Planning your wedding will involve a lot of moving parts as well as many decisions with deadlines in order to ensure your planning moves along seamlessly. You may be a bit shocked at how much work is involved with planning a wedding but would you think anything less of probably one of the biggest parties you will ever plan? Couple these demands with trying to please multiple people throughout your planning process and you may just create a recipe for disaster.
In my years of planning weddings and events for clients, I’ve encountered couples that face this exact issue. You may be in the same situation as well if:
Your parents and/or another family member are assisting with paying for the wedding;
You’re mother or soon-to-be mother-in-law want to play a key role in wedding planning; or
It’s a cultural norm to have family members involved in the planning process.
Either way, having many people to please while planning such a meticulous party can be a lot to handle. When I plan Nigerian weddings there is almost always at least one other family member involved in the planning process. At times, that individual has more authority than the couple getting married so I know first hand with trying to please multiple people. In my case, the couple and a close family member.
Today, I’ll communicate to you 4 key things to consider and communicate so you can enjoy this process. Here there are:
1. Have a Discussion With Your Partner First
I always suggest that my couples have a private discussion as a couple on how decisions will be made before the planning begins. I talk about what should be discussed during this conversation here. It’s a key conversation to have, as it will set the tone for planning moving forward.
2. Keep the Group as Small as Possible
I strongly recommend not allowing any more than 3 people in your “planning committee”. Anything more than that and you’ll be pulling your hair out. These 3 people should also include you and your fiancé.
In my experience, there is usually one person within the couple that takes on the majority of the planning. So, if that’s you, it should be you and 2 more people involved in planning.
If you have multiple people from both you and your fiancés side of the family who want to be involved, elect one person on each side who is responsible for being “the voice” for the family so you’re not talking to multiple people, getting numerous opinions and, inevitably, slowing down the process.
3. Set Clear Expectations Early On
Before you begin the planning process, set up a meeting where all of the key players are involved in order to set expectations upfront. Have each individual communicate their must haves upfront. How do they want to be involved specifically? What is the best form of communication for them? If they are contributing financially, discuss how much they are giving. Do they want to have a say in what vendor is selected? Have a candid discussion.
On the other hand, communicate your expectations of them. Don’t be shy!
Once planning begins, have a scheduled cadence for updates and check-ins with everyone involved. Clear communication upfront will only help you more.
4. Communicate Clear Deadlines
I live by the philosophy of communicate early on and often.
During your initial meeting and throughout planning, set clear deadlines with everyone. Planning is all about tasks that need to be completed by a specific time. If they want to be involved in making these decisions or completing theses tasks, they must assist in getting things done in a timely manner. I would suggest giving them deadlines that are anywhere from a couple of days to weeks before the deadline if you know they don’t meet deadlines easily.
I would also go as far as explaining the reason for the deadlines and what will happen if decisions are not made by this date. For example, if you don’t get their decision by a certain date the price will go up or you will just make an executive decision by yourself. People tend to take things more seriously when they are given an explanation for why things need to be done.
5. Be Firm But Respectful
This is still your wedding day so if you don’t agree, don’t be afraid to speak up and say so. Just in a respectful way. Just because they are assisting with your wedding, whether with their time or money, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a voice.
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