By now you've probably noticed that most of my blogs are through the lens of a wedding planner- what to do and what not to do when it comes to your wedding, and other professional advice. Well, today I'm going to break the mold a little bit and delve into some personal advice on what I learned the hard way while planning my wedding. This is not quite the caliber of professional advice that I give out, and I'd prefer that you think of it as more of Bride-to-Bride advice. I've been down the path of trying to be a people pleaser when planning my wedding, and as someone who has had to deal with A LOT of consequences to that, I don't want you to end up down that same dark path. So read on if you're interested in some unfiltered advice from a fellow Bride-to-Be...
Here’s the thing about me: if you haven’t already noticed, I am a HUGE people pleaser (hence working in the hospitality industry). I will bend over backwards for anyone besides myself. Quite honestly, it leaves me exhausted and I’m really struggling to come to terms with the fact that I can’t please everyone. While being a people pleaser is certainly draining, it is especially terrible when it comes to wedding planning. With all of the moving parts that already go into wedding planning, trying to appease all, or even some, of your guests just isn't realistic, and will result in headaches all around. The most important thing is that you and your partner are both happy with the wedding. The rest won't matter. These are all pearls of wisdom that I’m imparting on you, because my Fiancé and I learned the hard way:
Some of you might be lucky enough to have guests who request particular seats or want to be seated near other guests. One or two requests- no problem, you can totally justify being accommodating so that that guest is comfortable and has a good time. But could you imagine the chaos that would ensue if you let every guest put in seating requests? If you let one person make special requests, you’ve got to let them all and that simply isn’t realistic. Save yourself the major headache and set boundaries early on with your guests.
If you are super close with your family like I am, chances are your parents will want to be involved in the wedding planning. How much or how little they are involved is really up to you. However, I will say that if they are paying for the whole wedding or a good portion of it (like the whole reception, or half of the wedding), then the etiquette and expectation usually is that they get to help you plan. This might mean some compromises on your end, maybe not. In order to stop the compromises from becoming too much and too far from what you and your partner want, make sure that you set boundaries early and often. Communicate clearly about what you need help with and what you don't need help with, and about your expectations of the wedding and the wedding planning.
Cousin Dave wants to bring the girl he’s been dating that you haven’t met yet? Sure! Everyone deserves to have a plus one to a wedding at least once. Those plus-ones add up, and they add up quickly. Think about what your total wedding cost would be if the guest list was nearly doubled. My golden rule became: If you are engaged/married, or if your significant other has played a role in our love story, you get a plus one.
Whether you want a cash bar, hosted bar, or no bar is your choice. It seems like most guests have come to expect an open bar at a wedding but there are certainly many other routes you can go. Do not let guests guilt you into having an open bar (or even into having expensive brands of alcohol for that matter).
You will have to choose your wedding party, which means some of your friends/ family might not make the cut. Selecting your wedding party is something that can result in hurt feelings if someone isn't picked (especially if they expect it). Do not let this sway you from making the best decisions for you. You don't want to be miserable at your bachelorette party while looking back on the time that you "pity picked" some members of your party. No one should automatically expect to be in your party, and you know now that you can't please everyone. My best advice is to make your decisions with grace and empathy towards others feelings, but you don't need to be apologetic about choosing the right people to carry that honor.
Keep the food to two choices tops (plus a vegan/gluten free option if necessary). Or do buffet. This way, all guests have the same choices and the choices are clear. Buffets are the easiest way to please multiple palettes, so I would strongly urge you to go with that option when it comes to catering. Limit special requests to food allergies or vegan/vegetarian so as not to overcomplicate orders. Too many specialty orders will make the buffet not worth it.
On the positive side...
(small things you can do to still be a people pleaser at your wedding, but not in a way where you have to compromise what you want)
Most of the time, wedding favors are rarely kept by guests. Make your wedding favors stand out by getting something that is either (or any combination of): 1) Useful, 2) personalized, or 3) have multiple favor options. Wedding favor bars are a great way to ensure that every guest is happy and leaves with something that they will keep/use.
Have you ever attended a wedding where your favorite song came on, and you couldn't help but get out on the dance floor? Re-create this feeling for your guests! Adding song a line for a song request on your rsvp card or website is a simple thing that you can do but it helps generate the excitement for your wedding. Your guests will feel included and like they had a personal stake in the day. Turn all of the song requests in to your DJ and voila!
Your guests don't all like cake? Have a dessert bar! Dessert bars are oh so popular, and they appease every type of taste. Another thing that you could do to really wow your guests is to offer a late-night bite. Your guests most likely have been drinking and dancing the night away, working up the appetite for another meal. Offer some savory snack option to leave an impression on guests. Trust me, they will rave about the late-night snack.
What are some other ways that you have found to please all of your various wedding guests? Comment below!
Closing: I know you’re used to putting everyone else first and doing what makes others happy. But this is YOUR day. If there is only one day in your life where you do what makes YOU happy, then let this be it. Don’t let anyone take that from you or make you feel bad for putting you and your significant other first.
Until Next Time,