Getting stressed out by wedding planning? Wedding Ideas is here to help! Emily Berryman asked some of our favourite wedding experts for their solutions to some tricky big day conundrums – here’s what they had to say!
1) How do we bring up money?
“Raising the money issue with parents can feel incredibly awkward, so get it out of the way as soon as possible!” says wedding planner Carmen Yuen-Stevenson. “Ask if they can help out, and if so, which part of the wedding they would like to contribute to. That way, you make it clear that any contribution – however big or small – will be greatly appreciated.”
2) Can my bridesmaids buy their own dresses?
“If finances dictate, then yes, but have this conversation face-to-face and choose bridesmaids that will understand your financial predicament,” says Liz Taylor, of celebrity wedding planners the Taylor Lynn Corporation. “Be clear that you are happy for them to choose an affordable design they can wear again. Expecting them to fund a bespoke bridesmaid gown is a definite no-no!”
3) My mother-in-law is driving me crazy!
“It’s natural for mums to get excited over wedding preparations, so while you may not relish her constant input, it is important to let her feel involved too,” says wedding florist Elizabeth Marsh. “Most mums love flowers, so why not use her as a sounding board for the endless floral possibilities? Also, don’t forget to offer her a corsage so people know she is special.”
4) How do I prune plus-ones?
“Ditch plus ones altogether – if you don’t know the name of your friends’ latest squeeze, why invite them?” says Helen. “Use your invitations to explain that your wedding will be an intimate celebration, allowing you to spend quality time with each guest, and for this reason you are only extending your invitations to partners you know really well.”
5) How do I tell friends they are evening-only?
“Let your invitations do the work,” says Liz. “Make it clear about attendance times and the fabulous party they have been invited to. You could also add a note to explain who else you have invited that your friends may know. This reassures them that other friends will be attending and encourages attendance.”
6) Help me seat my warring parents!
“Forget tradition! There are no set rules as to where you seat your parents, so go with your heart – whether this means seating them on opposite ends of the top table or allowing them to host their own dinner table,” says Carmen. “After all, it’s your day and both parents will want you to be happy.”
7) My supplier keeps adding costs!
“Triple check your correspondence with suppliers and politely ask them if they could provide you with a thorough breakdown of where these extra costs are coming from,” suggests Helen. “If extra charges are unjustified and unclear, forward all your past correspondence agreeing the original prices. Mistakes can happen, so always keep your paperwork.”
8) Does my fiancé’s sister have to be a bridesmaid?
“No, she doesn’t – and there are a variety of other roles you could ask her to get involved with so she doesn’t feel left out,” says Helen. “Maybe she’s a culinary genius and would love to bake your cake? Or how about performing a reading at your ceremony? Happy sister equals happy groom.”
9) Our parents are hijacking our guest list!
“While it is your day, you need be sensitive to the fact that your parents may want to share your big day with their friends, too,” says Liz. “Ensure there is a good balance of guests from both sides of the family and agree a certain number of invites that they can extend. That way everyone should be smiling.”
10) Why isn’t my fiancé helping?
“Your groom is probably keen to get involved but is looking to you for a steer as to what his role entails,” says Lewis Watson at formaltailor.com. “Draw up a list of jobs he might like to do with the help of his best man. The men’s formal wear, entertainment and cars are good places to start.”