A blog with planning tips, fun new trends, and info related to Ethereal Events.
Photo by Barbie Hull
"Today I am marrying my best friend, the one I laugh with, live for, dream with, and love."
~ Erin & Forrest Pangborn

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

When is help no longer helpful?

I was recently interviewed for an article coming out soon about How to Say No to Help. The idea is to help couples find easy and polite ways to say "No Thanks!" to unwanted help from friends and family, while minimizing hurt feelings and still getting what they want. Here is a sneak peek before anyone else of what I had to say!

So, the thing with saying no to input and help from friends and family on your wedding is the same as saying no in all other aspects of your life! Being kind, appreciative and blaming it on someone else all work well, and when the 3 combine: an instant resolution! As you may be beginning to find out, everyone wants to help and knows best when it comes to your wedding! It can get annoying, I know, but listening and appreciating their offer is one of the most important parts to not hurting feelings and getting what you want! But the key to letting them down easy is, blaming it on some else. It always gets you off the hook! I'm NOT saying blame your Mom, Hubby to be, Maid of Honor anyone like that! With an event as big as your wedding there are plenty of other people to have as a scapegoat! The wedding planner (yours truly), Professional DJ or Band, Professional Photographer, Professional Caterer, Venue, etc!

I almost always tell my clients blame me! I'm completely okay being the target of someone’s frustration when it protects my Brides and Grooms. I will not have a relationship with this family member for the rest of my life, my birde or groom will! So if the person(s) are upset with me for a little while rather than my client it's a far better thing! Most family and friends don't have a good argument against "I really appreciate the offer, but my wedding planner thinks it's best if ...." fill in the blank.

The same goes for all your vendors! I must stress the importance of professional vendors! They have the years of experience and credibility needed to put the wanting party at rest. You have hired them to have your wants and best interest above all else! They are also prepared to handle potentially wild family/friend request on wedding day with class and professionalism! Just because the Bride or Groom said no to the helpful party, doesn't mean they won't ask the vendor to do so on wedding day!

Here are a few tips to make sure your wedding goes exactly as you want with or without the help of your family and friends!

1) Be thoughtful and appreciative of the request/offers you receive. Don't think that if you accept help with from one you need to accept it from all. Just let the person whose help you don't need know you have it handled but you really appreciate the offer!

2) If you aren't able to say no thanks, then give people who want to help small jobs that if not done correctly don't really impact the day! Have someone be: the guest book attendant, gift attendant, usher for the ceremony, responsible for getting all the family their personal flowers (corsages/boutonnieres), candle lighter at ceremony or reception, etc. Then allow the major parts of the day be handled by your hired professional vendors!

3) There are also plenty of jobs leading up to wedding day! Someone needs to drive Grandma and Grandpa to the rehearsal dinner, pick up so and so from the airport, print directions to the ceremony, etc. Delegation and follow up are key to the success of this one!

4) Make sure your vendors know exactly how you want things. If there are worries or concerns minor or major tell your vendor! It is better to prepare them for everything that you think might be asked of them.

5) Make sure you know how your vendor handles request! Whether it be a song request from your Do Not play list or guest switching tables. It is soooo important that the vendor doesn't put it back on you! The words "Go ask the Bride and Groom!" are a nightmare on wedding day! Talk to the vendors ahead of time to avoid this!

Bottom line, you are very lucky to have so many people wanting and willing to help you! I hope this is beneficial in making the best use of it! I’d love to hear how you handled all the help on and surrounding your wedding day!