It’s an odd fact of life that, by virtue of my profession, I’ve usually been behind-the-scenes at weddings more than anyone else in the room. As an Idaho wedding photographer, I get to see a lot of the planning, blood, sweat, and tears that go into the smiles that everyone else sees. So here’s my advice on letting others control your wedding.

  1. Think about your groom. They might care more about the wedding than you. That’s what happened with my wedding. I didn’t realize until afterwards that my husband (unlike me) had been dreaming about the wedding for a long time and only didn’t say anything because he wanted me to have my way. He should be your primary second-in-command. Use it as practice for your marriage, haha.
  2. Think, and write down, what YOU want. If you have especially controlling relatives or friends, make sure you set in stone the things you want, and be careful about asking for their input. If you could care less, you just want to be married, then sure, carefully let them take charge OF CERTAIN ASPECTS of the wedding. For example, put your mom in charge of food. Especially if she’s paying for it. But if you’re not careful, you can end up with a wedding that is about them, not you. So be cautious.
  3. Who is paying the bills? If your parents are chipping in for the wedding, consider letting them give input on certain things. But again, it’s your wedding. It’s not worth it if they’re micromanaging the photographer by the end (cough cough). As a photographer, I usually don’t give the parents a lot of control, even if they’re paying the bill. Regardless of what they’re giving, if the couple isn’t happy, I didn’t do my job. So I still adhere to you.
  4. Surround yourself with people who will support and help you. Picking bridesmaids can become a political thing, but PLEASE don’t let it. The happiest brides are ones who pick bridesmaids who are significant to them, who will help them laugh throughout the wedding day, and who will be there to help snap their corset after a trip to the toilet. You will very much regret picking bridesmaids who are in any way self-centered or controlling. They are with you every minute on one of the most stressful days of your life. Be careful.
  5. You’ll have an extra hard time if you’re an only child or the oldest child. If your parents or mom or grandmother is controlling and passionate about your wedding, you’ll have to be very careful if you’re the first, and especially if you’re also the last, child or grandchild to get married. This will be their only chance and it will be extra special for them.
  6. Get a wedding planner. I never would have thought I would say this, but weddings with planners go soooooo much better than weddings without planners. And if you’re worried about people taking over, share your concerns with your planner and ask for your help with getting what YOU want, not what they want.
  7. Finally: be nice. Think about it from their perspective. Think about how emotional this is for them, even if they don’t say it. Ignore the bad behavior, encourage the good, and don’t let a wedding break apart a relationship. You’ll have these memories for the rest of your life. Be nice, establish the rules beforehand, and get married.

That’s it! Hope this helps! Weddings are stressful but marriage is amazing, so go elope! Just kidding. Not really. Sometimes it would be a lot easier if people just eloped, haha. But if you do elope, find an amazing photographer and splurge. Ask them to pick the location and time of day. A good photographer will have a field day with an elopement and being able to pick the spot and time. You’ll get the best wedding pictures you’ve ever seen. ;) Thanks for reading!