When planning a wedding, you are faced with SOOOO many decision….some of which your family might not agree with. I recently asked my brides what their biggest planning struggle is and several wondered how to include family members in the planning…without them stealing the show. After I was faced with this question, I really wasn’t sure what my answer would be! Including family is difficult and you want those closest to you to feel involved in the planning process, but when you’re faced with so many different opinions, your own ideas are often put on the back burner.
Here’s a little back story! Throughout my own wedding planning in 2018, this was my biggest struggle as well! I started my planning process by including everyone! I wanted my mom, my maid of honor, and wedding planner to all have their voices heard. After planning for close to a year, I realized the vision created for my wedding didn’t feel like me. The wedding that was planned was not my vision at all, and I knew something had to change. It was 6 months before my wedding when I changed literally everything. I changed the colors, the decor, even my bridesmaids and vendors changed. I completely reshaped the entire day with only a few months to spare. Do I regret it? Not one bit. The wedding that I brought to life felt 100% like me. My only regret was not coming to this realization earlier on. I would have definitely saved money and stress if I decided on having my day from day one!
Looking back on it, I would have formulated my own vision before talking to a single person. This way, if someone comes to you with a different idea, you can show them the gorgeous day you already envisioned. I had no idea what I wanted my day to look like when I started planning, so the result was a cluster of different ideas from everyone. Your family and friends love you! They’ll understand whatever vision you create, so be sure to have your own solid ideas before diving deep into a Pinterest Board of inspiration with every bridesmaid!
With that being said, you still need to include those important people into your wedding. Here are 3 ways to include family in your wedding planning without allowing them to steal the show!
1. Delegate some responsibilities!
What do you care most about when it comes to your day? Maybe you care most about your cake and flowers but couldn’t care less about your music? Maybe you have your heart set on a certain color scheme, but really don’t care how the centerpieces are incorporated? Delegate the responsibilities you care less about to family members who might care more! For me, I really didn’t care about my music. I had a first dance with my mom, but never considered what that song would be, so I let her pick! Along the same lines, my mom walked me down the aisle. I originally planned on walking down alone, but she wanted to walk me down more than anything. I went with it and I’m so glad I did! That is a special moment that I would have never had otherwise! When you allow those important to you to help with some menial tasks, they’ll feel more included while you can still focus on the tasks you really care about!
2. Say yes…with boundaries!
Who is paying for the wedding? For us, we paid for most of our wedding ourselves. A few family members pitched in when it came to paying for the cake, but 99% of the wedding was paid for by us. When a family member wanted to include their old friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in 10 years, I said yes…if they pay for their dinner. Many family members might not understand the cost that comes into play when paying for a wedding and don’t understand why that extra $20 a plate is a big deal. Instead of saying no because you don’t care about that person or that thing, say yes as long as they pitch in to help out a bit. Same goes for random wedding details. Maybe you are paying for the wedding yourself, but your aunt wants to help with flowers or your mom really wants a certain type of meat for dinner. Let them know you respect their opinion, but you will have the final say. Ask them to pick out a few arrangements they love or meal options and then you can make it your own!
3. Be clear about your vision, but be flexible!
Remember, you are planning a wedding and nothing will ever go completely as planned. When you want to include family and friends, make sure they know about your priorities! This goes back to the first point! If they don’t know what you care about most, they might feel the need to overstep. Instead of figuring out exactly what your day is going to look like, from the exact flowers you’ll use to bridesmaid’s hair styles, be flexible and give them some control. Maybe you want all your bridesmaids to have updos. Let them know the type of style you want, but give them flexibility as to exactly what that will look like. For me, I didn’t want any bridesmaids to have tight bun updos, but I allowed them to pick out the exact style to show my stylist. Maybe you know you want pink roses in your bouquet. Explain that vision to your friends and family then allow them to help fill in the rest. This will allow them to feel like they have more control while allowing your vision to shine!
What if you’ve done everything to include friends and family in your day, but some of them don’t agree? It’s harsh, but it’s your day. You’ve done everything in your power to include them. If they disagree, that’s on them. After working with 100+ couples, I know planning NEVER goes as planned. In fact, the wedding day never goes as planned, but will you remember all the tiny details and disagreements once the day is said and done? Probably not. Your wedding will be an amazing memory and you won’t remember the clash you had over centerpieces while looking through your gorgeous images! Take a breath and know it will all work out in the end!