Tip of the Day #35: Stand Up to Wedding Bullies I know this post may seem a bit harsh, but man are there some serious wedding bullies out there! Wedding bullies can come in all forms -- opinionated in-laws, overzealous vendors, sassy bridesmaids and pushy guests. I would like to offer up some friendly advice for standing up to all of the bullies out there because it is, after all, your day.
Family members are tricky wedding tyrants to deal with. Depending on your relationship with the family member, there are various ways I suggest to react. If your soon to be mother-in-law is trying to play the role of wedding planner, politely tell her that you love her input and want to incorporate elements from her suggestions. If your mother-in-law is paying for your wedding or a facet of your wedding, my best advice is to shut up and smile and do your best to work with her to find a happy medium in wedding purchases and design. Same goes for your parents. The rule of thumb is that whoever is financing various aspects of your wedding should have their say in what they are paying for. You should not feel obliged to get your immediate family involved in the planning process unless they ask to be a part of it. You only get one family, after all, so tread lightly around issues with family when planning your wedding.
Although vendors are the "experts" by nature, their opinions and creative prowess may not match your wedding vision. I don't want to sound cynical, but vendors also may have ulterior motives when they push a certain product or service on you. If a furniture rental company is insisting on using sleek white lounge furniture at your wedding but your wedding style is "shabby chic," the vendor may be trying to push a new product they have or trying to work around their inventory. You are, after all, the one with the credit card so you should have full reign in your wedding design. Don't be afraid to speak up about your style and stand up to pushy vendors when their creative vision is not aligned with yours. At the end of the day, the vendor just wants your business (and a positive review on their website, wedding boards, etc.) so you have the authority to keep vendors in check if they get out of line.
Ahh the infamous bridesmaid. Let's face it ladies, girls are catty and jealous by nature. The best advice I can give is to give your bridesmaids as little of a say in planning your wedding as possible. I'm the ultimate mean girl, right? I've seen it time and time again -- the more options you offer up to your bridesmaids, the more opinions that will be flung around, leading to bridal confusion and frustration. You cannot please everyone and each of your bridesmaids will have a different idea of what is stylish or cool for weddings. If you want to give your bridesmaids options, let them choose from a line of the same colored bridesmaids dresses (J. Crew offers a great selection) so that each girl can flash her own style without taking center stage. When dress shopping or cake tasting, take just your maid-of-honor with you so you can have a moment for bonding rather than an afternoon of headaches.
I really have a bone to pick with guests that feel they are entitled to make requests of brides. "Can I bring my 3 kids to your black tie formal wedding?" "I'm working on getting a record deal, can I sing at your wedding?" I honestly don't know where people get off thinking that it is okay to make requests of the bride and groom. A bridal couple has already been gracious enough to invite you to join in their special day (not to mention cover the costs of your attendance at the event) so questions like those aforementioned should never be uttered - ever. If any guests act up or make ludicrous requests, just send them a copy of Emily Post's etiquette book, take a deep breath and move on.