To the “Controlling” Bride | part 3 of 5

How to plan your wedding without hurt feelings or sacrificing what's most important to you.

You might be pegged as a “Controlling” Bride if you:

  • Know exactly what you want for your wedding and have no problems communicating your wedding expectations with others.

  • Feel apprehensive about delegating tasks to family members or friends who have offered to help.

  • Have been told you should relax or be more flexible in your wedding planning.

  • Feel like a control freak about your wedding plans.

In this space, I use “Controlling” in quotations because knowing what you want as the bride is NOT a bad thing. You may not feel like a controlling person, but maybe you’ve been told from a close family member or friend that you are a bit of a Bridezilla.

They asked how to help and you told them exactly what you wanted. What’s the problem?

While working to make your wedding plans a reality is a wonderful gift, feelings can complicate the process. Wedding days are very special life occasions that the most important people in your life want to be part of, and more people mean more feelings and emotions. Some may say that other people’s feelings about your wedding day don’t matter, but risking hurt feelings can negatively impact your relationships long after the wedding day. As Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (emphasis my own)

To help “Controlling” Brides avoid unnecessary hurt feelings without compromising their wedding day priorities, here are three tips on how to make it your best wedding planning experience:

  1. Knowing what you want is good! Be true to yourself and what you want for your special day. Keep the wedding plans that are most important to you at the top of your priority list. Of course, this means that 100% of your wedding details may not come to fruition, but when does anything turn out 100% what we first envisioned? From my experience as a wedding vendor and former Maiden of Honor and bridesmaid for my siblings’ weddings, it is much easier to help the bride make her wedding plans a reality when she knows what she wants. It is equally as helpful to know what wedding details the bride is flexible on and may leave to others to confirm, like the decorations on the sweetheart table or where the seating chart is placed at the reception. Prioritize your must-have wedding day details and stay flexible on the plans that are less important to you.

  2. Communicate with kindness and clarity Once you’ve confirmed the wedding details that are most important to you, let your planning people know which wedding aspects are non-negotiable. Communicating what your wedding day non-negotiables are and why they’re so important to you keeps the goal clear between you and your planning people. In communicating your wedding day priorities, keep it kind and courteous. If you struggle with finding the right words, giving people options of how to best help you is a great way to go. Here’s an example of my go-to script: The wood archway with greenery and lavender-colored florals is a must-have for my ceremony. Could you research vendors that rent and deliver wood archways for ceremonies? Or would you prefer to look into florists who can decorate the archway? Including detailed sketches or example images of exactly what you’re looking for can help you communicate your wedding must-haves clearly and accurately to avoid confusion or miscommunication.

  3. Hire a trusted wedding planner As another option to consider, interviewing and hiring a seasoned wedding planner you trust can help alleviate differences in wedding planning expectations with family or friends. A seasoned wedding planner will have the experience and connections to bring your wedding vision to life and keep the most important wedding aspects in focus. Entrusting your wedding day non-negotiables to your wedding planner can take the pressure off of your family or friends (and your own shoulders) who may have differences in opinions on your wedding plans. This can leave the less important details to the folks who still want to be involved in your wedding planning, not risk what’s most important to you about your wedding day, and help everyone involved feel valued.

Your wedding day will be its own kind of beautiful no matter what. Keep your wedding priorities in focus to make wedding planning the most joyful experience possible! Every bride deserves a joyful wedding planning and wedding day experience.

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Photos of Megan & Tyler, married October 2020.