Wedding Planning: Choosing Your Battles

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Huby and I knew from the start that we would have a difference of opinion with both families when it came to anything wedding. He comes from an Italian background where weddings are big (and I mean BIG) events. I come from a family where weddings are a more intimate affair, especially since a lot of our family lives out of continent.  We did start off planning a full wedding event in the outskirts of Toronto. We went venue shopping, looked for centre-pieces, ceremony set ups, bridal party colours, cake flavours, bonbonnieres . . . we did it all before choosing to elope.

At the start of this process I (the overly excited planner) set a strict foot on two decisions:
1. I would not let parents run the show: they could be involved and give their open opinions, but final decisions would be made by the bride and groom. This included everything from guest list to finances spent.
2. I would allow interested parents to be a part of the decision making process: this meant letting go of some of my wants and putting their requests first.

If you are asking “Why wouldn’t you let your family be involved?”: I am not saying family should not be involved or considered. I am saying that family should not have the final say on what a wedding day looks like. Not every family is on the same page when it comes to event planning, and the disagreements that follow can cause a lot of stress to the bride and groom. As much as a wedding is about two families joining together, the very root of a wedding is the union between two INDIVIDUALS. Thus, a wedding day should be reflective of these two individuals; before any cultural expectations, before any family traditions, before Zia Assunta’s seating arrangement desires. I am not saying that children should be given every ridiculous request they make and force parents to pay up, but I am saying that when making decisions it should be the bride and groom whose interests are first considered.

If you are a soon to be newlywed couple: speak up! I have learned that every decision you make will offend someone, so you may as well speak up and voice your thoughts. Wrap your wedding day with joy and fondness, not resentment and disappointment!

If you are a family member: Listen to the couple’s wants. Take the time to understand why they want a certain dress shape, or cake flavour, or venue option. Voice your thoughts calmly and openly, and be open to a discussion. In the end you already had a wedding day, allow them to now have their own. If you’re saying “well, my wedding day wasn’t what I wanted” think about how that made you feel and how the couple must now feel as you push your wants above theirs.

Arguments will happen. Offences will be taken. This is [unfortunately] part of planning a big event that involves a lot of people. In those moments ask yourself “Is getting my way worth this fight? How important is this part of the wedding to me?” and go from there.  Learn to pick your battles (it’s good practice for marriage!).

Things we decided were non-negotiable: 
Ceremony events
Photography
Venue
Guest list size (though it turned into a bit of a compromise)

Things we decided were negotiable:
Menu options
Bar options
Centre-pieces
Bonbonnieres
Transportation

 

How did you tackle disagreements while wedding planning? Leave your thoughts on the comments below!

Ashley,

 

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