Monday, November 30, 2009

not your (insert name of overinvolved person here)'s wedding.

Planning a wedding is an emotional undertaking.  One that involves many people, lots of time, intense feelings and uncharted waters.  In my personal experience, I have found that during the event planning process, people migrate to one of these patterns when it comes to dealing with opinions - both their own and their peers.

1. Those who want everyone's opinion (including the strangers in the dress shop) and tend to still be indecisive no matter how much input they have received.

2. Those who cherish the opinion of those close to them and mingle those suggestions with their own, letting the other outsider's interjections be taken with a grain of salt.

3.  Those who know what they want and how they want it.

4.  Those who have no opinion and would rather someone else make the decisions for them.

5.  Those who may have an opinion but because of an outspoken family member, friend or significant other, they succumb to the preferences of others - knowing it is not what they really want.

My position on event planning is this:  Your event is an expression of your life and the special person you have found to share it with.  Your life does involve your friends and family but it by no means is consumed or determined by them.  Nor should your event be.  Keep your opinions, share ideas with a select few people that will be honest but supportive and if there is one (or a few) people that tend to put in more than their fair share, keep in mind that your job is not to please them.

I realize a lot of parents pay for the event.  And for that, I promise, your children are grateful.  This does not, however, give you the right to make all the decisions, make your child feel guilty or moronic because of their choices, or go behind their back to change things.  It does give you the invitation to be a part of an exciting process for an important event in your child's life.  Share your opinions tastefully and support their endeavors.  Add your seasoned wisdom to their ideas but make sure their love story is really being told in a way that the guests can't help but see the couple's personality in.

If you have hired a professional coordinator (I strongly suggest you do) he or she will be able to present springboards for your thoughts and creative ways to express your ideas through your event.  Use them -- and let your coordinator help you to fuse your ideas into a cohesive event.  Don't turn your consultations into a counseling session.  Keep perspective amidst the emotions and take a breath before you let anything (or anyone) get the best of you.  Think before you speak and remember that this is your daughter/mother/son/friend that is going through a very important time in their life- and if you intend to keep that relationship healthy after the event, you must act accordingly now.

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