How to say ‘I don’t…’ when you’re saying ‘I do…’

No sooner has the engagement ring gone on your finger than family and friends begin pitching both their congratulations and their ideas on what you ‘should’ do, and what you ‘have’ to have.  As well meaning as their intentions and anecdotes are, planning a wedding is stressful enough without the added pressure to conform to etiquette.

As a modern day bride you may find that your family are aghast that you don’t want a receiving line to formally thank your guests for attending, or upset that you don’t want to invite old auntie Betty who you haven’t seen since you were five. Perhaps there are tears that you plan on walking down the aisle sans bridesmaids, or that you don’t want a top table at your wedding breakfast.

If you’re facing your own etiquette encounters, the key is to pick your battles and know when to fight and when to capitulate.  If what your family wants won’t affect how you feel on your wedding day, consider agreeing to it as a gesture of goodwill (especially if it’s your in-laws!).

It may be a case that your family don’t feel as if they’re getting a say in your big day. If so, try and involve them in other ways. Ask for their opinions on other matters, or assign them a task that will keep them happy and have minimum affect on your day.  If cost is the reason for your decisions, could you reach a compromise and ask your parents to contribute?

There will be times when you have to stand your ground. Explain the motivation behind any contentious decisions and that it’s not a case of your being a bridezilla.  Make sure that your partner-to-be is on your side too and that you’re a united front.

Remember that it’s your wedding day and no one else’s.  Set your own style and tradition!

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