I had a conversation with a local designer once on dealing with local brides and he said that most of his brides were actually quite easy to work with; the ones giving him problems were the groom, bride’s mother or even her friends! So it’s not always true that brides are usually the monsters when it comes to planning their wedding.
A couple’s wedding day is not just about two people tying the knot; it’s also about celebrating the occasion with family and friends. And when the celebrations and activities involve your elders, relatives and pals, that’s where planning for the big day can get messy.
Some issues could be about doing things in a way that are respectful to your family and relatives, or following traditional wedding customs (See: Significant Chinese wedding traditions Singapore couples should know) you think are irrelevant or outdated. Others may pertain to having things done in a certain way or being stubborn about decisions already made for the wedding. Whatever it is, learn to prevent any ‘zillas’ from spoiling your day with these simple tips.
DISCUSS, DISCUSS, DISCUSS
Before you embark on planning for your wedding, or even settling on the wedding date, talk to your family/partner/in-laws and gather their feedback and advice. It’s good to note down the priorities of your partner and families before confirming your wedding plans.
For example, elders tend to be particular about wedding dates and times so it’s best to get their opinion first. There may also be disagreements on what kind of wedding celebration to have – most parents insist on a grand dinner for relatives but younger couples these days prefer simple, casual affairs. (See also: Decided on a small wedding? Here's how to tell your parents) Have discussions and find out what's important, what's essential and what can be compromised.
BE OPEN AND FLEXIBLE
You may already have a very clear idea of what your wedding will be like, but this may clash with your family or groom’s expectations. See if there is a way to marry the opposing or different viewpoints into one happy celebration. If that is not possible, be open to the idea of having separate celebrations to appease different parties.
Be clear about your budget constraints (See a financial blogger's 7 budget wedding planning tips) and highlight the consequences of certain decisions; it may not be possible to have a lavish banquet at a 6-star hotel for your relatives if you are already planning for an al fresco wedding lunch reception for your colleagues. So everyone needs to be flexible and realistic with his or her expectations before the ‘negotiations’ start.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCT
Everyone has an opinion! This can be especially frustrating when you are trying to confirm certain decisions for your wedding. You may love your wedding dress but your gal pals hate it; if their advice and opinion helps you choose a more suitable dress, then great. But if their advice leads to confusion and no clear solution at the end of the day, then it’s best to listen to your instinct and trust the opinion of your closest friend/ family member. It’s your wedding, so have the celebration, and dress, you’ve always dreamed of.
Some members of your party can be a pain when it comes to the wedding prep and planning: your groom may be frustratingly obsessive about details, or perhaps your bridesmaid throws tantrums when stressed. It’s always good to know the abilities and limitations of every member of your wedding party so that you can utilize their help and talents best.
For example, if your groom gets into arguments with your wedding vendors all the time, then it best for him not to deal with them; ask him to handle tasks like scheduling the time and activities for the big day, or even handling the invite list with your parents and in-laws. If your bridesmaid gets moody easily, assign her to simple tasks like handcrafting favors or decor elements, or even just manning the reception table on the day itself.
Learn to assign the right tasks and projects to the right people and perhaps the entire planning experience will be an enjoyable one for everyone concerned. Remember to also ask your helpers what they would like to help with before you assign out any tasks.