Issues with family and frustration with the wedding planning process are some of the most popular etiquette questions on our site. And of course they are. Planning a wedding is stressful enough, and then when you add a well-intentioned but controlling mother of the groom and an overly "helpful" older sister to the mix, it's a formula for insanity. Before you freak out and tell them all to go far, far away, take a look at a few tips to manage the planning process, while still including your family and friends.
Set some guidelines.
While part of handing over the reins is actually letting go, it's okay to have a few hard rules you expect your co-planners to follow. If you absolutely hate mason jars, ask your helpers to avoid them. It's likely that your wedding also has some sort of theme. The more clear you make it (by putting it on your invitations and wedding website, for example) the better friends and family will be able to stick to it.
Decide what you're not obsessed with.
Granted, when it comes to your dress and cake and flowers, you might have to be the only cook in the kitchen. But, do you really care that much about the ceremony programs or favors or bubble wands for your exit? Decide what you can delegate (and truly give up control) and then ask willing family and friends to take care of these small headaches for you.
Who's on board with your vision?
Maybe the mother of the groom totally gets your vision, but your own mom just can't figure out why you don't want to get married in a church. Choose the people who defer to your vision to be your go-to sidekicks, and those that don't should manage independent and auxiliary tasks.
Make a list of auxiliary tasks that you can completely let go of.
It's totally not fair for you to delegate something and then veto it. Make a list of tasks and events that need to be taken care of, and ones that you're comfortable having someone else manage. Examples: out-of-town welcome bags, arranging transportation to and from the ceremony, parking attendants, vendor payments, etc. Consider adding a password-protected page to your wedding website where everyone's assignments are listed. That way, you'll all be on the same page, and they can contact each other directly if they need to coordinate.
Don't get involved where you shouldn't be.
That day-after brunch your grandma is hosting and the rehearsal dinner that the mother of the groom is so excited about planning? None of your business. Those are parties being thrown in your honor, but hosted by someone else. Let them do their thing. Even if the color palette is hideous and the caterer sucks, just go with it. If they ask your opinion, offer careful and considered feedback, but, above all, let them know you're so grateful for the event.