Plenty of excellent advice has been given by the experts on how to handle the usual wedding snafus, such as rain on your big day, guests who don't RSVP, and battles over guest lists. However, there are some challenges that tend to get overlooked in the wedding-planning books, and we'd like to tackle them a few at a time. Read on for some tips on handling some relationship-based issues with grace.
1. ONE DATE, TWO WEDDINGS. If a friend has selected the same wedding date as yours, you have a few options to mull. Changing your date is the obvious choice, and may not be as tragic as you think. Since Saturday is the most popular day for weddings, venues and vendors tend to offer lower rates for the other days of the week. Switching to a Friday or a Sunday can translate into savings you can put right back into your event. If a date change isn’t feasible, try to time the events as far apart as possible. Guests you have in common can conceivably attend a 10AM ceremony and still make it to an evening event. If all else fails, grasp the opportunity to enlarge the family component of your guest list since your friends will be split among you. All those second cousins mom is dying to invite? Add them.
2. WEDDING COMPETITIVENESS. When two brides have to share the pre-wedding limelight, the impulse to be competitive can be hard to resist. If you and a friend (or cousin, or colleague) are planning events during the same time period, focus on personalizing your wedding, not on keeping up with the Joneses. It doesn’t matter if your pal is having tulips imported from Denmark – if daisies are your favorite, go with what reflects your own personal style. You should also never equate the size or cost of your event with how special it will be. Whether your spending limit is larger or smaller than that of your peers is irrelevant. A unique affair is always the most interesting and memorable regardless of cost. Finally, avoid catty comparisons by steering dialogue towards how excited you are (and away from event details).
3. AWOL HONOR ATTENDANT. How you handle a missing maid or matron of honor depends on why and when she’s dropped out. If financial hardship is involved, you can offer to discreetly cover her wedding-related expenses so she won’t have to step down. If the friendship itself ended in a mushroom cloud, you can ask one of your current bridesmaids to assume the honor. It’s not necessary to invite a new person to join your party unless your MOH was your only attendant. The new girl will know she’s second string, and etiquette doesn’t demand that the number of maids match the number of groomsmen. If unforeseen circumstances such as illness prevent your MOH from attending on the day of the wedding, take a deep breath and carry on without her. You don’t have to reassign the position the day-of. Any or all of your bridesmaids can help you get dressed, and whichever maid stands next to you can keep track of your train and hold your bouquet when needed.
Photo of bride by Paul Barnett