Wedding planning is a very delicate balancing act. First and foremost, bride and groom must see eye-to-eye. Secondly, other people may well be involved, and their feelings and opinions may not correspond to the couple’s.
Bride and Groom
Usually – and I know this is a terrible stereotype! – the groom doesn’t pay much attention to the organisational details of the wedding. I know some do play their part wonderfully. However, the majority, in my experience, would like no more than some kind of idea what the bride is planning. Just to rubber-stamp it.
Even in these circumstances, bride and groom need to co-operate to some extent. The groom may not be bothered about the menu (although that’s something he might well take an interest in), but may care passionately about the guest list. They need to discuss this (amicably). They should both agree on the venue and officiant.
So my best advice here is to play an open game. By that I mean that the groom should be able to participate in the planning, if he likes. The bride should offer to let him know what she is planning (but spare him the bridesmaids’ dresses, I’d say!).
Of course, others are involved too, whether as bridesmaid, flower-girl, usher, Best Man, parent, and so on. How much notice should be paid to their views?
The bottom line is that the wedding is the couple’s affair, so whatever they want ought carry the day. Even if someone else is bankrolling the affair, it is still the couple’s big day.
However, if they are expecting others to contribute (whether financially or as an active participant), there may need to be some give and take. Nobody should be forced to go against their wishes or take on a role they don’t relish at all.
Compromise is the order of the day. Maybe somebody who might otherwise be overlooked could read a poem, say. Perhaps a moody youngster can be encouraged to look after the wedding presents. Possibly, a bridesmaid, sulky about the dress she is forced to wear, can be given a bunch of flowers.
Ordinarily, the families are willing – and able – to reach a balance, and a wonderful day is had by all.
If you have any thoughts or questions arising from this, feel free to contact me.