While many loved ones come out of the woodwork during wedding planning to give words of advice and encouragement, not all sentiments should be followed. Friends and family likely mean well, but bad wedding advice does exist. Some older relatives are following the nuptial norms of years gone by, while others may not understand why their cost-cutting words of wisdom aren’t actually good ideas.
While there’s no need to get confrontational, letting your nearest and dearest know why these pieces of advice will not be incorporated into your special day is important. Here are seven of the most common “bad advice” tidbits and why you shouldn’t heed them:
- “Catering is where to save money, not spend.” If you’re looking for ways to cut costs on your event, start with taking people off of your guest list and consider a Friday or Sunday soirée. One of your priorities should be providing good food to your loves ones as a thank-you for bearing witness to your ceremony. Hiring a reputable, professional caterer with experience is paramount: this is not the time to ask friends and family to bring dishes to share, as unattended food could pose a potential danger.
- “Select bridesmaid dresses that downplay your gals.” There is an unfortunate, long-standing rumor that a bride will try to stand out on her big day by picking unattractive or unflattering ensembles for her bridesmaids to wear. This notion is antiquated at best – at worst, it’s just plain mean – and should be ignored. These women are your closest confidants; why would you want them looking and feeling anything less than their best on this important day?
- “Your wedding party has to be even on both sides.” You may be a fan of visual symmetry, but as much as that passion can be expressed through the décor details of your wedding, it shouldn’t play a part within your bridal party. When selecting your bridesmaids and groomsmen, it’s important to pick people who you couldn’t imagine being without at the altar. You shouldn’t be adding or subtracting people based on the number of attendants your partner will be having – additionally, working out the logistics of walking down the aisle with an uneven wedding party is much easier than you might think.
- “You really should be paying [X amount of money].” No matter if the estimated amount is higher or lower than your intended budget, no one should have a say in how much money you and your beloved are spending on your nuptials. While you may be receiving some help from parents or other relatives, don’t let anyone direct what you should be doing with your own money. The best way to avoid these uncomfortable conversations is to avoid talking about pricing at all – even if it’s something seemingly insignificant, such as the cost of an individual save-the-date card.
- “Don’t do table assignments – let everyone sit wherever they want.” If you’re not up for providing specific seat assignments, we advise that you at least give everyone a specified table. If your guest list is above 30 or so people, you’ll be unintentionally inciting a bit of chaos if you let your attendees sit anywhere they’d like. While it might seem like the easier and, perhaps, nicer thing to do, families could get separated, chairs will be moved from place to place, and your guests’ belongings could get shuffled around. It’s true that most of your friends and family are mature enough to figure out the situation, but with so many people in play, it will just make things more difficult for them.
- “Remember that you shouldn’t plan on 100% attendance.” If relatives try to advise you to order less food, provide less seating, etc. based on the principle that not everyone will end up coming, you’re bound to get yourself into trouble. While it’s likely that you’ll get a few “cannot attend” RSVP responses, the rule is to always plan on 100% attendance – especially once RSVPs are in. Additionally, this means that you should never invite over the maximum occupancy of your venue.
- “Ask a close friend or family member to be your photographer.” This notion goes for all vendor functions; do not ask or employ someone close to you. If you want them at your wedding, they should not have to “work” the event. You may be saving money with a discount, but it isn’t worth having your sweet cousin snap photos of the whole family, or your fun nephew stuck behind the DJ booth all night. Even if your loved one is a trained professional, they should be there to celebrate with you, your partner, and the rest of the guests.
Opening photo by Meghan Rose Photography