No, it’s not money, and it’s not time (though they follow very closely), but it’s the one thing that connects it all – the people! In my opinion, people management is easily the major cause of wedding planning stress to couple.
They say weddings bring out the best and worst in people, I say “they” ain’t never lied! Until you have fully experienced the wedding planning process you can’t really understand how seriously the relationships you keep could be affected.
Key People and Relationships you’d have to know how handle to avoid Wedding Planning Stress
In addition to the financial stress of wedding planning (let’s be honest love does cost a thing when planning a wedding), if one isn’t skilled at people management, this whole process would be a dreaded one. Granted a wedding planner is available to do most of the people management for you, but the couple is still going to have to do a bit of that as well.
There are 8 key relationships/interactions a couple would have to handle during the wedding planning process. If handled well, such a couple would easily have a smoother planning journey than most. These are the relationships with;
1. The Direct Family: Since your own family would most likely be the closest to you, expect them to be very involved in your wedding planning. This is even more in cases where they are financially involved in your wedding.
However, whether they handle the cost or not, it is very unlikely that they can be totally left out of the planning process. They’ll almost always seem to have their own ideas, their own guest-list or something that may just not fit into your vision.
Understanding how to come to an agreement and compromise is very key in reducing the stress you go through while planning your wedding. You’d want to find the fine line between being respectful to them and staying true to who you are when it comes to your wedding vision.
2. In-laws: Everyone should get on their knees and pray for amazing in-laws because based on the horrifying stories I continue to hear about, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I’d be honest, I have heard more horrifying stories about mother-in-laws than father-in-laws (ever wonder why? perhaps a whole discussion for another day!). From running background checks to wanting to wear white to her son’s wedding, the list of things we’ve heard some monster-in-laws do seem to keep on growing.
The key to handling in-laws I’ve found, is to let your partner deal with his/her own family. Should you find yourself struggling with wanting things a certain way and your groom’s mom opposing? Have your groom figure that out. The truth is, he’s known his mom way longer than you have and in many cases, he knows how to work with her to find that compromise.
3. The “Never Heard Of” Family: Haha! I don’t know if this is only experienced in Nigerian Weddings but you know those “family” members you have never heard of or from in years that suddenly show up and want to be present (not just present, but actually dare to be considered as decision makers) at your wedding?
With how sensitive and important the guest list is, which translates to the cost of weddings, these people would most likely be a source of stress the couple.
If $$ is totally a non-issue for a couple, all that is required may be an invitation sent out. However for those who in fact can’t afford to have any and everybody because of the cost, this won’t be an easy task; not inviting them at all.
4. Wedding Party: Usually comprised of very close friends and family. Once you get engaged and decide to have a wedding party, think hard about who would be making this list. These people (especially the bridesmaids) would be the next group of people to be very involved in your wedding planning and if you choose the wrong people, rest assured your wedding planning process would be a pain.
For this reason, some brides choose not to have bridesmaids at all or like the last wedding I attended and planned, the bride picked her only sister. That way, decision-making processes are much smoother because less people are involved.
Should you opt to have a lot of Bridesmaids, pick a strategy for your decision-making process and stick to it. When asking for opinions, streamline your options first before presenting it to them. For example, wedding dress shopping (see #5 point in this post)? It would be easier to have your top 3 options then presenting it to them to help you decide, rather than taking them to all dress appointments from the very beginning.
Because the more they are, the more varying their views/ideas/opinions would be, and the harder it would be to reach a consensus.
See the part 2 of this post for the other 4 people to watch out for when planning your wedding, to avoid all that stress!