Wedding Planning: When It’s Okay to Say “No”

Photo via Michael Gillman Photography

When it comes to planning a wedding, you’re going to get a lot of people wanting to be involved or volunteering when/where they can. That’s phenomenal, especially because planning a wedding is a huge undertaking and sometimes involves tasks that you’d rather delegate to someone else.

However, sometimes there are tasks that you’d rather spearhead alone. Some people prefer to go shopping alone. That might flow into the wedding sphere of life, too — it’s totally up to a bride whether they’d like to go dress shopping without an entourage. That’s fine. Would you rather put the centerpieces together with your best friend and not make it a giant deal by inviting all of your aunts and in-laws? Perfect. This is your wedding after all.

You may find it to be a problem to let these helpers down easily. Exuberant volunteers can be an asset, but they can also cause you a bit of turmoil. Say, for instance, that your helper is really excited about helping you pick out decorations, but you really aren’t into their taste or they are a little bit too pushy. How do you get them to ease up without hurting their feelings? Note: If they are helping you plan your wedding, you probably care about them enough to want to spare their feelings. 😉

Our best advice to help skirt around this kind of situation is as follows:

Let them know you appreciate them 

First of all, acknowledge how awesome you think they are for wanting to be a part of your wedding. A lot of the time, any friction stemming from strong-willed individuals in planning a wedding often comes from their need to feel included. Maybe they weren’t chosen as a bridesmaid and want to have an active role. Just letting someone know how grateful you are of their presence during this time is enough to help them slow their roll.

Distract them with something else

If they offer to help on something that you’d rather take care of yourself, be sneaky and say, “That’s mostly taken care of, but I could really use your help sorting _____ out.” That way, the pressure is off the task you want to handle and they are distracted by this shiny new problem. Bonus for making them feel important enough for you to single them out to help you with the new issue.

Be blunt

If the first two haven’t worked, well, you need to be direct with your helper. That doesn’t mean that you should be rude about it. For example, if your aunt really *needs* to adjust every centerpiece again, frankly say, “You’ve done a great job so far and I really appreciate it, but we’ve got the rest of ______ from here. Relax and enjoy the party.” Make sure not to add superfluous speech like “I think” or “might” — that leaves holes for confusion. Don’t forget to hand her a glass of wine after you tell her to enjoy the party, because she needs it.

What would you do in a situation where a helper is overstepping boundaries? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Planning!

– The Gala Pal Team
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