedding” comes into a conversation.
I find myself endlessly boggled by the tsunami of unsolicited advice, unreasonable demands and entitled behaviour I am witnessing from people in our lives.
This is me and my fiancé’s wedding, right? We’re paying for it, so isn’t it reasonable that we should have the final say as to what takes place?
And yet, that concept highly offends some people. For reasons I cannot quite understand.
You had your special day already, Aunt Pru. Dammit, just let us have ours on our own terms!
With four months until the big day, I have gathered my top advice for any bride or groom-to-be who arelooking to survive the wedding planning process with both their sanity and dignity intact.
Disclaimer: there always be unsuspecting events pop up… hopefully, with my advice, I can guide you through how to roll with those punches tactfully and with as few casualities as possible.
Get your bearings on what you’ve got to do.
Let’s ease you in with some basic advice, before we run directly into the warzone.
A prepared wedding planner is a successful wedding planner.
It may all feel overwhelming at first, but trust me when I say you’re better off to look at that massive lists of to-dos earlier rather than later.
We followed this timeline planner, which identified every aspect we would need to consider, and how far out to consider it (based on how many months out from your wedding).
Also, get clear on your budget early and stick to it.
Buy elements which are under budget rather than on-budget whenever you can. It will shock you how many little hidden costs pop up out of nowhere.
And they REALLY add up in the end.
Don’t apologize for wanting what you want.
You are about to come across the biggest cluster f*ck of unsolicited opinions you’ve ever encountered in your life (unless you already have a child, then you can hope this will be not as bad as that, but I’m not making any promises).
At the end of the day, this celebration is your celebration. It’s about setting the tone for how you and your partner want to enter into this new chapter of life together.
Your taste will greatly differ from that of others. This is a no brainer, as we are all unique individuals with unique tastes, and should respect and appreciate that fact about one another.
But despite the common sense of this reality, individuals will oddly think that their taste matters more than yours, and should be taken into account.
That’s bullsh*t. If there is ever a time to put your people-pleasing aside for one massive event, this is the one!
It’s your wedding, but keep in mind that you’re still a host.
This is a tricky spot.
Especially if both you and your partner are people-pleasers. It’s important to remember that while this is “your day”, people are still taking time out of their lives to attend an event which celebrates you.
Take comfort in that reality — these people DO want to celebrate you and let you have your moment. That said, be reasonable with your requests and expectations you put on both your guests and your wedding party.
Don’t charge people to attend your wedding.
Don’t request your bridesmaids pay for an $800 dress out-of-pocket.
Just don’t be a dick and expect others to foot the bill. It’s your wedding, not theirs. They shouldn’t be paying for half of it.
Communicate early and often.
With everyone, but only on what is their business.
Be transparent with your wedding party about what costs are going to look like. Make sure both sides of the family feel equally involved (not just the bride’s side. Especially if both sides are contributing somehow financially to the wedding).
Touch base early with vendors and service providers, like your photographer, to make sure details are ironed out and you’re on the same page.
I’ve been the bridesmaid who, a week leading up to the wedding, has had hundreds of dollars in costs dropped on my lap, and was told I was already informed about them, when I absolutely was not.
Come on now, I’m a communications professionals AND frugal as the day is long — I DON’T forget a conversation about an additional $10, let alone $500.
You and your partner need to be on the same page.
This is especially necessary when it comes to navigating the complex politics which will arise with loved ones, most often family members.
You both need to be on the same page and protect your best interests with your wedding and your plans.
Do not try to navigate the family of your partner on your own!
This is a divide and conquer situation! You take on your family, your partner takes on theirs.
If you‘re telling your in-laws something they don’t want to hear, you could find yourself on the enemy list before you even walk down the aisle.
I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.
Remember what it’s REALLY about.
At the end of the day, you’re doing this whole wedding extravaganza because you love your partner and want to spend the rest of your life with them.
There will always be people trying to butt in with their opinions, or who swear to you that a specific detail is oh-so-important to them when they’ve literally never talked about it before in their lives.
I’m going to say this for my fellow people-pleasers: if there is ever a day in your life when you get to do things your way, on your own terms, it is this day.
So be a little selfish, even if you spend most of your life trying to accommodate others.
If you create a wedding for anyone other than yourselves, you’re not going to enjoy it as much as you could have. And that’s honestly such a f*cking shame.
Plus, that’s one hell of an expensive party to plan for yourself if you’re only half-satisfied with it.
So, my fellow wedding planners, move forward with a keen sense of humor and a roll-off-the-back attitude.
Don’t get pulled into the drama. Try not to get too emotionally involved with other people’s bullsh*t.
It’s not your responsibility to accommodate everyone’s demands, and you shouldn’t be emotionally blackmailed into invite someone you don’t want attending, or uninviting someone who you want there simply because there’s beef among some guests.
The people who truly love and respect you will be attending for you and will put their selfish desires aside, as that’s how it should be.
The people who are using your wedding as an opportunity to get something they want can take a f*cking hike.
You’re not dropping all this cash so that your cousin can show off her new boyfriend of 3 months, when there were members of your family who you couldn’t invite because of your budget.
If you don’t know the guy, you don’t have to give her a +1.