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How to Deal with Wedding Criticism Without Losing Your Mind

I know it’s not always a piece of cake to plan a wedding, especially when it comes to managing everyone involved.

Samantha Metell
Samantha Metell
nyc engagement photo

nyc engagement photo

Photo: Kim Lyn Photography

Hi all, it’s Samantha from Bonjour Blue! I started blogging about personal style six years ago and today Bonjour Blue is a destination for women seeking fashion, beauty and now wedding inspiration and tips! I’m so excited to be sharing a little bit of my wedding planning experience with you.

As a bride myself, I know it’s not always a piece of cake to plan a wedding, especially when it comes to managing everyone involved and all of the wedding criticism one can receive.

Weddings are a happy time when love is in the air and a happy couple is being supported by family and friends. Even during this amazing time, it isn’t always filled with just pure joy. Often, people make snap judgements and form opinions quickly on your special day, and those opinions may be good...or bad.

The first time I experienced criticism at a wedding was when I was a guest, I was sitting down before the ceremony and a guest next to me seemed to comment on every single thing in sight. The flowers? Didn’t care for them. The venue? Not their taste. As the evening moved on, guests provided unsolicited opinions (and criticism!) on just about every detail of the wedding.

The poor couple! I quickly began to worry about my own big day and started to judge myself harshly at each decision I had made. I wanted to try and take into account all of the opinions of my family, friends, and others, but soon enough I was overwhelmed. As I continued to wade deeper into the world of wedding planning, it only became harder to make decisions that I thought everyone would be happy with.

One evening I was sifting through pictures of the wedding gowns I had tried on the week before. Internally I was debating which I liked best and what I thought others would like as well, when I finally had my “ah-ha” moment. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter if a guest at our wedding didn’t care for my dress, or the flowers we chose, because this wasn’t their wedding—it was ours.

engagement photo in nyc samantha metell

Photo: Kim Lyn Photography

There are certainly more complicated situations with weddings and there varying degrees of opinions amongst family members. My fiancé and I are fortunate that our parents were pretty calm about our big day and hadn’t made any outrageous demands. For the most part, anything we’ve picked they’ve been happy with.

When family members aren’t this easy, you need to remind yourself that it is you and your future spouse making the vows, not them. While you should take into consideration the wishes of your parents, especially if they are sharing the cost, it is more important to have a happy marriage than worry about pleasing others on this special day.

If faced with an obstacle that is going to cause a major issue or upset a close family member or friend beyond repair, you need to be diligent. Is it really worth hurting that person? If it is something relatively minor like the flavor of a cake, remember that cake isn’t a necessity in life and people can skip it if they don’t like what you picked. On the other hand, is the request or disagreement unreasonable? Try to see the situation from their perspective and understand that everyone has different point of view. It is easy to get emotional when planning your wedding, and it is just as easy for your family and friends to get wrapped up in emotion as well.

One of the most difficult things about your wedding will be the guest list, especially if you come from a large family or have lots of friends. We narrowed down our list by thinking people of we couldn’t live without on our special day. Once we got there we tried to whittle down to the people we knew we’d be friends with for years to come.

When it comes to the big day, don’t think people will be afraid to share their opinion or discuss their personal issue at (or before!) the wedding. The best way to deal with this is to smile and be overly polite. If you are even able to process the problem, it isn’t worth dwelling on. If you think there is a major issue outstanding (for example, the bathroom is out of toilet paper), kindly ask a guest if they can tell a service point person or manager at the venue. Worst case scenario, see if your bridesmaids can do you one last favor before the day is over. Block out the negativity, your big day is special and important to share with your closest loved ones.

Above all, remember that the most important part of your wedding is your marriage. Learn to smile and compromise with the people that are important to you, but don’t be forced into things you are not comfortable with. At the end of the day, it’s you and your partner that are in this journey together.