Wedding planning is a funny thing. It's a process that quickly goes from really exciting and filled with possibilities to a seemingly never-ending task list full of mundane to-do's. And to add icing on top of the cake, family and friends start in with about a million wedding-focused questions almost as soon as that ring finger gets adorned.
Since the holiday season is ripe with family gatherings and dinner table chats about all things wedding, we've come up with a few fail-proof tactics to keep the conversation light and easy to breathe through. This year, there's no need to get yourself worked up into a wedding panic.
Have a go-to subject change
It's totally okay to change the subject if you just don't want to get into the nitty gritty of wedding planning while you're at a party. Plan to have a go-to with something easy that opens up a different discussion like, "we haven't really gotten into the wedding plans because we've been so obsessed with XX (examples: watching Stranger Things on Netflix, searching for our first home together, planning our honeymoon, etc.)." And let the conversation roll in a different direction from there.
Take a vote
Ask around the table about everyone's favorite first dance song for a wedding. By keeping the topic light and hypothetical, you can ease the conversation from wedding to music, and everyone has opinions about music they love. Don't share your real choices though—this isn't time for a debate, and you certainly don't want to hear any disses about your choices.
Flip the script
People love talking about their own wedding experiences and are usually more than happy to share what works and what doesn't. When you start to feel at a loss for explaining things you've chosen for your own wedding, you might try flipping the script. Ask the person you're chatting with how they felt when they tried on their wedding dress, what cocktails they'd love to have at their own wedding, or if they've seen any good movies about weddings lately.
Bring a third party in
If you're really struggling through a conversation that's all about the wedding, look for a stander-by you may be able to throw a Hail Mary to. By inviting someone else to join the conversation, you can take the focus off you and your wedding and instead transfer the focus to something like, "Hey Aunt Sue, whose wedding do you have the best memories of?" Hopefully Aunt Sue will have some incredible story to tell that gets you out of the spotlight.
Keep it light
While you may be getting loads of budget-related questions from a particularly interested audience, there's absolutely no reason you should feel obligated to talk about your wedding finances to anyone besides your fiancé and your parents. In order to take the conversation in a different direction, keep it light and don't indulge. Worst case scenario, you can always respond by saying something like, "we haven't really crunched numbers yet."
Focus on the surroundings
When all else fails, changing the subject to the food on the table is always an easy decoy. Complimenting the chef and asking about the way something was prepared is a simple diversion away from the wedding chatter. Same can be said for centerpieces, or even chatting about the playlist if the music is good.
The reality is that most married people tend to have wedding planning amnesia. It's like they forget how stressful, time consuming, and frustrating the whole process is. And they certainly don't want to hear about that at a party. So, stick with your diversions and lightness of conversation in order to keep calm and carry on. And if all else fails, pour a glass of champagne for yourself and your fiancé, because you just might need the bubbles.