"This Wedding Isn't For You"

The women I work with often tell me about a certain piece of "advice" they receive after they get engaged: "This wedding isn't for you."

When they hear this, they often think, "What do you mean? Of course this wedding is for me. It's my wedding."

Then, they start planning.

Suddenly Dad's parents have to be in the processional, or there has to be an invite for some random cousin. Mom refuses to give a speech but maybe she might actually like to give one? But only at the rehearsal! And what about the wedding party? No way are they wearing that color, or learning how to fold a pocket square.

Wedding vendors have needs, too. Lots of them. The florist wants to know the photographer who wants to know the venue who wants to know the seating arrangement, and when have you actually ever cared who sat where on a certain day at a certain time?

Your wedding, it turns out, is about anybody but you.

Couples intrinsically know there’s something wrong with this. They know the priority is off. That's why they lurch to a stop when they hear "This wedding isn't for you." It just feels wrong. That's because it is.

"I really set boundaries [when planning my wedding]," one bride told me. Her logic: "If I'm going to be the one who's going to be spearheading this whole thing and planning it, we're going to do it our way and we don't want anyone to dictate what it's going to be. This is our day; it's about us. It's not about the family."

It may be difficult to imagine having that conversation with anyone, let alone your future in-laws. But the bride's point still rings true: You've been put in charge of this whole thing, whether or not you actually wanted that role. You might as well enjoy the main benefit of being project manager: veto power.

Have something to share? Email me at elisabeth@elisabethkramer.com