2/22 {Ask Liz} Wedding Decisions You Should Never Have Made

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Umm…Nah. (Photo by Edward Underwood)

Dear Liz,

My wedding is this autumn. I have a small family, there’s less than five of us. My fiancé has a large family, over 40. I would be happy with going to the registry office, but to please other people we have to have a church wedding. I don’t want it big, I just want it done. People keep telling me what to do, and at the same time telling me that  it’s my day and I can do what I want. I can’t do what I want though, and these conflicting pieces of “advice”, combined with me not knowing what I want it to look like, are really getting me stressed. I’ve never been a wedding-type of person, never had it planned out since I was a child.  All I know is that I want it to go well.

On top of everything, we have a small budget of £1000 or less and that includes everything. I feel like I’m at my wits end trying to sort out this wedding, get a job, move out and finish Uni before the wedding. I don’t want to set the wedding back any more as we have been engaged for 3 years. I don’t know what to do, can you help?


Stressed a Bit Brit

Dear Brit,

You can’t please other people. First of all, you’re never going to be able to. Second of all, “their” version of a wedding is not what you want, plus it sounds like you really can’t afford it. Don’t get browbeaten into something you don’t want, and don’t want to deal with. Plan the registry wedding, with a brunch/tea/dinner a afterward at a restaurant, for whomever can make it. That type of thing only requires emails and a couple of phone calls.
You must make it very clear to everyone asking why you’re not having the big church wedding. You don’t want one, and you don’t have the money right now in order to have one. Lead with whichever explanation will have the most impact on your audience. Don’t apologize, just shrug – it is what it is. And then, change the subject, ASAP. Stand firm. Good luck.

Dear Liz,

I am having bridesmaid drama. I got engaged a year ago, and my wedding isn’t until April of 2014. When I first got engaged, I asked my then roommate to be a bridesmaid. We have since drifted apart (the distance only exasperated by her own wedding plans) and now I am regretting asking her to be in the wedding.

She was once a very close friend, but now she is just an acquaintance and sometimes it can be awkward around her. We barely talk these days. I am invited to her wedding, but I was not asked to be in it and no explanation was given as to why. I also found out about her engagement on Facebook, she never called me. We have not jet gone shopping for bridesmaid dresses, and she has not asked me about my wedding/and or plans to prepare.

How can I go about asking her to not be in my wedding without destroying our relationship? I just really want to be surrounded by people I know who are happy for me and love me, not just someone going through the motions.


Rock and a Hard Place Bride

P.S. Please tell other brides with a long engagement to be very careful who they ask to be in their bridal party, a lot can happen in two years.

In or out, don’t wait until she raises her hand to ask.

Dear Rock,

First of all, the bold on the P.S. is mine, because, yes: THAT. Try to keep the bridesmaid requests within a calendar year, at the most.

You know, a similar thing happened to me a while back in the last century. I was in a group of four friends, we were all pretty close in college, but when the first of us got married, the other two were asked to be bridesmaids and I…was not. But the truth was, the bride and I had also drifted apart, so even though I was hurt, I wasn’t really surprised, and I was slightly relieved.

Your situation is obviously a little more awkward, but she knows you two aren’t as close as you used to be. You need to tell her though, and as soon as possible. Frame it as, since she’s busy with her own wedding plans, you don’t want her to feel obligated to be your bridesmaid on top of everything else, and so you’ve  asked so and so to take her place…ugh, yeah it’s just ugly.  However, it’s better than her asking about bridesmaid dresses a few months from now, or wondering why she hasn’t gotten any info. Close by saying you’re looking forward to seeing her at her wedding and yours. I can make no guarantees that this won’t further damage your relationship with her, but, you know, the alternatives are either waiting until it becomes REALLY REALLY awkward, or letting it go and embracing her as a bridesmaid. Pick the option that you’ll feel best about in the long-term – it’s not the decision, it’s living with it afterward. But seriously, get it over with, one way or the other, and definitely before her wedding.

Are you being forced into wedding choices you don’t want to make, and looking for a way out? Got some advice of your own? Let me know in the comments below. And, if you’d like to find out more about me and my corner of Wedding Word, visit www.silvercharmevents.com.

See you at the end of the aisle,
Liz Coopersmith is the owner of Silver Charm Events, a wedding planning service in Los Angeles. She's also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and the author of "DIY Your DOC: Do-it Yourself Wedding Day Coordination." Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.