Planning a wedding is one of the most fun, exciting and romantic things you’ll ever do. But it also puts you in tricky situations where you are required to make some awkward choices. In this post we flag up some of the most common ones so that you are prepared – and offer a little bit of advice on how best to handle these dilemmas.
Mum, dad and money
How you pay for your big day is obviously a major issue – and one that involves a number of awkward choices. Do we ask parents to contribute or do we wait for them to offer? If we’re going to ask for help when is the best time to bring the subject up? If we accept financial help will that mean they start to take control and we have to do everything they want? Should we take the money as a gift or offer to treat it as a loan? Best advice is to have some open and frank discussions with both sets of parents really early on!
Guest list hijacked by parents
On the one hand it’s your day. On the other your proud parents want to share the occasion with their friends. So, you both have a bit of a say (especially if they are paying a big part of the bill – see previous point!). The best idea is to agree a total number of guests that’s within the overall budget then allocate a certain number of invites to yourselves and your parents, striking a balance between both your families.
Be a perfectionist or stay chilled
It’s only natural that you want everything to be perfect. But how far will you go to achieve that? You set your heart on a dress that’s way outside your budget. The flower arrangements are not exactly as you pictured them. Your preferred band are unavailable on your chosen date. Do you get bent out of shape and go to ridiculous lengths sorting everything to your satisfaction? Or do you get over it and refuse to let it spoil your big day?
Understand that a lot of these issues are only in your own head - nobody else is even going to notice! So, stop obsessing over perfect – it just sets you up for stress, arguments and disappointment. The best advice is to try and strike a happy medium between the two extremes.
Ooops, I’m pregnant!
You won’t be the first to find yourself in this situation! Do you hide the bump or share the happy news? Then there’s the dress – do you get a bespoke design or go for something off the peg that’s loose and floaty? You’ll find there are several suppliers that specialise in affordable pregnancy gowns for the bride, as well as her maids and guests.
Plus-ones. Yes or no?
If you allow plus-ones you can quickly exceed your numbers, go over budget and end up with a lot of guests you’ve never met before. But excluding them altogether seems a bit harsh. Can you send plus-one invites to some guests but not to others? The simplest solution is to ditch them altogether – allowing some to bring a partner, but not others, is asking for trouble. When you send the invitations explain that your wedding will be an intimate celebration, allowing you to spend quality time with each guest, and for this reason you are only extending your invitations to partners you know really well.
Invite the little ones, or not?
Flower girls and toddlers in tuxes are undeniably cute but kids can also be a major irritation if they decide to play up or get a little too excited. It’s up to you to decide whether to include or exclude them – but either way you need to be sensitive to the feelings and needs of parents. Let people know early on so they can make the necessary arrangements for accommodation, baby sitting and so on.
Many couples provide a wedding crèche so the grown-ups can let their hair down. If you don’t like that option you could at least fill children's activities boxes with colouring books, small toys or even games to keep them entertained and out of trouble. However, if you want your big day to be a kid-free zone don’t be frightened to make that call – it’s your prerogative and many parents will welcome the opportunity to relax and enjoy a day away from their little ones.
It’ll all work out fine
These are just a few of the more common dilemmas that tend to crop up during the wedding planning process. You can’t avoid them so the main thing is to avoid over-reacting. With a bit of common sense and creativity you’ll find a way to make the right choices and have a fabulous day!