Whether you like it or not you’ll have a lot of opinions, advice, and in some cases…demands put on you as you start to plan your wedding.
Now don’t get me wrong, most of this is kindly meant, and a lot of the time you’re probably grateful for these golden nuggets of info. However, sometimes you’ll want to say no.
Naturally, this can sometimes be a little difficult when the people trying to ‘help’ you, are your loved ones. The last thing you want to do is hurt the people closest to you. Your mother, your partner’s parents, your sister, your closest friend, etc.!
A lot of people get involved when it comes to planning a wedding, and occasionally healthy boundaries need to be set.
Hence, this begs the question: ‘How do you say no without upsetting anyone?!’. This may seem really tough but never fear you’re in the right place because we’re going to give you some Stirling advice throughout this blog post.
So, without further ado let’s dive on in!
Some requests are harder to handle than others
When it comes to friends and family everyone’s situation is different. However, if a few members of your wedding party are particularly overbearing, then this can become incredibly awkward.
Here are a few common scenarios you may already be familiar with:
- Mother of the bride/ Mother of the groom: I want you to wear my wedding dress
- Close friend and hobby photographer: I want to shoot your wedding
- Maid of honor: I hate these bridesmaid dresses
These are just a few potential situations out of a whole plethora of issues you may have to deal with. Naturally, these kinds of requests are harder to handle than a bit of one-off advice! So, it’s a good idea to have a game plan in place when problems like this come your way.
Obviously, if you like their suggestions, great! However, if you want to say no but don’t want to alienate your nearest and dearest, take note of the following advice:
Try suggesting a compromise…if you want to
Is this the sort of thing you could compromise on? Obviously, not everything on your wedding day will be of extreme importance to you. One of the best questions to ask yourself is: ‘Will this matter in three months time?’ If it will, then you have to be brave and stand your ground.
However, if it’s not a big deal to you, then it might be nice to let it slide. People love to feel part of your special day, and then there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as it’s okay with you!
On the other hand, sometimes you’re not happy to compromise, and that’s totally fine too. You’ve nothing to feel guilty about. However, this means a more substantial conversation is necessary.
Needless to say, a straight-up ‘no’ may come across as harsh. So, try using one of the below methods instead:
Can you modify the request?
Sometimes you can tweak the request, so it isn’t as overbearing. For example, if you have a friend who’s a photographer who wants to shoot your wedding, you could let them take snaps alongside your professional photographer.
You could even ask them to put together a collection of photos for you to share with your guests (perhaps via your wedding website, or via social media). This is an excellent way of making them feel included without jeopardizing anything significant!
Here are a few other examples:
- Your mother/ mother in law wants you to wear their dress: Ask if you can wear a piece of their jewelry instead?
- Both your Dad and Step-dad want to walk you down the aisle: Ask whether they’d both do the honor?
- Your family friend wants to bake the wedding cake: Ask them to make a cupcake tree for your wedding reception?
- Your bridesmaids hate their wedding dresses: Perhaps you could give them a color or a style and ask them to give your suggestions?
You get the idea!
Try Asking for their help on a Less Important Day
One of the best things about weddings is that there are so many celebrations to be had, for example:
- The engagement party
- The bachelorette party
- The bridal shower
Therefore, you have plenty of opportunities to ‘fulfill the request’ but not on your wedding day!
These events provide the perfect opportunity to get any friends or family members who are novice: photographers, videographers, bakers, calligraphers, singers, musicians, event planners, etc. a chance to get involved, without taking any risks with your special day!
Traditionally, these events are way more relaxed than the wedding day itself, so this solution usually strikes the right balance between not hurting anyone’s feelings and having what you want on your wedding day!
Common Issues and Sure-Fire Solutions
In addition to all of the above advice, here are a few get out clauses that’ll undoubtedly come in handy.
Q. Can I be your bridesmaid?
A. Sorry, I’m a stickler for tradition and only want family members to be my bridesmaids, I hope you understand.
A. Sorry, if I ask you I have to ask everyone, and then it just gets out of hand, I hope you understand!
Q. You should wear my [insert whatever monstrosity you’ve been asked to wear]:
A. I’m really sorry, but I wanted to buy a fresh outfit to pass onto my daughters, I hope that’s okay.
Q. Can I come wedding dress shopping with you?
A. Sorry, the store can only fit X amount of guests, and I’ve already promised XYZ!
A. Sorry, I’m desperate to keep my wedding dress a surprise for everyone, so I have to keep this under my hat, I hope you understand.
Were these ways to say no useful?
We hope this article helped you out! When it comes to it, it’s your day, and no one can take that away from you. As long as you remain polite, then you won’t go too far wrong.
If your family and friends still don’t understand then eventually you have to accept that it isn’t your problem and hope they see reason in the long run!
Have you ever dealt with awkward wedding requests? If so, please share with us how you handled them in the comments; we’d love to hear from you!
Also, if you enjoyed this article then we’re confident you’ll love this feature we published a couple of weeks ago: An Honest Review of ForYourParty.com: Should I Buy Wedding Accessories From Them? Enjoy!
Rosie Greaves- Freelance writer, and wedding and relationships expert.