What is it about wearing an engagement ring that makes everyone want to give you advice about planning a wedding? I've never been pregnant, but from what my friends have gone through, pregnancy has the same issue. Sure, your friends and family are (hopefully!) happy and excited for you but my guess is that you still like to talk about other things and would ask for advice if you wanted it. Don't even get me started on strangers at the gym, the grocery store cashier, or people in line with you at Costco! Everyone feels the need to put in their two cents.
It can be a never ending stream of advice and expectations. Planning a wedding that is even slightly “non-traditional” (setting aside the fact that so many of those things aren't even traditional anyway) can make it that much worse. Throw in complicated family dynamics and you've got a recipe for frustration.
Seriously, just check out some of the advice and expectations I've seen or heard! Take special note of how contradictory some of them can be. And feel free to share more over on the Littlehammer Games Facebook page.
From strangers and the internet:
- Nobody goes to summer weddings because they are traveling on vacation.
- August weddings suck because its too hot.
- January weddings suck because its too cold.
- March weddings suck because its too rainy.
- [Insert any month] weddings suck because its too [insert complaint here].
- Oh you have to have a dance floor, photo booth, escort cards, a hand beaded lace dress made from the lace your grandmother held at her wedding.
- You need an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen.
- …your dress isn’t white? [stunned silence]
- Its wasteful to spend more than $3000 on your wedding.
- You can’t have a nice wedding for less than $20,000.
From your family:
- 50 people you haven’t seen since you were in diapers absolutely have to be there.
- I’m giving you away.
- What do you mean you aren’t wearing white?
- My son/daughter is obviously the ring bearer/flower girl.
- You have to have a sit down dinner for 300 people followed by dancing.
- Nobody wants to play games at a wedding.
- Nobody will dance that that.
- Nobody will understand why your officiant is in a Trek Wars costume, your tables are called Huffenpuff and Snake, [insert any nerdy reference they think they get but can’t keep straight].
- That’s way too much money.
- No, no you have to get this $100 guest book.
- You need a veil.
- Who will help if you don’t have bridesmaids?
- Your brother/sister/cousin/coworker’s kid/guy down the street did it this way.
- What do you mean you aren’t getting married in the church?
From your friends:
- Why can’t I bring my new boyfriend you’ve never met?
- Oh you must have a photo booth.
- My groomsman had better be cute.
- But at [insert other friend’s name]’s wedding we got to pick our own dresses.
Two Magic Phrases
So, the question becomes how can you deal with this onslaught? I think two phrases can make your life a little easier. “Thanks, we’ll think about it” can help quickly wrap up a conversation or lead to a switch in topics. The person you're talking to doesn't have to know that you'll only give it one second of thought.
The second phrase helps when you want to escape all the questions someone is asking you or when dealing with someone who will never be satisfied with your decisions (you know who this person is if they're in your life!). To these people, cheerfully respond, “it's a surprise!”
Them: What kind of dress are you wearing?
You: It's a surprise! (Particularly useful if your answer would otherwise be something like your favorite cosplay, jeans, or anything other than a long white dress)
Them: I hope you're getting top shelf liquor for your reception since I don't drink well vodka.
You: It's a surprise!
That will at least help you out in the conversations. The real next step is to find a way to balance what you want your wedding to be like and the expectations from others that you do care about. My suggestion is that you figure out a way to entertain your guests (i.e. be a good hostess) in a way that reflects you and your fiancé.