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.
Decide what you are 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 let go of 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 are comfortable having someone else manage. Examples: out-of-town welcome bags, arranging transportation to and from the ceremony, parking attendants, vendor payments, etc.
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 are so grateful for the event.
Photo Credit: Anna Kim Photography
Part of maintaining your sanity during wedding planning is a mutual process. If you respect your fellow planners, most likely, they will respect you.