Planning your wedding is a process, and regardless of what kind of wedding you pick, there will be awkward moments. Life is about managing expectations, and I want you to have the expectation that these moments will happen, so that when they come, you can sail right through them like a pro! Here is a list of some of the most stressful moments in the wedding planning process, with tips to show you how to keep your cool, and enjoy wearing your glass slipper even more.
Disagreeing with your partner’s mother (your future mother-in-law) creates a lot of stress. Each of you has your own expectations for the wedding day, and they may not match up. Understanding this can keep your wedding in check, the way you want it. However, compromise is king, and if you remember the story, even Prince Charming had to give a little to get a lot. Make sure your soon-to-be mother-in-law understands how much you appreciate her suggestions and, as the old adage says, choose your battles wisely. Remember, she will be in your life for a lot longer than the fancy drink, special food, or specific guest(s) she wants at the wedding. If you are still having trouble dealing with her requests after this, simply ask your partner to talk to her and handle it for you. Doing this serves two purposes; first, you are working with your soon-to-be spouse as a team and second, this way it is less for you to worry about.
Money is the most common thing married couples fight about and it sometimes starts as early as the wedding planning process. Find a strategy that works for you and your soon-to-be-spouse, and stick with it. Here are two great ways to make wedding party payments simpler than you ever thought. First, agree on a budget and a plan in advance with anyone that will have to put in money for a wedding-related event. Secondly, give someone else the “honor” of helping with the event planning and collection. You can even use an app to collect funds, like Paypal or others, which makes it even easier.
As if funding events like bachelor and bachelorette parties weren’t enough of a struggle, many couples that are getting married older are foregoing traditional registries. Some are asking for donations to their favorite charities or for cash to get their lives started together instead. While this may feel a little uncomfortable at times, there are apps like Paypal, which have set up registries to collect cash as wedding gifts for specific needs. This is actually simpler than a registry and many guests actually appreciate it. Put it on your wedding website and politely send your guests there with the option of doing something else as well.
While all of these things can be stressful, there are two others that can really impact your wedding day enjoyment. Telling your friends they aren’t in your bridal party can be hard. Maybe you were someone else’s bridesmaid but don’t have enough room to reciprocate. Maybe you are trying to balance your bridal party and your partner has fewer people to ask. One recent bride of mine had twice as many people for her potential bridal party as her groom, and they wanted both sides to be equal. As a result, the bride had to talk to several people and give them “honors” at the wedding, but not include them in the formal bridal party. If this happens to you, it is important to talk to people and communicate how important they are to you. Invite the people you can’t have in the bridal party to other wedding events and know that, if you are really that close, he/she will understand.
I have saved the hardest, and probably the most controversial, for last. Having a kid-free wedding is something many people decide to do. It is completely appropriate to have an adult-only event, but understand that you may lose some guests as a result. There are other ways to include everyone, while still having a kid-free wedding, and get the event you want. A recent bride wanted her relatives and guests to come so badly, that she put together a kid-only party during the wedding, in a private room in the hotel the wedding was in. She hired a babysitter and planned a great night for them. Because children can’t stay up as late as adults, she even had sleeping bags and pillows brought in and when it came close to the end of the wedding party, she had the children brought in for the last dance. The children had presents and goodie bags and kid-friendly fun, while the adults got a break. Most importantly, the bride and groom got the wedding they wanted.
Handling the stresses associated with wedding planning is a breeze, when you expect them, and know how to navigate these difficult waters. Remember, at the end of the day, it is your wedding, and the joining of two families to become one, that really matters. While keeping the glass slipper on can feel awkward at times; remember, that slipper fits YOUR foot. Your prince charming awaits….