Managing Difficult People When Planning Your Wedding

The Alternative Wedding Planner

As we constantly reiterate, wedding planning is mega stressful. Most people think that the planning part is the stressful bit when in fact it is often your friends and family that cause the most stress. Here are our top 7 stressful people you may encounter on the wedding process and how to deal with them.

  1. The random acquaintance that invites themselves

This person is generally someone you quite like but are not especially close to. You have never been to each other’s houses, you don’t even have her number in your phone. However, upon hearing that you’re getting married, she is overly excited and exclaims that she can’t wait to receive her invitation. As much as you genuinely wouldn’t mind having her at your wedding, you are only having close friends and family so she won’t be receiving an invitation. You would never have suspected that she would think she would be invited as you wouldn’t have thought you would be invited to her wedding. Sometimes people think they have a deeper relationship with you than you with them. Other times people just want an invite to a knees up so they can eat and drink on you.

What to do: Explain that due to being on a budget, only close friends and family will be invited and as much as you would love to share your special day with them, you simply cannot afford it.

  1. The mother/mother in law who wants to invite an unreasonable amount of people.

For many mothers/mother in laws the wedding of their child is another opportunity to relive their wedding or if sadly they never had one, to live vicariously through you. Not to mention a chance to rub their friends noses in it that their child has found love and getting married. As such they can become generally overbearing and annoying when inputting into the wedding. Most things can be ignored or tolerated but if they start making unreasonable demands on who you should be letting them invite it can become a major issue causing family conflict. Especially if they are inviting random people just to show off as opposed to because they genuinely want them there.

What to do: Calmly explain your desire to have an intimate wedding with just your nearest and dearest and that the neighbour from 15 years ago doesn’t really count. Provide her with a realistic number of individuals she can invite and let her pick who fills those seats. If she is adamant ask for a financial contribution towards the guests she would like to invite.

  1. The cousin who wants to bring her children

You don’t have any children (or you do but only like your own) and have subsequently decided that you would prefer a child free wedding. Children make lots of noise after all and won’t really value or appreciate the importance of the day. However, your cousin has four kids under the age of ten and everyone in your family who could baby sit will be at the wedding. Worst of all her children are known for being particularly unruly. She is insistent that if her kids cannot attend then neither can she.

What to do: This is a difficult one as it could lead to you potentially falling out with your family member. However, if you really do not want children you have to be firm but understanding. Offer to cover the cost of a babysitter service. Get in touch with other guests who have kids and get everyone to chip in for the cost of a babysitter service. If your cousin doesn’t want to use this option then you need to consider if having a few kids at your wedding is as detrimental as falling out with your cousin.

  1. The individuals who do not RSVP

Chasing RSVP’s is a tedious and frustrating process. You give guests ample time and ample methods to be able to RSVP yet there are still those who do not follow the clear instructions included in your invite. Typically individuals who have organised a wedding before will RSVP pretty quickly as they understand the process. However, others may just assume that you know that they must be coming because obviously you are a psychic and received their telepathic RSVP.

What to do: Put someone else in charge of chasing RSVP’s. A sister, an aunt, a friend anyone. Not only will it mean that your stress levels remain low, but receiving a stern phone call or email from a third party usually gets quicker responses.

  1. The bridesmaid adamant on bringing a plus one

It’s a few weeks before your wedding and one of your bridesmaids has started dating someone and has told you that she will need a plus one so he can come along. Problem is you do not know this person and more importantly neither does she. There are plenty of other people who you would prefer to attend but don’t have the space. However, your bridesmaid says she won’t come if she can’t bring her new boo.

What to do: This is a very upsetting situation primarily due to the selfishness of your bridesmaid. A real friend would not put you in this situation and as such you should definitely not give in to her blackmailing. If that means she is no longer a bridesmaid and you lose her as a friend then unfortunately that is her choice for putting you in an impossible situation. Stand your ground!

  1. The uncooperative groomsman

Before the wedding planning process started you and your fiancés friends got on like a house on fire. Yet, once the wedding planning process began, one friend in particular has become uncooperative. They don’t want to hire a suit, contribute to travel, book into the bridal party hotel, or pretty much do anything you have asked. Your fiancé isn’t really doing anything about it and is being a typical laid back man. However, it is infuriating you and messing with your arrangements.

What to do: Insist on your fiancé sorting it out. Calmly explain to him how upset his friends’ behaviour is making you and how important it is that he does the things you have asked. Let him know how much it is affecting your wedding planning experience. Mae sure you reiterate how much you like the friend and question if there is something deeper going on as you have always got on. Hopefully your fiancé will recognise the severity of the situation and do something about it. Make sure you do not spend the entire conversation bad mouthing his friend or you will come across as a crazy Bridezilla.

  1. The warring bridesmaids

Bringing a group of women together with only you as a common factor can be an automatic recipe for drama. If you have friends from different parts of your life, mixed with family members, there is no guarantee that they will get on. With differing personalities, lifestyles, strengths and weaknesses clashes are somewhat inevitable.  However, good bridesmaids will keep you out of it. If the drama becomes so major that you have to get involved it can create unnecessary stress that you simply do not need.

What to do: Your Chief or Maid of honour should really get all the bridesmaids in check. If she can’t or if she is part of the problem then ask your mum or an aunty to try and sort it out on your behalf. If you simply have to get involved take a calm approach. Explain to all involved how important it is that you remain stress free. Remind them of their roles and why they were chosen and how important it is that they get on for the sake of you having the day you dreamt of. Basically guilt trip them into behaving.

Happy Planning x

5 Ways to Pre-empt Wedding Supplier Cancellations!

Imagine the scenario: You have spent days, weeks, months, maybe even years planning your dream wedding. You have just a few months to go and one of your major suppliers cancels on you. You scream, you shout, you cry, you throw yourself on the ground and curl up in a ball like an injured animal. Why is this happening to you? What will you do now without a photographer/caterer/entertainment…..?

Generally, suppliers are reliable as there reputation is on the line if they cancel. But there is always the chance that some sort of emergency will arise that will lead you to be missing a photographer/caterer/entertainment or another major wedding supplier. Even with the most meticulous planning in the world things happen! It is therefore important when planning your wedding to recognise this in advance. By accepting that things can go wrong you are able to plan in advance how to minimise the impact.

If you take heed of the following 5 pieces of advice you may save your self major headache in the long run!

  1. Wedding Insurance

Even if you are planning a low cost wedding, chances are you will still spend quite a lot of time and effort coordinating your dream day. If something goes wrong you should be compensated in the same way that you would be if your car broke down or something went wrong with your house. Wedding insurance is available for this very reason. There are a variety of providers offering packages at varying costs. Make sure you read the small print and familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions. You wont get your time back but it may soften the blow if you are financially compensated. The finance may also help you hire a new supplier in the event of the original supplier withholding finance or cover price increases incurred because of late bookings.

  1. Contracts

Make sure anything or anyone you book for the wedding provides you with a signed contract and terms of agreement. Again, make sure you read all of the small print and are clear on cancellation policies. It may also be worth having a word with the supplier upon signing a contract just to be clear on what would happen if they needed to cancel. This can avoid you being misled further down the line if they did need to cancel. Contracts do not guarantee that your supplier wont mess you about but it provides you with evidence of what has been agreed which you can use for any insurance or legal claims further down the line. Also when contracts are in place the formality often encourages professionalism.

  1. Ask for references

For any service you hire, make sure you obtain references from previous clients. At a minimum, ask for details of three former customers and drop them an email. Or if you can, give them a call and ask for details of the service they received. The supplier is always going to give you details of the best customers so it is unlikely that you will receive any negative feedback from a reference but asking a few questions can uncover interesting information about your supplier. Also if they are unwilling to provide you with references, this could be a red flag. To be extra careful, also do a Google search for any bad reviews of the service. If any of your friends or colleagues have got married recently ask for recommendations of who they used. If you can hire a supplier that someone you trust has received a good and reliable service from, the risk of you  receiving poor service is greatly reduced.

  1. Hold off payments

Where possible try not to pay for any service in full prior to your wedding. This gives you leverage if you are unhappy with anything provided. This is often difficult however, as many suppliers require 100% payment upfront. If you are unable to negotiate this, ensure that there are clauses in the contract that enables you to get a full or partial refund should the service not be up to standard. Make sure both parties are clear on what dissatisfaction looks like as once payment has been made it is easy for a supplier to put your unhappiness down to a difference of opinion. Having clarity on this included in your contract can save this issue arising if you are unhappy.

  1. Use a wedding planner

As obvious as it seems, it is a wedding planners job to plan weddings. As such they deal with suppliers everyday and often have long standing relationships with a variety of different service providers. They therefore can hire trusted and reliable suppliers for your wedding. Also in the case of them using a supplier that they do not know they are well versed in what questions to ask, negotiating terms and how to spot a dodgy supplier.

Have you had any nightmare experiences with suppliers? Let us know your stories.