Thursday, February 11, 2010

Wedding Rant: The People Problem

Preparing for a wedding is a laborious process involving lots of people. Lots and lots of people. Sometimes lots of people can be a good thing, but as the saying goes, too many cooks...

Wedding planning participants need to recognize that only two people get to make decisions, and unless otherwise told, all decisions go through both the bride and groom. The wedding planner, should there happen to be one, may make suggestions, but ultimately the decisions rest with the couple. Parents or other financiers may make suggestions, but they must be willing to gift their money without demand on how it's spent (if they choose to help pay for the wedding). And no one has a right to get offended if the couple chooses against any suggestions. It's their wedding!

The previous paragraph has a caveat. Sometimes not every decision needs to go through the couple. Sure, colors, flowers, costumes, etc. need to include both the bride and groom, but sometimes a couple will invite people to help them. This creates another problem: logistics. For us, we had a difficult time figuring out how to include people. It's not that we didn't want help: we couldn't find things for people to help with. It can be hard to stay organized if each element is parceled out to different people, even more so if things are spread out geographically.

A big part of wedding organization and even marriage preparation is groom involvement. I firmly believe that the groom should be 100% involved in wedding plans. The whole notion that the wedding day is all about the bride is crap. The groom may not know what a gardenia is or how to select chair coverings, but my money says he'll love cake tasting and registering for gifts. I also think that if a groom skates by and doesn't help plan the wedding, he doesn't get to open any of the wedding gifts.

The groom should be involved, but some people should be left out. One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding for us was the guest list. People need to accept that the groom and bride selected their guest list and likely had to cut some people out. It's not personal. Sometimes a demand by a parent means one person gets added and another must be cut. The result may be beyond the control of the couple. Send a gift if you want, but get over it.

Exclusions come into place in one other part of the wedding: bridesmaids and groomsmen. I've seen some weddings recently with eight or ten attendants each. The limit should be five. Any more than five looks arrogant. Two looks awesome, three is fine, four is full, and five makes photography a nightmare. Are couples unwilling to upset people, or do some couples really have eight best friends each? What role does Bridesmaid #7 really fill, flower girl wrangler? Keep things under five, please!

And finally, one of the biggest people problems of a wedding: the comparing game. Instead of constantly trying to impress people with how awesome or inexpensive or elaborate your wedding was, can't you be happy for the couple and their big day? Comparing between two married people is fine, but don't try to influence the couple by how you spent your day. It's their wedding day!

No comments: