Planning a wedding should be one of the most exciting and memorable moments of your life.
Many people dream about their big day, and enjoy all the months of planning leading up to the wedding itself. However, with any life event there can be a mix of emotions and hurdles to overcome along the way. Generally when it comes to planning a wedding, the majority of the issues stem from trying to make everyone happy, including not only the couple, but the significant families on either side. Unfortunately, navigating through all the opinions and advice can be challenging. As the guest of honor you want to ensure that no one is left feeling offended, hurt or just plain ignored. This is especially important if there is financial support coming from one or both sides of the family.
These are some key things to consider:
1) Pick your battles. There are going to be a few decisions or details that you may not be willing to negotiate or bend at all on in terms of what you want or envision. Therefore, when your mother or mother in law, for instance, come forward with something that you could potentially consider, then this is when you may want to think about going with their suggestion. Basically by giving in on a few small things, you gain more leeway in putting your foot down on the bigger decisions that are more important to you.
2) Don’t say NO right away. With most events the ideas come flooding as soon as the
announcement (engagement) is made. Suddenly you have 10 planners standing in front of you, all experts on how things should be done! Instead of starting an argument, or allowing yourself to get frustrated, take a step back and just let the ideas come flowing. Once the initial excitement dies down, you can revisit each idea when ready. Not to mention, you may initially have your guard up because the idea doesn’t quite sit with what you always envisioned, but then later as the event starts getting planned, your vision changes. In the beginning, just try to acknowledge the idea, and simply say “Thank you, I will write that down for when we get to that planning stage” or “I never thought of that, it’s something to consider”. At least they do not feel shut down, and you can decide later.
3) Give them tasks. One of the easiest ways to distract mothers and mother in laws is to give them a project or task to work on. If you put them in charge of planning the bridal shower, or maybe asking them to come to the food tasting with you, you allow them to feel needed, and
depended on, and keep them busy! Sometimes just asking them about details of their wedding, or family traditions that they want included will help them to feel like they are a part of the planning. You may be surprised with some ideas they come forward with! Always try to remember that your family generally means well, and that they are coming from a good
place. Obviously you want to start your marriage off on the right foot, and want to enjoy the wedding as much as possible. Allowing yourself to understand the emotions they are feeling will help avoid any misinterpretations. Navigating the relationships throughout the wedding planning process is the best practice for life to come!