Wedding Prep Woes: The Do’s & the Do-Knots!

May 28th, 2010

Here is question a frustrated bride sent me this week: “My in-laws want to invite people we don’t even know or care about AND don’t have the money for! How can we politely tell them to stop adding people???!?”

A Little Shrink Insight

Weddings are a BIG deal to parents. Not only is it the beginnings of their adult child’s marriage but also the beginning of their own new family constellation. Parents want to share in the celebration and begin the introductions; the easiest way to do this is at the wedding.  After all, how many nights a week do want to hang out with all their friends when you have your own social circles? So they figure now is the time to do it!

What Could Help Prevent & Potentially Help This Situation?

Set up a separate meeting with each set of parents shortly after the engagement (or when you notice new names on the guest list!) to share what each party envisions, and offer a rough estimate of what you as a couple hope to plan for your wedding. Share a first draft of who you would likely invite to the wedding and get your parents responses. Here is where you can all view the potentially opposite views of the guest list and other wedding decisions, rather than having a constant stream of disagreements and resentments.

What Would KNOT Help…

Excuses that try to prevent hurting your parents instead of telling them the truth will make matters worse, not better. In other words, if you use “money” as the reason for not being able to accommodate your parents’ friends, it will backfire in one of two ways.

  1. Your parent may now offer to pay for their extra guests and perhaps now you’ll be even more resentful because you don’t want these strangers at your wedding in the first place.
  2. Your parent may interpret your reason as ‘money means more than their feelings or friendships.’ It also opens up for criticisms on where you are spending the wedding budget.

Speak early and often to both sides of the family. If a misunderstanding develops, take ownership for not speaking up sooner and informing them of the details. It’s far better to take blame than place it. (And it’s a far quicker recovery; trust me!)

What wedding dilemmas are you facing? Write in and share your wedding woes and Dr. Liz will answer them right here on the blog!