Yes, it’s true. As supportive as family and friends can be while planning
your wedding, they can also drive you CRAZY. Maybe there’s the sister
who’s a little jealous because you’re getting the attention, a BFF/Maid of
Honor who is sad she’s ‘losing’ her best friend, the Mom who wants your
wedding to be perfect because hers wasn’t, the future mother-in-law who is
fretting about losing her baby son. The list can go on and on, and
that’s the one thing I get queried about constantly, “My family is
driving me crazy. What do I do?”
Here are some suggestions, and it’s going to mean giving up some of your
control, but some of the happiest brides I’ve seen (and that’s been
thousands!!) are the ones who have given up little parts of their special
day to make someone else happy. They get to show up at their wedding and
go “Look! It’s a party and it’s for ME (and the groom, of course)”. And
the best part is that while you’re ‘giving up’, these people are feeling
special, AND they’re doing something to make YOU happy, and they’re doing
it with love.
I kind of equate it to the emergency/CPR training I’ve had ~ if someone
passes out, you’re not supposed to just yell at the crowd that’s gathered
around, “Someone call 9-1-1!”~ you’re supposed to grab one person, look
them in the eye and say “YOU! Call 9-1-1!!”.
So, here’s some of my “My family’s driving me crazy” 9-1-1:
Before the wedding:
Give the people driving you the most crazy, suggestions or
just simply ‘willingness’ to help do something specific to do. Grab them and
say “YOU are completely in charge of my bridal shower!” or “YOU are in
charge of my flowers!” You can give them big jobs or little jobs, but be
specific. And once you give it over, you can’t interfere, and you need to
let them know they’re in charge and not to be coming to you with approval.
Don’t overwhelm any one person with too many tasks. You’ll find a lot of
people want to help, and that they will if you give them something to feel
special. To-be-Mom-in-Law pouting because her baby’s getting
married and she’s feeling left out? Ask her to host your bridal shower. Or
ask her to help the groom and groomsmen get their outfits for the big day.
Ask your best friend to give you a blow out bachelorette party. Ask your
sister to help you pick out the bridesmaids dresses in your colors. Ask
your Mom to be in charge of the flowers. Now, again, you’re going to be
giving up some control, but the best part is that while the flowers might
not be exactly what YOU would have picked, it’s something Mom picked FOR
you from her heart. And you might get something a little more extravagant
than if you were just giving Mom the bill. 😉
Bridesmaids dresses or groomsmen outfits ~ Now, while you most
likely want to be a part of this, I’ve also had brides give this over to
someone they trust (sister, BFF, mother-in-law-to-be) by being only
specific enough to say “It’s David’s Bridal ‘pool'”. The bridesmaids go
shopping, get the dresses they like, and the bride has the knowledge that
they’ve gotten something they may actually wear again, and she will not be
responsible for another hideous bridesmaids dress fail. I’ve also had
brides say “A summer dress in any shade of blue”, and gave the bridesmaids
matching jewelry as their gifts to tie them together… these have turned
out very cute, too. Groomsmen are a little trickier ~ you can’t trust
every guy to turn up in the correct white shirt/khaki pants combo.
It’s nice to have someone go shopping with them, which is why this is a
great mother-in-law-to-be task. Most likely she’s known her son’s friends
longer than you have and would enjoy taking them shopping or being in
charge of their outfits (before and on the day of).
Give someone the task of helping with the little tchotchkes that go
on tables. You might not be a wedding belle at wedding ideas, but maybe
your best friend/sister/cousin/mom is. EVERYONE has a hard time with
favors, if you put someone in charge of your “coral and ecru themed beach
wedding” favors, they might come up with something surprisingly unique and
fun for you and your guests. While you’re overwhelmed with hundreds of
little details, they get to focus on and research for one item, and
they’re going to make sure it’s the best. Let them spend the hours
searching Pinterest for a cute and clever idea for you.
So, in summary, it’s OK to ask for help, and to be specific. Start
practicing letting go NOW (while in reality keeping control) ~ “What can I
do to help?” is much better responded to with “You can put the candles in
the votives” than “Oh, I got it” or “Help with the decorating”. Remember,
when calling out for 9-1-1, look them in the eye, then let that person go
and get help.
Article contributed by Jennifer Palmer; Owner of Savannah Beach Wedding and Tybee Island Wedding
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