For the most part, your relationships with family members and friends should pretty much stay the same throughout your wedding planning process. However, you may notice that certain loved ones may change their behavior—becoming overly dramatic, jealous, or simply unavailable. There are a lot of reasons why a friend or family member might act differently while you’re engaged, but your goal should be to maintain your friendships as best you can throughout this process.
The wannabe wedding plannerThere will be people who want to be super-involved with wedding planning, to the point of becoming overbearing. They will text you centerpiece ideas at all hours, want to be present for venue tours and tastings, and generally insert themselves whenever possible. While it’s nice to have a friend/family member who cares, it’s getting annoying.
How to handle: Give the person a specific task to complete, whether it’s creating the welcome bags, putting together favors, or assembling invitations. If the person feels like he or she is accomplishing something important, they’ll likely leave you alone.
The disappearing friendWhile you may find that many friends and family members are interested in wedding planning and want to help, there may be others who simply “disappear” and don’t seem excited for you. In fact, it feels like they are avoiding you all together.
How to handle: There may be several reasons why your friend does not want to be involved with wedding planning. It could be jealousy, or perhaps there are other issues in this person’s life that prevent him or her from participating (loss of a job, an ill family member, etc.). Be as understanding as possible, and don’t expect too much. Invite him or her to a meal or activity that has nothing to do with your wedding—maybe they’ll open up about their feelings, but don’t pry or be critical.
The reappearing acquaintanceA friend you haven’t spoken to since high school found out that you’re engaged and all of a sudden is trying to be your bestie. She wants to be involved in all aspects of wedding planning, and you’re not even close!
How to handle: While it’s admirable that the person wants to help, you’re probably a bit weirded out that they came out of nowhere to assist you. Let the person know that your mom/maid of honor/wedding planner is taking care of most of the details, and while you appreciate her willingness to help, you’re all set.
The overly-critical family memberIt seems like every time you share any wedding-related detail with this person, from your color scheme to your attire, he has something negative to say. It’s causing you to doubt your decision-making.
How to handle: Stop sharing anything wedding-related with this person immediately and if they ask about it, say that you want your wedding details to be a surprise.
The “trying to score an invite” co-workerYour co-worker clearly is making it clear that he “can’t wait” for your wedding, but he isn’t even on the guest list! This could get awkward.
How to handle: You need to nip this one in the bud so your co-worker isn’t surprised and disappointed when he doesn’t receive an invite. The next time he brings up your wedding, simply say that while you really appreciate his good wishes, you’re keeping your guest list small and unfortunately couldn’t invite as many people as you wanted to.
The prying relative“When are you going to have a baby?” “Why do you want to marry him/her?” “How much will your wedding cost?” It can be really shocking when people feel like they can ask you super-personal questions, and you might find yourself at a loss for words.
How to handle: Try to handle these prying questions with a sense of humor. You can even say “That’s really personal, Aunt Joan!” and immediately change the subject. Don’t feel like you have to answer any questions you’re uncomfortable with.
The attention hogYou may have a loved one who is trying to steal your spotlight at every turn. From wanting to wear an inappropriate dress to asking to sing at your reception, you’re concerned that this person might ruin your big day.
How to handle: Give this person specific wedding-day tasks that won’t allow her to go overboard with the dramatics. For example, she can give a reading at the ceremony, but can’t do a solo dance performance at your reception.
The person who doesn’t understand wedding etiquetteYou may have friends or family members who “forget” to RSVP, try to add plus-ones who aren’t invited, or asks to bring their kids to your wedding when it’s adults-only.
How to handle: Bring up the issue with your guest directly but politely. Let them know why you can’t accommodate additional guests/kids, or that you’ll need them to RSVP ASAP. Don’t cave and let them get away with bad behavior, but there’s no need to start a screaming match either.