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Wedding Wednesday: How to Manage Wedding Conflict

Planning a wedding can be stressful with so many opinions and managing expectations of friends and family. Don’t let it ruin the joy of the process. Here are my top five tips on how to manage expectations and conflict while planning your wedding.

1. Remember it’s a Celebration!

I think it’s really important to keep top of mind that this is a celebration. Where things can get a little muddy is that it means something different to each person involved in your event so it’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath and try to understand that before responding to any stressful situation.

2. Set Expectations Early

The bottom line is that it is your wedding and it should revolve around what you and your significant other want for your day. Often conflict can be averted if you set your expectations early with family and friends like wanting to have a small, intimate wedding for close family and friends vs a large wedding or wanting to do something untraditional because it is more authentic to who you are as a couple. The less surprises, the less conflict…

It’s important to remember that your wedding is completely about the celebration of the two of you so do what you feel is right, what makes you happy and what represents the two of you in planning your day.

3. Deep Breath: Try to Understand What is Behind the Request?

First thing to do is take a deep breath. Second thing to do is to try to understand what is behind the request. If you can come from a place of trying to understand why the request is important to who is asking, you can try to avoid feeling frustrated and an immediate reaction that may cause hurt feelings or an unnecessary conflict. It’s important to remember this is an exciting and emotional journey for those closely involved and each person has a vision or a dream of what the day should be like. If you can try to remember that instead of feeling frustrated or overwhelmed and get them onboard with your vision, you’ll be in a much more team-focused place versus at odds with people you love and care about during the planning process.

4. Formula: Validate, Reason and Compromise

A little kindness and understanding goes a long way! I always suggest that making the other person feel heard by validating that you understand their request and then kindly offering your reasons for your hesitation or offering a compromise which will generally diffuse the situation.

For example: If a parent or an in-law wants to add an extra 20 people to the guest list but you had a plan to keep your event smaller with family and friends that you truly know, I would suggest saying “I’m so honored you would like these additional people to celebrate with us but my hesitation is that we have committed to our budget and these additional people at $150 each will take us over our budget by $3,000. If they are incredibly important to you, would you possibly consider contributing to the cost to host them? Or, can you select maybe your top 4 or 6 people from this group and we can shift some things in the budget to add them in? Our goal is to start our life together in a healthy financial place which I know you support so I’m happy to work together to find a positive solution for both of us.”

5. Hire a wedding planner.

A good wedding planner can help mediate and be a powerful advocate with vendors and family to protect your budget and overall vision for your day therefore a critical teammate during your planning process and on your wedding day.

Have Wedding Planning or Budget Questions? Ask me in the comments below and I’ll be happy to help share advice and tips…

Want to work together to plan your perfect day? Email me at



Photos (c) KV Photography | Bride and Groom: Jonathan and Jessalyn



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