Let’s be honest, every bride in the history of brides has gotten unsolicited advice from mothers, cousins, and strangers who all think they know best. It’s part of life and especially a part of wedding planning! So, what’s the key to saying “no” to all the comments and avoiding any drama? Set wedding planning boundaries from the moment that glittery engagement ring is on your finger.
After a decade of working with couples, I can tell you I’ve seen it all (or most of it anyways… there are always surprises). A lot of the drama, fights, and stress in wedding planning comes from a lack of boundaries while wedding planning.
So, let’s avoid that, shall we?
Here are my top tips for how to set boundaries when wedding planning:
In order to set boundaries, you have to have a good understanding of what you’re envisioning for your wedding day. Without a solid plan that includes what style you’re looking for, what type of venue you love, what food you want to nibble on, what kind of dress you want to wear—the list goes on—you won’t be able to set boundaries. So, take a step back when you get engaged and think about what you really want so you can protect those desires with everything you’ve got!
Once you know what you want, prioritize. Money is one thing that causes a lot of drama and unsolicited advice so using this as an example. Maybe you and your fiancé have always wanted a band, but your mother-in-law doesn’t think people will like it and it’s a good place to save money because DJs are sometimes a little more affordable. Simply tell her that the band is something you’ve always wanted to have, and you’ve saved money on cheaper invitations and favors to have your dream band perform. Simple! Prioritize and don’t waver when someone questions what you want.
Want to get married in 3 months or 3 years? Who cares, it’s up to you! When it comes to your big day and choosing a date, a lot of people will have opinions. Choose a timeline that is comfortable for you, your fiancé, and what you envision for your wedding, and stick to it! Don’t let anyone rush you or try to slow you down.
Clear communication is KEY when it comes to setting wedding planning boundaries. You need to be clear in what you expect from people, clear on where you’re willing to accept or not accept advice or opinions, and clear on what YOU want. Don’t beat around the bush, be direct, and others will be less likely to try to walk all over you and respect your vision for your day.
Let’s be honest, a lot of us are people pleasers through and through. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by saying you don’t want to open presents at your shower or you don’t want to get married in a church. But at the end of the day, if it’s not making YOU happy, why are you doing it? Marie Kondo said to say no to anything that doesn’t bring you joy. I promise it will make planning SO much more enjoyable.
I’m going to assume there are a lot of ladies reading this. Sometimes men don’t love wedding planning, it’s normal. But what they do need to do is handle their own families. You don’t want to be starting drama with the mother-in-law before that wedding band is on your pretty little finger. So, if there’s something your fiancé’s family is doing to make you uncomfortable, have him stand by your side and put their foot down.
I’ve said it a few times and I’ll say it again. THIS IS YOUR DAY! This means you have the final decision-making powers to bring your wedding day to life. Even if someone else is footing the bill, it’s not their wedding. Make it clear that even though you are so appreciative of their support, ideas, and love, you’re going to do it your way.
A lot of times friends and family are overbearing because they love you and want to be involved. Weddings are fun and super exciting, so it’s understandable. And let’s be honest, no bride can plan an entire wedding alone, not even Superwoman (even I have a team that helps me). So, determine where you’re comfortable sharing some responsibility and get those you love involved (with clear directions, of course) and it should help eliminate the need for more boundaries because they’re helping out on your terms.
If you know where your mom is usually the most opinionated or if you know which bridesmaid is going to step over the line, think about that before you start planning. With those scenarios in mind, you can set boundaries upfront to prevent them!
When all else fails, just smile, nod, and move on. You can’t control everyone and everything, it’s impossible—and if you try, you’re going to set yourself up for even more stress. So, know when to walk away and take some deep breaths… maybe paired with a shot of tequila or two… and you’ll be in for a much less stressful planning experience.
So… let’s take out a pen and paper and get to writing down those boundaries, shall we? Putting something in ink is one perfect way to stick to it.
When you start getting all the questions about all the things and simply don’t want to share… this is what you say:
“We’re not sure yet! We’re taking a second to soak up every minute and enjoy engaged life – we’ll share details when we have them, thanks so much for your ideas!”
This way, you’re responding in a civil manner, but also stopping the conversation making it clear that you’re in charge of your own wedding day and you’re the one making decisions!
Take out your phone and copy and paste this into a note so you have it for any unwelcome wedding chats. You got this girl. I have faith in you!
Now, setting wedding planning boundaries can be hard when you feel lost during the planning process. You may feel overwhelmed and welcome advice, but then feel worse when you don’t like people sharing their ideas and opinions for your day. You may just simply not know what you don’t know because you have never planned a wedding before—totally understandable.
The good news?
I’ve created a wedding planning course called The Bridal Method. TBM is for brides that are feeling overwhelmed and anxious about the planning process. This course combines expert guidance through all the steps of planning a wedding, checklists to keep you organized, templates to manage your budget and guests, as well as tools you need to plan your wedding.
With TBM, you’ll always know what to do next, how to do it, and where to get it. When you can account for all your to-do’s and details, you’ll start feeling less anxious & more organized.
If you are in the initial stages of your planning, The Bridal Method will be something you’ll love to have help you through your planning journey.
You can check it out here The Bridal Method …..let’s get to planning, shall we?