Here’s an absolute truth about weddings: Even though you and your fiancé(e) are the people getting hitched, everyone from your mom to the mailman will throw in opinions about exactly how the big day should go down. Always keep in mind, you can be selfish during wedding planning. And while advice and input should always be heard and appreciated, never forget that this is your day—and you get the final say. Not sure where to start drawing the lines? Here’s 10 instances in which you should absolutely stay true to your heart during wedding planning.
Whether you’re searching for a flowy white dress or a Solange-inspired jumpsuit, your friends and family will have an opinion on your wedding day attire. It’s easy to get caught up in what everyone thinks, but don’t let their opinions overpower yours. If you don’t feel comfortable and confident in something, it’s not the right option, no matter how many people in your dressing room say otherwise. Our advice: Head to your first appointment solo, and whittle down to three or four options you like. Bring the group for the second appointment—that way, they’ll only be rooting for things you already feel great in.
Your wedding party should be filled with the people who have loved and supported you on the journey to becoming the person you will be when you walk down that aisle; it does NOT have to be made up of only siblings and/or people who have asked you to be in theirs. There’s also no right or wrong number of bridesmaids or groomsmen to have, and the sides most definitely do not have to be even. If you need more help, here are a few extra guidelines to picking your wedding party.
The more guests, the more expensive the wedding. There’s no hard and fast rule on which guests get to bring dates, so that means it’s ultimately up to you and your fiancé(e) to decide how to handle them. Don’t feel pressured to let every second cousin and friend of your father’s bring someone extra. If, however, it is important to you that a person be there, but it would be awkward for them to attend alone, they should be one of the first guests to get a plus one.
A more complicated part of wedding planning is figuring out where to seat everyone come meal time.Things can get tricky, especially if certain people don’t get along. Your decision to seat people near or far from each other is essential to the reception running smoothly. Hopefully your friends and family will be well-versed in wedding guest etiquette and take their seats without complaint. If an issue arises, calmly explain that you did your best to make everyone comfortable, and remind them that they can mingle before and after the meal.
Asking guests to leave their little ones at home isn’t meant to be a dig at friends who have children! It’s a way to minimize chaos and ensure everyone’s focus is on the celebration at hand. Inviting tots adds extra work to your plate in terms of keeping them entertained and finding appropriate food options. If you want to keep things kid-free, be sure invitations are addressed only to the parents. It also helps to add language to your wedding website explaining that there will not be extra food options or babysitters available for children, so it’s best that guests find a babysitter for the evening.
There’s no “right” way to have a wedding. If the garter toss or cake cutting doesn’t feel quite right to you, don’t do it. If you’d prefer to host the cocktail hour before the ceremony, feel free. While the more traditional crowd might not agree with your twists on wedding customs, this day is not about them. It’s about celebrating what makes you and your fiancé(e) unique as a couple, so go what with what feels right to you.
While it’s important to consider your audience when picking your music, don’t let it prohibit you from playing songs you love. We recommend starting off with more casual, crowd-friendly tunes during dinner, but once it’s time to hit the dance floor, it’s totally acceptable to dance your heart out to “Shake It Off.”
The maid-of-honor or best man is typically in charge of planning your last single night out, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give them an idea of what you’d like. While some may prefer a night on the town at the hottest new club, a chill weekend of golf or spa time might be more your speed. It’s supposed to be an event celebrating you, so don’t feel guilty about telling them what you really want.
If there’s ever a time to put yourself first, it’s while you’re registering for gifts. Don’t shy away from things you might not consider “typical” registry items if they are something you and your significant other can enjoy together. So go on, scan that Scrabble game or pizza maker. Your registry helps you start your lives together, so make sure it feels like you. If you need ideas, there’s something for every home decor style in the Registry Style section of our Gift Guide. Another helpful article: How to Register With Grace (and Still Get What You Want).
Where you go after the knot is tied is completely up to you and your fiancé(e). Always wanted to visit Greece? Greece it is! Been dying to go on a romantic cruise? Take one! Whether you go for two weeks or just a few days, as long as you’re together you’re bound to have the time of your life.
All this being said, there is one opinion you can’t ignore during wedding planning: your partner’s. It’s just as much their wedding day as it is yours, so it’s important you work together to create a day that’s meaningful to both of you.