It’s YOUR Big Day! How To Weed Out Family Opinions When Planning A Wedding
You’ve been told it your whole life—that your wedding day will be Your Day. In fact, probably many of the people who have told you that, will be the same ones standing in the way of that idea when the day comes. Love you as they may, your family feels that your wedding is in part their wedding too, and they’ll impose their every want and need on you when it comes time to plan. Here’s how to keep your control, without upsetting them.
Instill the, “Do I really need to ask her this,” rule
Sometimes the biggest problem isn’t your family’s input: it’s their questions. Their incessant, unnecessary, dumb questions. You have too much on your mind to be figuring out answers to inconsequential inquiries! Gather up your family early in the process and remind them you’re under a lot of pressure and, any time a question comes up, they should take five minutes to consider, “Do I really need to ask the bride this? Or is there another way I can find out the answer?”
Most of the time, your family knows they’re being unreasonable or crossing a line. But they push the limits to see what they can get away with. Let them know from the beginning that they can’t get away with x, y, and z. You don’t have time to operate on a system where your family tests every idea that crosses their mind, and apologizes later. You need them to think first.
If people have kids, that’s their problem
You can’t be worrying about child proofing your reception hall. Your friends with children should come with the goods they need to make sure their kids are entertained and safe, and they should be keeping an eye on their children throughout the evening. You’re not a babysitter: you’re a bride!
Have the wedding be the wedding gift
Instead of taking money from your parents, which inevitably gives them power, take money from your friends! Today many couples are opting out of wedding gifts and instead, accepting the actual wedding as the gift by setting up a registry where guests can pay for various parts of the wedding.
Yes, your wedding is more important than Bobby’s birthday
People will have all sorts of qualms with the date you choose. Metaphorically slap some sense into them, reminding them your wedding only comes around once (if you’re lucky), and their kid’s birthday/ office golf outing is, quite frankly, less big of a deal. And you have much bigger problems to deal with.
Have an in-between person
Don’t be the person who speaks directly with the venue or vendors—assign a friend this job. That way, you have a voice of reason to deal with before you make any changes based on family demands.
Listen; then forget
Honestly, most of the suggestions your family makes go in their ear and right out their own ear. Translation: they forget they said anything the next day. So before you hustle to make changes they want, wait a few days to see if they totally drop it. Often, they will!
Tell them you want to surprise them
This way, your resistance to their suggestions sounds likes a thoughtful gesture, instead of a selfish one. Tell them you want most of the details of the ceremony and reception to be a surprise to all the guests—that that’s part of the enjoyment.
Give nods to their suggestions
If your mom wanted a cheesecake for the wedding cake, order a platter of mini cheesecakes on the side to show her you listened to her. If your dad wished there were more of a Jewish presence at the wedding, have small Jewish stars on the napkin holders. This will often be enough to make the demanding family member gush with appreciation.
Have a surprise wedding!
Drastic times call for drastic measures! If you know trying to organize a wedding with your family will be a total nightmare, just spring one on them! Invite everybody over for a cover-up party (housewarming, anniversary, birthday etc.) and have a wedding gown ready.
Have a small wedding, big party
Consider having the actual ceremony be very small—just four or five witnesses. And then have the big event be the party. Your family will feel less strongly about the specifics of the party.
Remember the line “It just doesn’t feel right”
(Especially when dealing with your mother)
Because women rely strongly on intuition and respect gut feelings, this line will be very powerful. Sometimes, you’ll be out of reasons, or the energy to argue, and this line will save you. Nobody wants to argue with the bride’s intuition.
Don’t forget your fiancé!
Poor guy—he gets a say in this too! Your family will forget this, and so will you. But your groom is a powerful tool. He is your get out of jail free card. Your family will feel insensitive if they deny your right to speak with your fiancé before making any decision. (And then secretly tell him you really don’t want to do what your family said).
Pay for it all yourselves
It’s not the prettiest solution, but if you’re not comfortable setting up a registry that pays for the actual wedding, and you don’t want your parents to have any say, you may just need to budget very wisely. If you sit down and talk to your fiancé, you’ll probably find you don’t need all the things you thought you did.