A People Pleaser’s Guide to Planning a Wedding


Check yourself before you wreck yourself (and other useful advice)

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

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I used to say that if I could find a job making people happy for a living, I would take it. You can blame it on growing up the oldest child of multiple divorces, or losing a sibling at a young age and navigating my parents’ grieving process, or being reared with the Catholic urge to “do unto others as you would have done unto you.” Whatever the cause, when life was chaotic, it was reassuring to know that I could, at the very least, control how I was making other people feel. At first, it was a comfort, a coping mechanism. I was the consummate Yes Man. The kid everyone’s parents liked. But as I grew older, the tendency to put the needs of others before my own proved to be just as much of a detriment as it was a skill. Because people pleasing takes time and energy, and both of those things exist in humans as finite quantities.

So it shouldn’t be a shock to find that wedding planning can be a particular kind of hell for people pleasers. Wedding planning on its own means inviting unsolicited opinions into your life, but when you add in a compulsive need to try and satisfy as many people as possible, all at the same time, it can make a girl spiral. I’d like to tell you that halfway through planning I had an epiphany and realized that I couldn’t make everyone happy. Spoiler alert: I didn’t. (That came a few years later in therapy.) Instead, our wedding was complex mix of joy and frustration. But along the way (and in the years since), I’ve picked up some vital coping strategies that would have helped my engaged-self navigate wedding planning with just a little more sanity:

1. “no” does magical things. Saying yes is so much easier and more awesome than saying no. At least it is in the moment. But what happens (as I’m sure you know) is that eventually all those yeses start to add up, and next thing you know, you’re running yourself ragged trying to fit in everything you agreed to, and nobody is respecting your boundaries, because (whoops) you forgot to set some. I used to really, really suck at saying no. I didn’t want anyone to be disappointed or upset with me, so my brain would find ways to try and make yes-ish things come out of my mouth (we’ll see… maybe we can… etc.). Eventually I had to force myself to get comfortable with the idea of letting people down for the sake of my own well-being, so I came up with a script that still makes my people pleaser–self happy, while setting boundaries. “I really wish I could, but I can’t” is both a gentle and firm no. After spending a lifetime spreading myself too thin for fear of making others unhappy, I’ve been surprised to find how quickly most people respect my boundaries now that I have them.

2. It’s OKAY to Disappear for an hour (or five). One of the unfortunate side effects of our modern technology is that we’re now expected to be available all the time. In my people pleaser brain, I generally feel pressure to respond to every email, text, or social media notification with lightning speed. And since owning a smart phone, I’ve been making things worse by enabling push notifications for all of my accounts. It got to the point that every ding of my phone would throw a tiny anxiety ball into the pit of my stomach, because maybe it would be the ding of something legitimately important. I mentioned this in passing to Meg one day, and she looked at me sideways. “Why don’t you just turn your notifications off?” she asked. Since it’s hard to reply to your boss with, “Because my boss might need me,” I did. And surprise, surprise, the sky didn’t fall down. I still check my phone more often than I should, but at least I don’t feel like a slave to it anymore. So if wedding planning has your phone blowing up with reminders that you need to book your caterer, or questions from your mother-in-law about what color dress she should wear, it’s okay if you only give yourself a few designated times each week to acknowledge and respond. Most things in wedding planning (and hell, in life) aren’t as time sensitive as they are made out to be, and it’s better to make informed decisions when you’re in the right frame of mind than to made reactive decisions simply because you’re trying to clear the notifications bar on your phone.

3. You really can’t control people’s happiness. This has been the hardest thing for me to accept as an adult, and the thing I failed to see while planning our wedding: you can control what you say to people, and you can control your intentions. But you can’t force anyone’s happiness, no matter how hard you try. Eventually it became kind of liberating. All I can do is my best. How people react is on them. (This comes with the caveat that if you’re a jerk, you can probably make people unhappy. But if you’re being kind and considerate and they’re still angry? That’s out of your control, friend.) So if you’re finding yourself running up against a wall with a certain person over and over again, and they simply refuse to budge, then you’re probably not the problem. And nothing you change about yourself will fix what’s wrong. The good news is, this means you can shift your focus onto important things—like what you need. Your person will probably still not be happy, but you won’t be exhausted and frustrated from failed efforts at fixing their mood.

4. Everyone does their own thing. A few years ago, we ran a great post about what happens when people pleasers plan weddings. It ended with this line:

Recently, I was feeling guilty about missing my family and friends spread out all across the country (warning: this is wedding side effect). To make me feel better, my very wise husband said, “Ultimately, everybody just does their own thing.” He’s right of course, and that’s how we approached our wedding. Sometimes it’s okay to be different. Sometimes it’s okay not to please everyone. Sometimes it’s okay to let your passion outweigh your practical urges. Because weddings and marriage should never be about taking one for the team. They’re about creating a new team with your partner, where you’ll never feel like you have to.

Whenever I get the urge to please others at the expense of myself, I think of the above passage. The truth is, most people are just trying to do right by themselves. It’s not that they don’t care about you; they just aren’t making decisions with your needs in mind (I mean, think about who you’re trying to please all the time. Are they your most generous people? I’d wager a bet probably not. The exhaustive kind of people pleasing usually comes at the expense of trying to appease people who are very good at looking out for themselves.) Which is to say, it’s not your job to compromise all the time. Most people are pretty good at taking care of themselves. They don’t need you to do it for them.

And the beauty is, when you free yourself up from the obligation of taking care of everyone else, you might find you finally have the space to take care of yourself. Which is good. Because someone’s gotta do it.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

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  • Daisy6564

    I am also a people pleaser, especially when it comes to my parents and older relatives. I fretted for weeks and then cried hysterically when I had to tell my parents that I was moving in with my boyfriend because I knew they would not approve.

    Planning a wedding turned out to be a disaster with this parent-child dynamic, not surprisingly. My parents paid and used that as a reason to basically steamroll the whole thing. To make matters worse I waited too long to stand up to them and really firmly express my dislike and frustration. I also refused to fight with them so any attempt I made to stand up to them basically came too little, too late.

    On the plus side what I learned from all this is that I am the only one who will stick up for my own needs. My parents don’t always have my best interests in mind and now I give much less of a sh*t if they approve of my life choices. It made me grow up a bit.

    • Lisa

      Oof, your first paragraph. I am a major people-pleaser, especially when it comes to my parents. My now-husband and I announced our decision to move in together a couple of weeks before we got engaged, and my mother was crest-fallen. (True fact: she refused to visit our apartment for the entire year we lived together prior to marriage even though she used to come and visit for a weekend every 2-3 months before.)

      That was my first big lesson in asserting myself as an individual and putting my and my partner’s needs above the feelings of others. Though there were a few tense months, the world didn’t come to an end, and my parents have mostly gotten over it now that we’re married. By looking out for my own happiness, other people eventually come around once they see how my decisions affect my life for the better. And if they don’t? That’s their problem, not mine.

      • Elizabeth

        I had almost the same experience. My mother also refused to visit me and I couldn’t look at my phone for 4 months without wanting to throw up for fear there would be yet another pleading/scolding/heartbroken/antagonistic email or message. It was absolutely horrible because it was the first time in my life I hadn’t tried to please them. I feel that maybe if I wasn’t such a people-pleaser when I lived with them, that we could all have reacted more healthily than we did.

        The good news is that once it was time to plan the wedding, they were relatively easy seeing as no decision I could make would be as traumatic as what we had already been through.

        • S

          Moving in with my partner a few years ago, and then getting engaged only a couple of weeks ago have basically been the only times when I haven’t tried to please my parents. They never refused to visit, but I did have the same experience of wanting to throw up from anxiety when I saw them trying to contact me. Since getting engaged they have barely congratulated us or shown any sign of wanting to celebrate. It hurts SO MUCH and have no idea where to go from here.

          • kcaudad

            repeat after me: thank you {parent’s name} for your opinion, I hear what you have said and respect your opinion of what you think I should do. But, I’m an adult now and will make/have made my own decision on this issue.
            These statements have helped my relationship with my father greatly! He has even said to me: I know you are an adult and will make your own decisions, but here is how I feel about your current situation…

  • Everybody always says that you can’t make everybody happy, but the thing is…none of our guests complained. We made some decisions that you’d think would tick some people off, such as including choosing to invite only 30 people, getting married on a Monday, in a location that was a 10 hour drive for my family (as a result my grandparents couldn’t come), and a transatlantic flight for his, choosing not to have an open bar (though beer, wine, and signature punch was on us), not getting married in a church….the list goes on. We worked really hard and went out of our way to be good hosts but we definitely made some tough decisions. And NOBODY complained, got offended, or offered their unsolicited advice. All I heard were compliments, encouragement and positive comments. Did people bitch behind my back? Who knows, but I didn’t hear any of it, and no bride or groom will hear anything negative from me about their wedding, that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

    • Anon

      We’ve found the same but I attribute it partially to paying for it ourselves, partially to being a little older (mid and late 30s), and partially to a “don’t ask, just tell” method of making and sharing plans with family. However, neither of us struggle (much) with being people-pleasers and our families have okay boundaries, so mostly I just count myself fortunate. (Definitely don’t mean to suggest that this is some brilliant solution for those who are not in the same situation. Hugs!)

      • CII

        As a people pleaser who also worked with her other half to pay for our own wedding, I would highly recommend this “don’t ask, just tell” method of wedding planning. And for decisions that people didn’t need to be involved in (what my dress looked like, the decision to serve cookies instead of cake, etc., we employed the “don’t ask, don’t tell, just let them show up and they probably won’t complain on the day you are getting married” technique. That requires a certain level of tact in family members but it worked fine for us.

        • Anon

          I sometimes wonder/worry that we’ll get a few years down the road and have regrets about being such an island when I know that it can be so meaningful to family to be involved. But we’re doing what feels best to us now and doing our very best to keep our guests’ comfort in mind. This article is a wonderful reminder that there are pros and cons no matter which way you choose to do something!

          • Greta

            And if you’re worried about being an island, or you have a family member that really wants to help with something, give them one thing to be in charge of that you don’t care that much about, and let them roll with it. It can be empowering for the other person, and get them off your back about everything else.

      • We also payed for our own gig, and employed the ”don’t ask, don’t tell” but I’m sure that even if use used people as a sounding board during planning they would have given me their ‘solicited’ opinion and still been happy with whatever decision I made.

        Full disclosure: My French in-laws also organized a second reception for us in France, which they paid for and organized. It was very ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ as all we did (literally) was show up, and all of the details were a surprise (by design).

        I guess my husband and I and our families are all laid back when it comes to weddings. The only truly important thing is that we were all together to celebrate and there was ample food and drink to go around.

  • macrain

    As a people pleaser in recovery, to me the hardest part about saying “no” is the horrible guilt it can bring on, slash the belief that everyone is mad at you. As you are wading through these feelings, it’s easy to think- “Well, how the hell is THIS good for my well being?! I feel awful!” It takes practice, and it does get easier. The more you do it, the more feelings of guilt get replaced with feelings of empowerment.
    I won’t lie though- sometimes it’s hard to escape the guilt bomb, even now. There are times where I decide it’s not worth it and I just give in. And this was actually pretty useful in wedding planning- sometimes, boundaries are necessary, and sometimes, it’s just not worth the fight because you’ve got other fish to fry.

    • Laura C

      Yup. When I agreed to have a bigger wedding at a more expensive venue than I wanted, I told everyone that the thing that worried me was that trying to keep things under control from that point was setting me up for a solid year of saying no, when I’m no good at saying no. And indeed, it was tough — I felt like a jerk saying no to a lot of stuff, but I also felt resentful because I’d said right at the outset that I was making a big concession and that I needed people to recognize that and not expect me to keep compromising throughout, and of course that got forgotten.

      • Kathleen

        I wouldn’t even describe myself as a people pleaser by nature, but I had this same guilt/resentment, and it’s so hard! I agreed to have a way bigger/show-ier wedding than I wanted in terms of guest list, and made some big, up-front concessions that I thought would sort of get “paid back” as we kept planning. Instead, it felt to me like everything was snowballing, and when I tried to set boundaries or remind well-meaning family that “well, the whole backdrop of this thing was a big ‘give’ for me” (in what I hoped was a nice way), it felt like things just got worse! Then I was suddenly a bridezilla and I wasn’t considering the group, and my well-reasoned opinion was wrong but I couldn’t see it because I was being too controlling and I couldn’t let go, etc. etc.

        We’re over a year out from our wedding now, but I am still dealing with some of the complicated emotional challenges that came up over the course of planning. It honestly has made me much more careful with compromise, and much more insistent on setting boundaries when I need them.

  • Lauren from NH

    People pleasing can go both ways. You yourself over doing it, and others over expecting it. Wedding planning for us revealed some people were only in our corner on the condition we operated under their value system. It was ugly and destroyed a lot of good faith. I will never understand the inclination to possess other people’s lives. We tolerate this kind of behavior a lot more with family, but when we see a friend start to do it most people run like the wind right quick or tell them to shut it. I think that is rather telling.

    Actually just for a minute imagine if you DID make a huge stink to your friend that you thought they were doing some part of their wedding wrong. Inviting too many of these people and not enough of these other people who were important to you, not having a priest, which is your belief system… I think your friend, verbally or non verbally would tell you to go fuck yourself. Because it’s their wedding not yours and you can do whatever the eff you want at your own wedding or if you won’t be likely having a wedding anytime soon, throw your own damn party where you can celebrate your way!

    But with families people tend to assume they have your best interests at heart, or at a bare minimum that you owe them some consideration. But at some point they don’t automatically know best anymore because if you are getting married you aren’t their baby anymore, but an autonomous adult. Adults get to make their own choices, based on their own values and weigh the options, and if they don’t or mis-weigh the options, adults get to make their own mistakes. For some reason some people get stuck in the transition from child to adult, and fail to let go. Sometimes it is meant well and people just get caught up, but at the end of the day love and support should never be about possessing someone.

    • Sarah

      All of this!! My parents said some really inappropriate stuff about my partner and our relationship about six months ago, under the guise of being worried about me and having my best interests at heart. This has been particularly hard for me to take because I’m so used to trying to live up to my parents’ standards that it’s really hard for me to act in a way that’s contradictory to their beliefs. And also, as part of being a people pleaser I prefer to avoid conflict, so I’m still yet to properly confront this situation. I know I need to set some boundaries, but going about that is pretty foreign to me.

      • Jules

        I feel for you. I had a really good friend voice some opinions about a relationship, and I had every intention of discussing it afterwards (and was kicking myself for even allowing that conversation to happen – twice – instead of saying the second time that it was off-limits). But it took me so long just to cool down and become less angry that it never happened.

      • Lauren from NH

        That sounds a lot like my partner’s experience. Having an easy-going nature can be a great thing until people start trying to push you around and you’re not sure how to push back. We found worse than the stress of setting boundaries, was trying to hold them. All of that breaking of patterns, being disrespected,confronting people and holding your ground, it makes you stronger, but it kind of hurts too, like you never wanted to need to be that strong against people you care about. In time I have seen the greater good of it all, my baby family’s happiness and autonomy are secure and will continue to be as a result of this brutal crash course in boundary setting, but it took a while for it not to feel crappy.

        • Jules

          Oof, we’re post-wedding, and it still feels kind of crappy. We aren’t even to the holidays yet…

          I also think there’s some weirdness when you DO set a boundary / explicitly communicate, and people just kind of…ignore it, but they do it in a way that means well or is generally regarded as a good thing. Like if you want a dry wedding, and someone ends up bringing or trying to donate really expensive booze. In our case, we wanted my SIL (a film major) to record the ceremony, DSLR or iPhone-with-a-tripod style. Instead, she was up in people’s faces during the whole wedding (two people complained to me about this later) and asked for $200 of equipment 3 days before the wedding. I realize she had good intentions, but at the same time couldn’t quash the annoyance that her wanting to “do what was best” was done by basically overriding “would you do us the favor of recording the ceremony, our budget is $0 but we can supply some equipment for you with advance notice, we just want something really low-key with a video for posterity, we don’t really want the whole reception or anything…”.

          Anyway, it was weird thinking we’d done well by preemptively saying no to some stuff, but in reality it was like we hadn’t – and not wanting to bring it up post-wedding for fear of misinterpretation.

          • Kathleen

            This happened to us a TON with my husband’s family. We set really careful boundaries that we thought were respectful, communicated them in an up-front and honest way, and talked to them a lot about the day we wanted to have, asked for their input, incorporated it, etc. But they are not particularly good with boundaries generally, and they sort of just… forgot, and/or ignored everything we said. I felt like a crazy person, because it was the opposite of what we had talked about, and there was no conversation that seemed to have any effect!

            At the time we were kind of just forced to roll with it, because “they mean well” and “it’s not really worth the stress/fallout this close to the wedding”, but then afterwards it felt like “well, now that we’ve had a 2-week honeymoon and are so far removed, do we even want to hurt their feelings by bringing it up?” There truly seemed to be no good solution.

      • CP2011

        I dealt with this too and it’s so so hard. I’m not conflict-averse except for when it comes to my parents.

      • GinaFSchneider
  • laddibugg

    “I’ve been making things worse by enabling push notifications for all of my accounts.”
    I have push notifications enabled for many accounts, but I make sure they aren’t audile, vibrating and that they don’t trigger the LED. Best thing ever. If I didn’t have any type of notification for some accounts, I’d never access the app in a timely fashion, but all the notice I need it a notification message in the statusbar.

  • Confused

    This!! I’m trying to pick a wedding dress right now and I’m torn between two very different dresses. One dress got mom and grandma’s approval, its well within budget (mom’s paying so I’m trying to be respectful) It feels good on, I could see myself getting married in it, with some tailoring and extra bling added. On the other hand I tried a beautiful lace dress, pretty much matches exactly my 4000 pins of lace fit and flare dresses that also looks nice, over budget by $300, so not the end of the world, and is seeming to be the crowd favorite to whomever I’ve shown the pictures too. How in the heck to I figure out which one I like better???

    • Jules

      It sounds like you like #2 better, if that’s what you had in mind? Crowd-sourced approval from people usually only leads to more confusion. **Go with your gut** – especially with fashion choices. You do you. If your mom (who is paying) is OK with the second choice, then that’s great. I’m more of the mindset that it’s your dress and will matter a lot more to you than anyone else. I think the only exception is when Option B is SO different and you really want to meet your mom halfway – like if Option B is a rad gold and blush sequin dress, but it means losing the peace with Mom (and I do mean losing the peace, not “but I wish you’d wear white…”), then can be a reasonable concession.

      Rarely are choices going to please everybody, in the sense that typically if you show people options A and B, some people will choose A and some will choose B. However, if you tell people, “look at my option B dress!” they’ll probably be very excited for you and give their compliments (even if they would have chosen A).

      • Greta

        Yes to this – your dress matters more to you than it does to anyone else. I’ve seen a lot of different brides wearing a lot of different wedding dresses, many of which were not my style or personal taste at all. But they all looked gorgeous and happy, and that’s all I remember.

      • Confused

        That makes so much sense! I think what I’m having trouble with is reconciling myself to really liking a dress that wasn’t what I thought I wanted. Looking back at the pictures, I feel partial to the lace dress, but when I was in the store the chiffon dress just felt so much better. Its hard because I was trying them on and getting opinions at the same time, so not impartial at all. Also the lace dress I tried on at a store with a very very pushy consultant who spent the whole appointment sucking up to me, which just felt icky. I think the answer will be going back alone and trying them on again with a different consultant.

        • Confused

          I also feel that because the first dress is exactly half the price I am leaning more towards that, because I said going in I didn’t want to spend too much money on the principle of the thing. Easy to say when you don’t have a beautiful dress on!

          • raccooncity

            I don’t know your whole story, so I don’t know if you’ve been looking for a long time, but I was having a similar issue between a dress that was affordable and one that I liked a lot but was about 20% over budget. I was stressing about it a lot, since I didn’t want the main expense of the wedding to be something that was for me, me, me when In my heart i think weddings are us, us, us.

            The end of my story is that I went looking somewhere else and found an option C – something similar to the second dress that I actually liked MORE (it had sleeves!) and cost less – well within budget, which made me feel MUCH better. Especially since it was within budget INCLUDING forseeable alterations.

          • Confused

            I’ve been looking for a bit, our wedding isn’t for a year but as we have to travel out of town to get to any dress shops I wanted to get it done sooner rather than later just in case we don’t find anything and I have to travel further. I just got an email back from the dress shop saying they could indeed do some modifications to the chiffon dress that my mom and gramma liked to bring some more elements that I wanted into it, (big blingy belt and a button back instead of corset) so I’m thinking that would tip the scales in that direction. Still going to go down probably with my mom once more but make her wait in the lobby till I decide :)

        • Lauren from NH

          Ding ding ding! Try them on yourself with a different consultant. It may still be confusing, but at least you will have some more of your own feelings to help you choose.

        • Jules

          Those things are hard to separate. My dress was….what I imagined and not, all at the same time. It sounds like a second trip is in order; try to tune out the other voices.

          As far as the money, although sticking to a budget is definitely important (and you should be prepared to cover the difference in case it’s over what Mom planned), don’t feel guilty spending more than you thought. These things are hard to gauge in advance and as long as your money is going where your values are going, I don’t think it’s something to kick yourself over.

          My dress was over my original budget estimate, and I found one I liked in budget, but in hindsight I am SO glad I got the dress I did. We shuffled some things around in the budget, and I have always been a “dress person” – I used to spend months searching for the right homecoming/prom/formal dress, of course I was picky about my wedding dress. After that I let the principle go (I, too, wanted to only spend $X on principle, but then I realized the guilt wasn’t productive in my situation).

          • Eenie

            Also just don’t tell anyone what you spent on your dress. Obviously your mom will know, but you don’t have to broadcast the news. Who is to say that you didn’t get a really great deal on it?

  • raccooncity

    I have really tried to think of wedding planning almost exclusively as really good training in saying ‘no’. I have been doing much better than I used to, but…some maybe-letmethinkaboutit-sure-letmeaskthespouse responses still come out…especially when it’s my parents or inlaws doing the asking. Still though, what a great opportunity to say no to a million trivial things over the course of a year!

  • Kermit

    Love this post, such good perspective. Only wish I had read this a few weeks ago (wedding is now less than 2 weeks away). I have an overly practical question that I would love some crowdsourced wisdom on: How much information do you need to give your guests in printed form on the day of the wedding? We have sent out an email that outlines shuttle information, tells people where events are happening, about the brunch the next day and all that good stuff. We also have a super informative website with all of that information repeated. On the actual day of the wedding, we’re trying to figure out what printed materials we need to post and or hand out to people beyond the seating chart. For example: programs, numbers for taxis, information about shuttles, timing of dinner, information about the brunch. Or is it enough for it to be in another email sent closer to the day? As someone who is getting pretty burnt out on wedding planning, we are looking to keep things pretty lean, but I also don’t want folks confused and I lean towards spoon feeding information multiple ways. My fiance thinks an email is sufficient, plus a simple program with the wedding party/ceremony details. Would love some perspectives of other folks.

    • Jules

      I would do one email, one printed. Not all my guests check their email.

      The print version only needs to contain vitals: what time & where are the events, and maybe a map if it’s super confusing and there is more than one location THAT day (ceremony to reception site for instance). Whether you post the detailed schedule (6:00 dinner, 7:00 cake, 10:00 exit…) is up to you; I don’t think that’s necessary if it’s going to happen in sequence. If you paid for the shuttle to run during certain hours, that’s info to include, but I don’t think you’d need to list, say, the local taxi number…

      I’d also leave the brunch and rehearsal dinner info for the website, unless you’re going to go the route of “welcome kits” that would include the whole wedding weekend. I only bothered to spoon-feed wedding day info since that was the most important.

    • Lawyerette510

      I think it depends on your guests and where the wedding is. If the info is online and people have the website info or the actual info in their emails, it decreases the need for printed materials (assuming there’s data service where the festivities are); if your guests are pretty much all the kind of people who use smart phone or are accompanied by people who use smart phones, it decreases the need for printed materials; and if you’ve set the expectation that the invitations/ email/ website is where the info will live, so people should refer to it for specifics then it decreases the need. It sounds like you’ve been really clear and you’ve been communicating virtually, so probably that would be fine, and maybe you want to print something out (in a very basic format) if there are some near-and-dear ludites you want to make sure have the information.

      For example, when we were married last year in a small (under 60 people total) wedding, the only thing ever printed was the save the date. We were really clear that everything else would be virtual, also everything was taking place at two locations, across the street from each other, in a tiny town on a Sunday night and a Monday night, so it would’ve been really hard to miss. The two days of celebrating took place somewhere with very limited cell data but also nearly everyone was staying onsite, so, we emailed the info and had the info in our app, and we made sure to tell people that there wouldn’t be service once they got to Boonville, so print out the info before leaving home or download by the time they reached a specific point on the drive up. That said, because my mom is scatterbrained, I did make a print out for her of the specifics she needed to know and gave it to her a few days before the wedding. Also, because we bought out a hotel/ restaurant the contact there had asked for the specifics so she could give them to her staff in case people asked them, and I made sure that a few key people who are outgoing, proactive and assertive were comfortable being knowledge sources in case people had questions. In comparison, my cousin married earlier this year in a 250+ guest wedding, she and her husband had a website with the basic info, but it was hard to find because they didn’t put it on the save the dates or in with the wedding invitation or shower or rehearsal dinner invitations or anywhere other than on their own facebook pages and I didn’t find out about its existence until someone mentioned it at the wedding. I took pics of all the papers they sent so I could pull everything up as needed while we were there, but it was nice to arrive at the hotel and have all that info printed and on a map, because there were multiple events in multiple locations across a city, all of which were on separate pieces of paper (and sometimes in separate mailings), and it ends up there was a brunch the day-after-the-wedding I’d been inadvertently left off the invite list for that I wouldn’t have known about without the master piece of paper they had for us at the hotel.

  • Steph from NYC

    Thanks for the shout out Maddie! So proud and happy to see my original post continue inspiring others!

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  • KW

    I am a people pleaser and knew it would get me into trouble (considering I also hate event planning) so I avoided it all by essentially eloping. Now I have 2 engaged nieces who also have those tendencies to some degree and also some interesting family dynamics to navigate. I shared this piece with them last night and had a short IM discussion about it, and then one talked to me a bit more privately about some of her challenges (she is the one further along in planning). So for this article, and for all the other posts here that really have such great advice from the official APW writers and all the commenters, thank you everyone!

  • DianaAMiddleton

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  • I just want to share my similar experience:
    1.) Sometimes it really helps to just say “NO” without even explaining. The explaining part creates frustration on my part. When we planned our wedding to be RSVP in Westella Renaissance and when somebody makes a last minute call attempt to attend your wedding, just simply say “NO” without thinking of how are they going to feel.

    2.) My wedding planner in Westella Renaissance created a Facebook event page for my wedding wherein all of my invited guests can ask questions regarding my wedding. So all of the questions will be answered by the wedding planner and not me.

    3.) We also planned to combine the wedding reception venue and the wedding ceremony in just one place. We did not think of what others will say about our wedding plan. Honestly, we save a lot of money. Westella offered us a very flexible wedding package deal. It’s a mission accomplished for us because we didn’t spend all of our savings in just one big day. We also did not think of what other’s will say because it is OUR DAY.

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