It can be stressful planning a wedding. So many people and places to organise on the same day, with all eyes on you. It’s not surprising some of us can feel overwhelmed at times, but don’t worry – help is here. As Confetti’s wedding expert I have answered thousands of your letters over the years, and now I’m sharing my advice to help others with the same dilemmas.
Q: I feel more like an ornament than a person, how do I cope with wedding planning stress?
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 feels like it’s all for everyone else and not about me and my fiance. I want it to be intimate and personal, but it feels like the royal wedding. I’m beginning to wish we had just eloped as every single decision is so stressful. I’ve completely lost all excitement about my own wedding. Any ideas on how to deal with the stress and start enjoying my wedding planning again?
A: You need to find a compromise that everyone is happy with, and it is possible.
I am sorry to hear you’re not enjoying your wedding planning, this should be an exciting time for you both. I do 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 had initially 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. You need to find a compromise that everyone is happy with, and it is possible.
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 but it is also the wedding of both families and they will therefore likely to want to play a role in its planning. 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 actual legal marriage ceremony is separate to the larger wedding celebration. 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. Once you have all your wedding plans agreed book a spa day or weekend, just the two of you, and get away for some much needed relaxation.
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.