There are a few things in life that seem to cue people that it’s time to offer up all their opinions. Unfortunately, weddings are in that category. But when your distant relatives start popping out of the woodwork to weigh in with their unsolicited wedding advice, what do you say? Thinking these conversations through in advance can actually reduce your wedding stress. We’ll help.
Responding to your close friends’ opinions
Luckily, these are the people who’ve already been through thick and thin with you. They usually have your best interests at heart but maybe have gotten over-invested in your wedding planning process. Let them know how they can support you better.
- ASK FOR SUPPORT: “I am very overwhelmed right now, and honestly, I could really use someone to be on my side. Can you back me up on this choice?”
- STAY FOCUSED: “The flowers are kind of taking a backseat right now, but I appreciate your input. Can we stay focused on the food situation for right now?”
- BE OPEN: “There are a lot of people trying to give advice and input, and I’m starting to feel like what I want is getting lost in the process.”
Fielding suggestions from your family
Your inner circle probably just wants what’s best for you, but they might not realize their comments—or complaints—are getting under your skin. Take some time to educate them and, if necessary, set some boundaries. And, when all else fails, you can fall back on blaming the budget if you have to. (Check out this post for more ideas you can adapt.)
- EDUCATE: “Thank you so much for letting your minister know we’re getting married, Auntie! We’ve actually chosen a non-religious ceremony officiated by a friend. Their involvement is important to us.”
- BE HONEST: “Premium chairs just aren’t something I’m worried about or willing to spend additional money on. The budget just isn’t there, Dad.”
- HOLD YOUR GROUND: “Mom, please respect our choice of invitees. We carefully chose who is on the guestlist, and we won’t be making any changes.”
Navigating your in-laws’ input
This one’s tricky, but you can do it. Staying gracious for any help but sticking to your authentic choices will help set the stage for your healthy relationship moving forward. You and your partner can get on the same page or even tag a wedding party member in as a point person.
- TAG IN YOUR PARTNER: “You’d like to serve a third cake? I appreciate the offer to cover it, but you’ll definitely want to see how your daughter feels about it first.”
- THANK THEM: “Oh, yeah? We’ll talk about the dress code and make a decision together. Thanks so much for asking before you bought a white dress to wear.”
- DELEGATE: “The Best Man is actually in charge of toasts at the reception. Let me get his number for you.”
Handling unsolicited wedding advice from distant relatives
These loved ones might not see you often enough to know all about your preferences, so they might have some ideas that just don’t jive with your vision. Our best advice is to thank them and move the conversation along. If you can help it, avoid asking their advice or opening the floor to their thoughts in the first place.
- CHANGE THE SUBJECT: “Speaking of invites, are you going to cousin Christy’s baby shower? The rubber ducks on the invitations were so cute!”
- THANK & MOVE ON: “Thanks for the idea. Hey, how is your son’s baseball team doing?”
- DON’T TAKE THE BAIT: “Our decorations? Guess you’ll just have to wait and see! I can’t wait for everyone to see what we picked.”
Wrangling wedding vendors
Your vendors want you to have a great wedding—for your and their benefit! Your wedding is a reflection of their services to your guests and everyone who will see your amazing photos. But sometimes, that can lead to a blown budget. Setting the boundaries upfront can save you time, stress and, ultimately, money.
- KEEP IT FOCUSED: “I understand that the upgrade for the bar is a great deal, but I’m more interested in the food. Can you tell me what options we have for entrees?”
- SET BOUNDARIES: “We have a max budget of $1200 for our DJ, so, unfortunately, we can’t consider any packages above that. What options do you have in our price range?”
- DELEGATE: “My bridesmaid will be the point of contact for our floral deliveries, but she’s not authorized to add any additional charges. Here is her number.”
Adapting to handle anything
We’d never be able to write a guide to encompass everything that comes up during weddings! So, we recommend adjusting any of these strategies as needed to suit your specific scenario. The best tactics are to be open and honest when you can and call in those who love and support you when you need a little assistance.
Is there any specific advice you’ve struggled with handling? Let us know in the comments.
Looking for more wedding planning resources? Not only can we help with wedding budgets and honeymoon planning, but we’ve also got you covered for the whole wedding. Our 1-Page Wedding Plan takes a refreshing, streamlined look at planning your wedding from top to bottom.