Wedding Wednesdays Q&A: Family Wedding Help

Wedding Wednesdays Q&A by Jamie Chang Destination Wedding Planner of Mango Muse Events

Happy Wednesday!  How are all of you doing?  I hope you are surviving the summer heat wherever you are.  It is so HOT over here in Hawaii, I am longing for snow.  I feel horrible for all the couples dripping on their wedding day.  Stay in air conditioning as long as you can and if you’re doing an outdoor wedding provide a tent and lots of shade for your guests, they will thank you for it!  As we try to beat the heat, let’s dive into this week’s Wedding Wednesdays question which is about family wedding help.

Q: I’m on a budget and I’m trying to save money where I can and have people I know help with the wedding.  My almost mother-in-law offered to do my wedding flowers and at first I was thrilled because then we’d just be paying for the materials, but it’s starting to become a problem because our tastes are totally different.  I don’t know what to do because I don’t want to offend her, but we just aren’t on the same page.  Help!

Family wedding help is always a bit sticky (and not just because of the heat!).  You are right,  she is going to be your family and you don’t want to offend her or make her feel bad.  However, at the same time, you don’t want to waste her time or yours and end up with flowers you aren’t happy with.

So, the first step is to sit her down and talk to her about what you are looking for specifically.  Gather some photos of what you want and show her and explain what you like about it and then ask her if she could do it.  If she says yes, then not only is she agreeing to do what you want, but also confirming that she can do what you want (because there is a chance she is fighting you because she can’t do what you want). Then ask her if she can make a test centerpiece or a test bouquet both as practice for her so that she can get comfortable since it isn’t her normal style, and also for you so that you can see it in person and make any adjustments before the actual arrangements are made.  Hopefully, this should help both of you to get on the same page.

Now, if she refuses to make it the way you want it either because she insists that her design is better or because she just doesn’t have the ability, then it’s time to hire someone else.  Tell her gently and just explain that you are looking for something specific and found someone who could do it for you and you don’t want to have to put that burden on her to make something she doesn’t do normally.  You can also explain that you thought about it and you don’t want her to work so hard (which is true, she would be working very hard on the days leading up to the wedding and on the wedding day itself) and instead, you’d rather she just enjoy the wedding and be able to be with everyone and not worry about anything.  She might try to insist, but she really can’t argue with your reasoning.  Then you can find a professional to do what you want for you and not have to worry about any sticky situations.

One more note related to this topic that I just want to mention.  It is great when you can incorporate some family and friends into parts of your wedding because it really does make it more personal and special.  However, just remember that you are making people “work” when they would normally just be a guest and get to celebrate with you.  They essentially become the family wedding help, so it’s best to try not to choose your immediate family or friends to do these things for you.  You want them to enjoy your wedding and be with you and they can’t if they are “working”.  Now some friends/family (these are usually people in the industry who do this full time) would love to do your wedding in which case that is fine, but just be careful not to put someone in a situation where they feel like they have to say yes to doing something for you when they perhaps don’t want to.  And lastly, before you ask someone or agree to someone doing something for you, make sure they can do what you want or that their style fits yours.  You don’t want to use your photographer friend and end up with photos you hate because then you’ll just be sad.  So, just be careful of your decisions and how you approach your family/friends and you’ll be a-ok.

Newlywed couple at the end of a Hindu wedding ceremony for a multi cultural wedding by Destination wedding planner Mango Muse Events

(Photo credit: Bethany Carlson Photography)

Do you have a wedding planning question you need help with?  Share it with us in a comment below!

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