As the midterm elections approach, we’re surrounded by challenges of how to deal with difficult people. So many folks have entrenched themselves on one side of the aisle or the other, and political discussions turn ugly all too frequently. We’re familiar with interpersonal problems when it comes to governmental policies, but your wedding is supposed to be fun! What do you do when someone is hard to deal with during the wedding planning process? Here are my tips on how to deal with difficult people during your engagement.
Remember: this is supposed to be fun
While your marriage is a sacred commitment, you’re planning a the wedding reception (and all the logistics surrounding it). It’s one massive party. This is a fun thing, so your planning should be, too! If you and your partner are adversarial about anything related to planning, skip the business function. Instead, make planning into a date night. Open a bottle of wine or mix up your favorite cocktails, put on some music, and plan over dinner. Arguing over table linens is not the reason you said “yes” to forever with this person, so focus on your why — one another. If it’s a parent who is contentious, offer up a family fun evening for all the same reasons. Finding common ground and kindness will go a long way.
Have a budget discussion up front
In thinking through how to deal with difficult people about weddings specifically, my first thought is why someone would be frustrated. Chances are good that all roads lead back to money. Weddings are a huge investment of time and emotions. If someone feels out of sync with the way in which money is being spent, or how much total money is being spent, it’s a strong chance that this person will be upset.
To avoid this, I suggest having a frank discussion about budget with your partner and parents, to determine who’s contributing, how much, and if there are any stipulations about the gift. It doesn’t matter if the end budget is $50k or $150k or $500k — but you have to have a sense of a grand total! If you’re already into the trenches in planning, you can figure out how to deal with difficult people about finances by having this talk sooner rather than later. Better late than never.
Think of a “triangle” with three sides: one is budget, one is total guest list, and the last is your overall experience level you’d like to provide. You can pick two of the three as priorities — the third side of the triangle will have to flex to meet its other sides. For example: a $75k total budget for 300 people is a very different level of experience you’ll be able to provide than for 100 people. So, would you rather prioritize having a huge event with everyone you know in attendance, prioritizing the guest list? Or would you rather prioritize having an incredible meal, amazing florals and decor, and a killer band for a smaller group? There’s no right answer, but decide that up front. You’ll mitigate arguments down the road, because you’ve already determined the key objectives.
Seek out transparency with your vendors
People can often be difficult if they don’t fully understand something. Stakes are higher when money is involved! Make sure you seek out transparency with your vendors. Look for vendors who offer straightforward and clear pricing. As a vendor, I’m committed to this. That’s why The Collection has complete pricing right there on my website. You can see the prices right off the bat as you build your dream invitations — no surprises!
Likewise, if you have questions on something that’s included or not with a vendor, please ask. We’re here to help! Weddings are a service-oriented business, so vendors know how to deal with difficult people. I promise that your future mother in law doesn’t scare us! We want you to feel informed and empowered about the investment you’re making. That’s why I offer a free consultation before even starting the process, to get all your questions answered. You can book yours HERE.
Get a professional opinion
If you still have to figure out how to deal with difficult people during your wedding planning process, get a professional opinion to end the argument. By having vendors provide their insight or recommendation, you can use that information to explain to your mom (nicely) why she may not be right. It’s a diplomatic way to explain that the expert suggests something — it removes you from the center and makes it feel less personal, less of an attack. Whenever possible, hire a planner! They are worth their weight in gold, especially to provide guidance on various decisions throughout the process.
I’m obsessed with The Lazy Genius podcast. One of Kendra’s principles is to “decide once.” Don’t go through the mental gymnastics of having to make a similar decision over and over again. Just decide once, and go with that. For your wedding, set a “rule” for things like children or who gets to bring a plus one. Then, stick to it.
This way, if you have a friend who is furious that her toddler isn’t invited, you can explain to her that you and your fiancé decided that the only children who’d be invited were your niece and nephew as flower girl and ring bearer for the ceremony. And even those two would have a babysitter during the reception! She can either hire some child care and enjoy a parents’ night out to celebrate with you, or she doesn’t have to come. You don’t have to figure out making exceptions or dancing around awkwardness. You’ve decided once, and it’s easier to manage issues with your same rule each time!
So, to sum up… here are my tips as you figure out how to deal with difficult people during your wedding planning process:
- Remember that this is supposed to be fun
- Have a budget discussion up front
- Seek out transparency with your vendors
- Get a professional opinion
- Decide once
I’d be honored to help answer any invitations-related questions you may have, to keep your wedding stationery stress-free! To learn more about the process working together, click HERE.