Tips for Dealing with “Helpers”

To Do ListPlanning a wedding is complicated and time-consuming. With all the stress and all the moving pieces, there are folks who will feel inclined to offer help. And that’s all well and good–we definitely approve of delegating tasks to capable friends and family members. This post is about a particular kind of “helper.” this person has a very distinct vision of what they want your wedding to be, and they’ll make sure to constantly offer advice and suggestions to help you realize their vision. It doesn’t bother them at all if your viewpoints differ; they’ll keep pushing for “the right way” or “the traditional way” to do something as though it were the only way. Here are a few tips for dealing with these “helpers” in a fashion that will get them out of your hair without hurting their feelings.

Thank and Ignore

You may have to listen to all the advice your “helpers” are giving, but that doesn’t mean you have to take it. Outright refusing the advice or engaging in an argument isn’t productive, either. Sometimes the best you can do is to thank the meddler as sincerely as possible for their sage advice, and then proceed to ignore it. Instead of, “yes, thank you, Aunt Petunia, I know that white roses are a lovely choice for the bridal bouquet, but we’re using marigolds,” you can say, “yes, Aunt Petunia, white roses are lovely,” and leave it at that. When she sees your marigold bouquet she might spend the reception telling everyone who will listen that she suggested white roses, but that shouldn’t trouble you at all.

Let Your Wedding Planner Run Interference

When your “helper” starts talking about the best ways to drape tablecloths or what flowers should be in your bouquet, just tell them that the wedding planner is taking care of that. If you don’t have a wedding planner, tell them the maid of honor is taking care of those details. It may seem cruel to subject someone else to the meddler, but taking on stress on your behalf is part of the job description for a wedding planner or a maid of honor.

Give Them a Task

Odds are the “helper” is offering suggestions out of a sincere desire to be useful. You can help correct their misplaced enthusiasm by finding tasks for them to do. Keep them feeling busy and productive and they’ll be less likely to critique your flower, cake, and dress choices. For example, you might set them to work making centerpieces just the way they want to make them–a small sacrifice to keep them from meddling in the rest of the ceremony.

When you’re dealing with a meddler, it’s sometimes hard to resist the urge to put your foot down or snap at them. But it’s better to keep the peace if you can. Save the stern talk for if they absolutely won’t shut up until their advice is taken. Then you can gently remind them that it’s your wedding, not theirs.