Most brides and grooms get stressed out by two things – their to do list and the people involved.

The to do list is self explanatory – you have a lot of stuff to think about. Details to attend to, projects to complete, things to buy.

Dealing with people is a bit more tricky. People react to situations differently, sometimes unexpectedly. Let’s just say that it get messy and quickly.

Wedding fights. Ick. I don’t wish them on anyone.  The disagreements, miscommunications, tension, things falling through the cracks… It’s stressful. It’s a pain in the ass.

So…. here’s the thing about conflict – avoiding it will NOT make you a stronger person. It will wear you out. It will make you crazy.

So maybe, just maybe, if we can all internalize a few ‘golden wedding rules’, we can avoid a lot of the people problems. They’re mostly common sense, but easy to forget when things become tense because of how we’re unconsciously programmed to react to things.

I can’t emphasize how important it is for couples who are newly engaged to really think about this and make the conscious effort to follow a few basic rules…and hopefully avoid some critical wedding planning pains.


Mistake #1: Making Assumptions

Never assume anything. Ever.

Wedding planning is an exercise in logistics and social coordination.Most of the goofs and regrets that you read about are because people made assumptions and never bothered to clarify.

Your future in-laws want you to marry in their church followed by an elegant reception at the country club with 150 of their closest friends and family. Your future husband assumes you would be on board with that plan. Yea, not so much.

You assumed that because you spent $200 on a bridesmaids dress for her wedding, your MOH would be fine with a similar price tag. Apparently not. 

You assumed the total estimate included  tax and gratuity and never checked the line items. Oops. 

You assumed that your parents would be throwing the rehearsal dinner because that’s what they did for your sister. Yikes that’s awkward. 

The point is, ask the stupid questions, over communicate, confirm and double confirm if you have to. Down to the littlest detail.

There is one catch – this does not give you permission to proactively tell people (or send announcements) that they are not invited to the wedding. Apparently, the “don’t save the date” card is some sort of bizarre trend. Even though it is well intentioned as you don’t want to offend anyone or hurt feelings, there is a difference between being proactive and being rude. And if you want some tips on what to say when people ask if they are invited to your wedding and other awkward questions, click here.

Mistake #2: Not Doing Your Homework

Now is not the time to get lazy. Whether you’re looking to book vendors, have a difficult conversation with a family member or negotiate a pricing discount, you need to have a game plan. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. You’re spending a lot of money, signing legally binding contracts and dealing with a lot of personalities. And as the CEO and president of this operation, you have to be the one orchestrating this dance. This means doing your research on a vendor before booking, anticipating any push-backs or negative responses when having important conversations, getting things in writing and planning what you will say during tense or tricky situations.

Mistake #3 Trying to Please Everyone

Did you know that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has 115 one star reviews on Amazon? And when the world was raving about Kate Middleton’s flawless wedding gown, Vera Wang supposedly critiqued “I would have preferred a closed neckline.” Read any article, blog post, book or watch any piece of published content. There is always be someone who has something critical to say. Weddings are no different. There will always be that person who will criticize, complain, nitpick or be a downright drag.

I know, I know — your wedding is the closet you’ll ever get to being a celebrity, so it’s natural to want nothing less than perfection. You just have to make peace with the fact that you will not be able to accommodate everyone. In fact, you’ll probably manage to offend or disappoint at least one person. Please, just accept it and focus your energy on more positive and pretty things.

Mistake #4 Not being partners throughout the process

This whole thing is about the two of you. It’s supposed to be a time of reflection, connection and growth. You won’t always agree on everything, but at the end of the day, you have to commit to being on the same page and supporting each other. Make sure your fiance backs you up if you stand up to his mother in law about wedding logistics. Be there for him when he needs your support.

Mistake #5: Forgetting what this is all about.

A lot of friendships disintegrate during the engagement process. A bridesmaid is no longer a bridesmaid because she couldn’t afford the bachelorette party, got pregnant, got a tattoo – or couldn’t/wouldn’t live up to some (often) unreasonable request made by the bride. The word Bridezilla exists for a reason. Stress, big budgets and a lot of people does not bring out the best in people. There’s nothing new about this. But when things don’t go your way, can you please just take a deep breath and remind yourself what this is all about? Ask yourself if you are being reasonable? If the roles were reversed, how would you feel?

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