So this is something I get asked about a lot, especially in my facebook group, it's something I try to avoid answering as everyones situation and circumstances are different but, I've decided to put my big girl knickers on and give you some general advice on how to manage family and friendship dramas whilst wedding planning as this will probably come up for most couples.
'Is it a battle worth fighting?'
Let's jump straight in and learn how to manage the expectations of your friends and family around you, as 80% of the time I'm sure it's only coming from a good place, even though it may not seem it!
How to Manage Expectations
It's usually the people that have the best intentions that cause the most drama, which is bizarre, but they do mean well.
It's really important to have conversations right at the beginning of your wedding planning journey. Just be open, just be honest and tell them how you want to plan your wedding. You might want to make the decisions just between the two of you or you might want some input from others, whatever you decide just communicate that, so that when things do go a little south you can say 'do you remember that chat we had at the beginning and I just want to remind you of how I feel and how I want to plan my wedding'.
Also ask if they want to be involved and ask this at the beginning, see how they feel, do they want to be involved? If they don't want to be involved then you're not going to get hurt later down the line, feeling like they're not helping or not getting involved when they never had the intention of getting involved in the first place.
So have those conversations so that your friends and family know where you stand and more importantly they know where they stand with you.
Choose Your Inner Circle
From there, if you do have people that want to be involved then choose your inner circle.
You are going to be excited and tell a lot of people about your plans but that is going to bring a lot of opinions, they will tell you a) what they did, b) what they didn't do, c) how you should do it, so just bare that in mind as you might not want all of those opinions!
So perhaps just have an inner circle of people that support you, that love you, that you know are going to be good for you during the wedding planning process and include them in the planning.
For example, you don't need to take 15 people to your wedding dress appointments, just take those who you really think will give the right support and opinions for you. I only had my best friend, sister and mum at my wedding dress appointments!
Now this is where a lot of the drama can come from or stem around, and that's money. If you are having contributions towards your wedding that sometimes makes them feel like they have earned a say in your wedding.
I personally don't believe that that is right, if someone is contributing to your wedding they should be doing this out of the goodness of their heart and it is not to self serve. It shouldn't be so that they can invite their friends that you do not know to your wedding or have a say in how that contribution is spent or give their opinion on what music you should have or what suppliers you should use.
However people are people and they may try to force these opinions upon you, so remember to have those conversations and just be honest, obviously you'll be super grateful but remind them that it doesn't give them a say.
The Day Itself
Another area that can cause drama, is actually the day itself. You may have your mother or mother-in-law to be turn around and say that they will do the wedding flowers for you, that's great, but it's actually quite a stressful job and you want to be enjoying the day of the wedding. You do not want to be running around on the day stressing out or having them stressing you out.
I have a lot of brides book me for on the day coordination to make sure that their mother's are just enjoying the day rather than faffing and fluffing and just stressing out the bride and groom. They want me to look after everything so their family can just relax and enjoy it with them. It doesn't always work but most of the time it does!
So if this is something you're worried about then consider an on the day coordinator, click here to find out more about what I can offer you.
Maybe you can consider giving people within your inner circle or to the people that you think might cause issues or drama job roles for the wedding so that it makes them feel involved, it could be jobs that you might not want to do.
For example, you might need guest accommodation and transport sorting and you don't feel excited about organising that, so give that to someone within your inner circle that's great at logistics! They then feel involved and part of the planning but they're also not stepping on your toes!
Take breaks during your wedding planning, it may sound like an odd piece of advise when we're talking about family dramas but it can all get a bit too much sometimes so just take a break!
We can become fixated on things that we wouldn't usually worry about which can cause sleepless nights so if anyone tries to step on your toes during that stressful time it could blow out of proportion. So just make sure that if it gets too much, take some time off from wedding planning whether that's a week or two or just a couple of days, take a break, reset and come back to it. Ask yourself the question, is that important? does it matter? will it matter after my wedding day? Is it going to add to the overall experience?
Is it a Battle Worth Fighting?
And that's where it comes back to the family dramas, once you've reset and thought about it calmly you might find the right solution and actually sometimes you might have to give a little bit and be a bit lenient because once you've taken a step back and really thought it through... is it really a battle worth fighting? because at the end of the day the stress is not actually worth it!
That's probably the biggest piece of advice I can give you when dealing with family dramas, there has to be a little bit of give and take. It's your wedding it should all be about you but people will be people and they will cause dramas so just think is the battle worth fighting!
I hope that has helped with any dramas that may arise during the wedding planning process and how you can try to deal with them without causing upset and harm. I know they're difficult situations to be in but just be strong, honest and communicate!
Photos by 1 & 3. Sophie Duckworth Photography, 2. Juliet McKee Photography