You’re probably going into your wedding hoping it will be one of the happiest days of your life. But in the quest to achieve a fairytale ending, many brides end up alienating themselves from their nearest and dearest just when their support is needed most. Use a few simple tricks to avoid wedding-related fights, and you’ll end up with a happier, more successful wedding day.
Ask for What You Want
Since you’ll probably be the recipient of a lot of fuss and congratulations following your engagement, it’s tempting to just sit back and enjoy feeling like a celebrity. But just because some folks are showering you with attention and presents right now, it doesn’t mean you should become disappointed with those who aren’t. Expecting friends and family to become mind-readers is one of the most common causes of wedding-related fights.
Your best friend might not realize that you want her to accompany you on dress shopping trips. Your maid of honor (against all odds) may not realize that it’s her responsibility to plan the bachelorette party. Even your spouse-to-be may not know you expect him to take on half of the planning duties. Instead of holding it against them, let your loved ones know exactly what you need from them. (They may still say no, but at least you won’t build up false expectations that lead to fights later.)
Wallow in the Positive
It’s easy to keep a running list of negative things in your head. Your sister arrived to the photo session 15 minutes late. Your caterer sprinkled almonds on the nut-free cupcakes. Your DJ got onto a Miley Cyrus kick. But wallowing in negativity can bring your day down faster than all of your friend and vendor fails combined.
If you feel yourself starting to wallow, make a deliberate decision to turn it around: wallow in the positive, instead! For every bad thing that happens, make a mental note of two things that are going well. They can be big things, like your aunt surprising you with an unexpectedly large cash gift, or little things, like your sister arriving on time to just one of the wedding-day events. Whatever good you can find, focus on it and you’ll have a happier time.
Step Out of the Horseradish
There’s a Yiddish saying: “To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish.” It’s easy to get so wrapped up in planning a perfect wedding that you forget the rest of the world isn’t in the same boat. Try to remember that not everyone will be able to take time off work or leave their kids with a sitter in order to accompany you on last-minute dress alteration errands. When friends let you down–even friends who have volunteered to help–try to swallow your frustration and remember that hosting a perfect wedding is useless if you don’t have good friends to celebrate with you. Don’t lash out. There’s always time later, when your head has cooled, to initiate a discussion that won’t spiral out of control.
Take the Reins
If wedding-planning fights seem inevitable because you’ve got another busybody trying to plan your nuptials, it’s time for you and your partner to take back the reins. Regain control of your wedding by letting your overly-interested parents, parents-in-law, and other bossy planners know that it’s your wedding and you’ve got everything covered. You may need to take extreme steps, such as forfeiting financial assistance–or even eloping–but it’s important to draw a clear line. The earlier you can establish that the wedding is your project, the fewer power struggles you’ll have along the way.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t be nice, of course. Take advice with a gracious, “Thank you for your wonderful idea, but we’ve already planned it another way.” If you’re firm and pleasant from the beginning, your would-be wedding planners will have no choice but to consider your decisions final. The goal, after all, is to avoid fights with your loved ones. That way, you can set aside planning disagreements and enjoy the experience of planning a spectacular wedding day.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.