This is a great question and a fabulous answer by Dr. Liz from Stronger Marriage.org.
Here is question a frustrated bride sent me this week: "My in-laws want to invite people we don't even know or care about AND don't have the money for! How can we politely tell them to stop adding people???!?"
A Little Shrink Insight- Weddings are a BIG deal to parents. Not only is it the beginnings of their adult child’s marriage but also the beginning of their own new family constellation. Parents want to share in the celebration and begin the introductions; the easiest way to do this is at the wedding. After all, how many nights a week do you want to hang out with all their friends when you have your own social circles? So they figure now is the time to do it!
What Could Help Prevent & Potentially Help This Situation? Set up a separate meeting with each set of parents shortly after the engagement (or when you notice new names on the guest list!) to share what each party envisions, and offer a rough estimate of what you as a couple hope to plan for your wedding. Share a first draft of who you would likely invite to the wedding and get your parents responses. Here is where you can all view the potentially opposite views of the guest list and other wedding decisions, rather than having a constant stream of disagreements and resentments.
What Would NOT Help… Excuses that try to prevent hurting your parents instead of telling them the truth will make matters worse, not better. For instance, if you use “money” as the reason for not being able to accommodate your parents’ friends, it may backfire in one of two ways.
1. Your parent may now offer to pay for their extra guests and perhaps now you'll be even more resentful because you don't want these strangers at your wedding in the first place.
2. Your parent may interpret your reason as 'money means more than their feelings or friendships'. It also opens up for criticism on where you are spending the wedding budget.
Speak early and often to both sides of the family. If a misunderstanding develops, take ownership for not speaking up sooner and informing them of the details. It’s far better to take blame than place it. (And it’s a far quicker recovery; trust me!)
What wedding dilemmas are you facing? Write in and share your wedding woes and Dr. Liz will answer them right here on the blog!
Over two years ago, life as a bridal gown consultant started out being a little more challenging than I had anticipated. Even so, it is the best job I have ever had. I wouldn't trade my job for any other. I wouldn't want to miss out on crying brides and families and beautiful flowing dresses. I get to help make brides’ dreams come true. It is fantastic and I love it. But every bridal appointment and every bride that stood on her pedestal as I fluffed her train, I secretly wished it was me gazing into the mirror picturing my wedding day and my groom's face when he saw me for the first time. I wondered when it would be my day to find the perfect dress. Little did I know that Mr. Wonderful was waiting just around the corner and a few months ago, I had the privilege of finding my dream dress and having my own special day.
Having worked both sides of the line as a bridal consultant and as a bride, I have a few tips for future brides when buying their wedding dress.
Ivory is the new white.
Don't be afraid to at least try on an ivory colored dress. Ivory dresses have become very popular in the fashion world. Parents and grandparents can be a little skeptical of this color because they believe that ivory is a symbol of impurity. I assure you that it is not! Ivory colored dresses look significantly better on most skin tones than a stark white color. White tends to wash people out but ivory has a softer appearance. Ivory dresses also photograph better according to most professional wedding photographers. Ivory can usually only be detected if it is by something stark white, therefore if you purchase an ivory gown, please make sure that your groom wears an ivory or cream colored shirt with his attire so that you guys will look well together and not two toned.
Prices of wedding dresses seem to be only increasing and not decreasing! Keep in mind what type of dress you are looking for. The more material, bead work, or lace that a dress has, the more expensive it will be. Also pay attention to the construction of the dress. Well-made dresses will have good lining and boning in the bodice giving you a better shape. These high quality dresses are more expensive, but worth every penny. Make sure that when you are planning a budget for your dress that you take into account all wedding accessories (that most of the time is not included in the purchase of a dress like: veil, slip, shoes, jewelry). Please also take into account the cost of alterations! Wedding dresses are made for one body type which no one is. It is very rare that brides do not need some sort of alteration (hemming, bustles for the train, adding sleeves, taking in and letting out seams, etc.)
IT IS OK TO BUY YOUR DRESS ON THE FIRST VISIT! A lot of brides believe that if they haven't tried on a million dresses that they haven't shopped enough. But when you find the dress you love none of the other dresses can compare. You will just know. A lot of brides will fall in love with the very first dress that they try on. It is not impossible. There is nothing more frustrating than when a bride leaves to try on more dresses and comes back exhausted, only to discover that her original favorite dress was perfect. As a bride, there is a lot of planning and organizing that takes place, why waste your time shopping for more dresses when you simply go out and compare your favorite dress to everything else? There are four basic cuts of dress that you will try on at every store. Save yourself time, money, and effort and buy the dress that you love when you know it’s the one! Don't be afraid to fall in love on your first try.
Once you find your dress you are able to plan the rest of the wedding around you. The wedding dress sets the mood and tone of your wedding and also helps you figure out what the bridal party will be wearing.
Many brides seem to have the misconception that they have a lot of time however, there are several more things to be considered that present time limits. Some brides will choose to take bridal pictures before the wedding so they need the dress even sooner than the day of their wedding. Dresses also need time to be cleaned and steamed before pictures and the wedding day. If your dress needs alterations (major or minor) most alteration shops need 3-4 weeks for any alterations on wedding dresses. It all takes time. No time like the present. Check the dress off the list!
As I followed the above mentioned tips when choosing my own perfect dress, I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out. I absolutely loved my dress! It was the highlight of my wedding. It was precisely altered to fit my body, looked fabulous in pictures, and was within my budget. I felt special and stunning in it. My dress turned every head in the room. ~ Leslee, a Lauren James Bridal Consultant.
Below are pictures from my wedding...
Photographer: Gideon Photography
Bridal Attire: Lauren James Bridal & Formal