Tips for managing family’s input on the big day
You are officially engaged and going from Pinning your perfect wedding to planning your actual wedding…YAY! Unfortunately for today’s couple the expectation to plan the “perfect day” comes with many challenges and a lot more pressure than 25-30 years ago thanks to the advancement of technology and the creation of Pinterest. On top of the challenges of planning all of the fine details of “the perfect day” comes the challenge of coordinating your friends and family. This is an opportunity for you and your partner to practice being on the same page and begin making some hard decisions as a couple. You learn a lot about your partner when you plan a wedding with them and it will test your relationship in ways you never thought possible. Here are some tips and tricks you can use to help you through this exciting, and challenging process.
Discuss things with your partner before you discuss them with the rest of your friends / family
Remember when you were little and wanted to ask your parents if your friend could sleep over? And your parents drilled into your head to never ask this in front of your friend, but to take your parents aside and ask in private? Now is a great time to remember this lesson. You don’t want your partner to feel left out or that you are making decisions without them, even if you think they might not care. You also do not want to put your partner on the spot to make a decision if it’s something you think warrants a bigger conversation and weighing out some pros and cons.
Figure out who is paying for the wedding
Weddings are not cheap. They are becoming more and more of a milestone expense and couples are getting further into debt to fund these extravagant celebrations. That being said, someone has to pay for it all, and you need to decide early on who that is before making any arrangements. If your parents or in laws are cutting a cheque and covering the majority of the big day – they deserve to have a say. And if you are not interested in entertaining their thoughts and opinions you should think twice about accepting the money.
Have an open and candid conversation with your family
If the expectation your family has for your wedding is completely different than what you and your fiancé imagine, sit down with them and have a candid conversation. Try and come up with a way to honor your family’s traditions and what you and your partner want. If you are on two totally different pages, having an open and honest conversation ahead of time will save you a lot of stress down the line.
Be willing to listen
Your friends and family are highly invested in your big day and they want it to go perfectly. Their request is a way they show they care. Even though it might not come across that way. Instead of shutting down their ideas, thank them for their input and say you will discuss it with your partner.
Plan for the problems in advance
You know your friends and family better than anyone. So as the planning begins you can almost pin point where the problem areas may be. Try to identify some of these problems ahead of time and come up with solutions so when the conversation arises you have an idea of where you both stand.
You don’t have to accommodate everyone
If it doesn’t fit your vision, at the end of the day it is still your wedding and your family will understand. It is your day and your final call. Try and be as accommodating as you can but sometimes you have to draw the line. Remember, this is YOUR wedding day – you want to enjoy it. This means having the tough conversations early so you don’t end up feeling guilty when making those decisions.
Rule of thumb: Your family your problem
I know this sounds harsh but it really does work. If problems arise on your side of the family and directly involves you, it’s your responsibility to rectify it. When I say directly involves you I mean directly involves you. If your aunt is fighting with your second cousin – not your problem. If you have a great relationship with both, invite them both and they can figure out whatever it is between the two of them. It is not up to you to get involved and pick sides. You have enough on your plate and facilitating family drama is not what you need right now.
Be careful with the In-laws
Be extremely careful when conflict arises with your in-laws. You are marrying into this family and you don’t want to put your partner in the middle of a conflict and pick sides. If it’s something you can handle on your own and directly involves you, have the conversation. If it’s a problem that involves both you and your partner, let your partner have the conversation. If it’s absolutely out of hand and you need your partner to step in, think very carefully about how this might affect your relationship with them moving forward and choose your battles wisely.