Wedding planning is hard enough without parents and inlaws sharing their opinions. When do you hold your ground and when do you give in? While there is no cut and dry easy answer, here are a few ways to consider any dilemma you may be in!
Use the “Ask Ten Strangers on the Street” Technique
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This is a technique I use for all sorts of problems, not just wedding ones. No matter what is going on, whether you KNOW you’re right, or you’re not sure if your parent or in-law is stepping over inappropriate boundaries, imagine asking ten people on the street, of all ages and stages. What would the consensus be? (And you can’t ask 10 of your friends because they’re pre-biased towards you!)
Who Really, Really, Really Cares?
Sometimes we react to a boundary invasion by a parent. After all, if your mom is trying to choose your wedding cake, most people would say that is ridiculous and you should stand up to her. But here’s where it gets a little trickier. If the cake is fairly low on your list of Wedding Stuff That Excites You, and your mom is having a total meltdown about it, it may just be worth letting her have her way. She’ll be thrilled, you’ll have one less task to worry about, and you won’t be expending energy you don’t have to spare on a baked good that will be eaten within a few hours anyway. Plus this is a good skill to develop in married life.
Logic Versus Emotion
It’s hard to not escape a rage of some sort in wedding planning. The question is whether you think you’re being logical, or whether you can admit you are in an irrational fury and perhaps others are of more sane mind. When a guest of my husband did not RSVP and then days before the wedding not only said he was coming but bringing an UNINVITED guest, I was, to put it lightly, furious. Fortunately I had several people around me who brought back logic. Logically it was just fine. The world would not end, the caterer had enough food, and this last minute RSVP was not worth the energy I was putting into it. Deep breath….
The 5 Year Outcome
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So you get your way, yay. But did you really? We’ve heard so many horror stories of couples getting their way in a fight only to realize they lost. The hurt relatives or friend can’t let go and the pain continues for years and years. Let’s be honest: you may be stronger and more stable than people in your life. Your short term giving in may ultimately be your win when you don’t have to cause years of suffering and whining. So think about the invitation list, or the florist your mom wants, or the cake your aunt really, really, really, really wants to make (and your aunt is a strong-willed woman) and whether their needs are better met now to avoid years of drama down the road.
Did you get your way without any negativity in your wedding? We've helped many couples, parents, clergy, and even former brides navigate the complex emotional landminds of wedding planning through our book Take Back Your Wedding. It's a quick, engaging, often funny read!