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Ask Kate: How do I cope with wedding planning stress?

February 27, 2013

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


My fiance and I have only been wedding planning for two months and already I’m fed up with the whole thing. At first our families were both really supportive and told us to do whatever we wanted, but more recently his family in particular have become a bit more pushy about what they think we should and shouldn’t have. I really don’t want a large wedding, but appreciate he has a big family so was willing to increase guest numbers to accommodate them. But it’s all starting to get a bit out of hand, and now I feel more like an ornament than a person – I’m going to be on show and it’s all for other people than about me and my fiance. It should be intimate and personal, not like the royal wedding!

I’m now really fed up with the entire thing and I’m beginning to wish we had just eloped or something. Every single decision is so stressful and every decision we come to always seems to disadvantage someone from his side. I’ve completely lost all excitement about my own wedding, and I can’t get it back. Any ideas on how to deal with this and start enjoying this again?


I am sorry to hear you’re not enjoying your wedding planning, this should be an exciting time for you both. I think you need to speak up – carefully and diplomatically and as soon as possible – to make sure that the intimate day of marriage you want is not completely hijacked into the royal wedding that your fiance’s family appear to want.

Start by sitting down with your fiance and explaining to him that you are worried the wedding is becoming so far from what you wanted. Find a way, together, to communicate this to his (and your) family without making it seem as though you are ungrateful for their help and interest. There will be some compromise that can be reached but you will need to discuss things to find out how you can come to a compromise that everyone (or at least you and your groom and ideally your parents) are all happy with.

It’s worth undestanding where your family may be coming from with their thinking…. Older generations may expect to organise their children’s weddings as their parents did theirs so it could be that your future mother-in-law is under the impression that it is partly her responsibility to help organise the wedding. It is your wedding and yet your family will feel that it is also their family wedding and will want to play a role in its planning and don’t want anyone to miss out. Ask your fiance to help communicate your joint wishes to his family as he knows them better than you do.

One compromise may be that you have a small scale ceremony for close family and friends only – so you don’t feel so ‘on display’ and your marriage takes centrestage over the ‘wedding’. Then invite all your extended family and friends to the reception or at least to the evening reception so everyone gets to come along but you still feel like you are having a more intimate wedding. I hope that helps and I do wish you luck with this. x

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