Your wedding is bound to be one of the happiest days of your life, but that doesn't mean the months leading up to it will always be smooth sailing. When you're planning such a big, important, and expensive event, tensions are bound to run high. To help you get through some of the tensest wedding-planning moments, we asked four recent brides to explain how they tactfully handled major wedding-related conflict with family members and friends. Let their experiences guide your own.
By Being Honest
Recent bride Jenny N. found herself dealing with major conflict with her future mother-in-law when her then-fiancé told her that his mom wanted to "gift" them a videographer after the couple had explicitly said they didn't want one. Jenny says, "I didn't want a videographer, and made it known that it was because I'm uncomfortable with the way I look and sound in videos and I wanted to remember my wedding the way I experienced it, not the way a video shows it." However, his mother insisted, and had planned to hire one in secret. Her tactful solution? Once Jenny learned of the plan, she made a point to sit down with her future in-laws in person and explain her point of view. The most important thing she did, though, was express how much she appreciated the offer and all that they had already done for the wedding.
By Deciding What Mattered Most
Helga M. had been dreaming about a June wedding since the moment her fiancé popped the question. Unfortunately, one of her newly-engaged bridesmaids had been sharing that same dream. "My friend got engaged right around the same time as I did. I had already started planning my June wedding when she scheduled hers for three weeks before mine," she says. "I knew there was no way we could be in each other's weddings with them that close together." In the end, Helga decided to forgo a fight and rescheduled her wedding for November, valuing the support of her close friend more than the date. "I still feel a little sad about it every June," she admits.
By Making the Choice That Was Fair to Everyone
When Lauren V. and her then-fiancé first asked her future in-laws to give them an estimated guest list, she had no idea just how big the headcount would be. The groom's parents list included 100 people. Lauren says any suggestions they made of a more streamlined list resulted in arguments with her future father-in-law. He'd say, "Well if you invite this person, that person has to be invited." Eventually, the couple made a decision that seemed most fair to everyone involved: They scaled their guest list down to just their closest friends and immediate family—a decision Lauren says she still regrets the to this day, but felt better about in the moment.
By Sticking to Our Rules
While planning her wedding, Katie J. received a phone call from one of the groom's cousins asking if her new girlfriend would be invited. Katie says her and her fiancé told his cousin that due to the size of both of families, they had decided to only give plus-ones to couples that were currently engaged or living together. "They had only been dating a few months, so we said no. We just couldn't afford to give everyone a plus-one. We tried to explain that, but she said if we didn't let her bring her girlfriend then she wasn't coming either." The couple stood their ground and neither the cousin nor her girlfriend showed up to their wedding.