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Unless you decide to elope, there’s no avoiding family opinions your wedding plans. Everyone has their two cents on which traditions you should follow, what kind of venue you should choose, what your centerpieces should look like, etc.

Your wedding is a celebration that reflects the two of you as a couple, so you and your fiance need to decide how you’ll handle this unsolicited advice, and get on the same page about when you should — and shouldn’t — take other people’s opinions into consideration.

Here are a few good strategies for keeping the peace (and your cool) when you receive family opinions on your wedding.

How to tactfully deal with unsolicited family opinions on your wedding

1. Set boundaries up front.

As soon as you announce your engagement, you’ll get tons of questions about your wedding, from the date and venue to the color scheme and floral arrangements. Sometimes, answering these questions opens the door for well-intentioned friends and relatives to share their own thoughts and tell you what they did for their wedding.

The best thing you can do here is set boundaries from the beginning. You may wish to tell family members that you appreciate their insights, but you don’t want to share any details about your plans right now. You can even tell them you want to keep your plans a surprise for guests to enjoy on the big day!

2. If a family member wants to help financially, define their role in the planning process.

When it comes to paying for a wedding, expenses don’t always fall along the traditional “bride’s parents” and “groom’s parents” lines anymore. Some couples pay for the entire wedding themselves, while others have one or both families chip in for certain elements of the wedding.

This is where things can get a little tricky. Family members who are helping finance your wedding often feel that because they’re paying, they should have final say over the details (even though it’s your wedding day!). To avoid any drama and hurt feelings, it helps to define roles before any money changes hands.

One simple solution is to delegate a single aspect of the planning process to each family member who wants to help financially. This helps you clearly outline the planning responsibilities and gives you a built-in excuse to ward off other people’s input.

Let’s say your mom is paying for floral arrangements and your future mother-in-law is covering the welcome bags for your out-of-town guests. Only your mom gets to weigh in on the flowers, and only your mother-in-law gets to share her thoughts on the welcome bags. As long as you’re consistent and encourage everyone involved to “stay in their lane,” you should be able to avoid major conflicts of opinion between family members.

3. Determine where you’re willing to compromise.

Sometimes, you and your fiance will need to compromise with your family members. That’s why it’s good to talk about your “must-haves” together. You can both decide which aspects of your wedding you want full control over before you open the floor to family opinions on your wedding.

For example, if you both decide investing in video is non-negotiable and you have a specific vendor in mind, you can plan your budget accordingly to make sure you’re able to cover this vendor yourself. If, on the other hand, you don’t really feel strongly about what type of wedding favors you have, you can ask an eager family member to chip in there and help you make your decision.

If your families are helping out in a big way and paying for the majority of your wedding, you may need to be a little more flexible on your areas of compromise, depending on their budget. Ultimately, the more you can communicate with your family about your wedding vision and how you’d like them to help, the smoother the planning process will be for all of you.

[Want to know what a New Jersey wedding really costs? We surveyed real NJ brides to find out.]

Use our online planner to manage your family’s wedding input

When you book your wedding with Hurricane Productions, you (and whoever else you choose) will have 24/7 access to our online planning tool.You’ll be able to plot out your wedding timeline, designate special songs for important moments throughout the day, and make music requests for your reception entertainment. So, if your aunt is begging you to have the Electric Slide or your fiance’s cousin wants a certain song played for his groomsman entrance, you can compile and organize it all here.

You can even share your Spotify playlists, Pinterest wedding inspiration boards and social media handles with us so we can curate a wedding experience that’s perfectly tailored to you.

Best of all, our online planner allows you to make payments at your own pace throughout your wedding planning process. If you’re funding your own wedding, you can take your time and pay as much or as little as you want, up to your payment due date. If your parents are helping you finance your big day, they can pay us directly through our secure payment portal.

Hurricane Productions offers a full suite of all-inclusive wedding services to help you celebrate your big day. Visit our pricing page for package details, or request a custom quote for your wedding.

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