You’ve got that jewel on your finger and then a Dazzling smile on your face. You’re engaged!
Soon after the warm hugs and congratulations from excited family and friends will come the unsolicited advice. From subtle suggestions to boisterous opinions, you’ll hear it all. It’s inevitable. The good news is that you can be proactive about managing it while protecting family relationships and your own sanity in the process.
Set Wedding Boundaries.
Before talking to anyone else about the actual wedding celebration, talk to each other. Discuss and create a very specific set of priorities and non-negotiables for your experience.
From the onset of wedding conversations, this list will guide you in understanding the areas in which you can show flexibility as well as the areas in which you will remain firm in your decisions.
You are combining families – sometimes from different cultures, religions or backgrounds – and certain elements of the wedding may mean more to some than to others.
Talk through family traditions that you would like to honor and those that you will respectfully forego. Will children be invited to the celebration? Discuss your dream of tacos and your parents’ dream of a formal four-course dinner. Will you incorporate cultural wardrobe? Are you open to prayer during the ceremony? Identify all the potentially challenging situations and create a united front before discussing the topics with family and friends.
Consider this active communication a perfect opportunity to practice for a healthy marriage.
Social media is full of unsolicited wedding ideas and advice. Your signature color has always been lilac, but after scrolling through ten events featuring Illuminating, Pantone’s gorgeous yellow tone of 2021, you’re feeling, well, illuminated and considering an epic yellow wedding.
Push PAUSE on social media for a minute. Allow your authenticity to guide wedding decisions.
Brainstorm your vision of the wedding event before BFF-ing with Pinterest and Instagram. Think about your personal style, the Hell Yes’s in your day-to-day life and the places, elements and influences that play a part in your love story.
If you wake up every Saturday morning and hike four miles to the best nutella croissants in town, then skip the wedding cake and serve nutella croissants!
Do you get all scratchy just thinking about sand sticking to your feet? Then, no matter how beautiful the photos are of beach ceremonies, definitely choose a garden or patio venue and stay off the sand!
The vision you create for yourselves, before following all the wedding hashtags, will serve as an arrow that points you in the direction of an authentic celebration.
Assume the Best.
Advice – even the unsolicited kind – is most often given from a place of love. When you find yourself on the receiving end of suggestions and opinions you have not asked for, assume the person has the best intentions and then choose how to react with love.
Here are a few ideas to be prepared:
Kindly reassert your boundaries.
Share that you are currently considering all options as a couple and will make a decision that feels best and aligns with who you are once you are ready.
State that you have already made your decision based on how you choose to begin your new life together.
Say “Thank you for the enthusiasm. We can’t wait for you to experience everything we have carefully selected for our wedding.”
Ask for a rest. Wedding planning often becomes the topic of conversation and you can simply request an afternoon free of wedding talk!
Smile and nod and let it go.
Provide a gentle reminder that your wedding is a celebration of love and decisions made are often based on practicalities and principles; they are not meant to be hurtful to anyone involved.
Allow your love story, your own values and integrity guide you in creating an authentic experience!