Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bittersweet Symphony

That picture is of some lovely, autumn bittersweet but the beautiful aesthetics of bittersweet is not what this post is about. Truthfully, I only included it because A) a post without a picture is like a cupcake without icing and B) it's the first thing that comes up when you google "bittersweet."

In fact, this is a post for all the bride-to-be's who have encountered some "bitterness" during their planning process, particularly in their relationships with family and friends.

I think I am in the 'lucky' category, seeing that during my wedding planning thus far, I've only had a few minor altercations, mostly with my poor mom (Thanks for putting up with me, mom!)  But for many engaged ladies, the planning can be a really stressful time that results in the loss of friendships or does serious damage to familial ties.

It should be a time to become closer to your friends and family, not pull relationships apart.  But unfortunately, I've heard many many stories of bridesmaids (or groomsmen) who have been asked to step down from their role in the wedding or family members who have stopped talking to one another based on wedding decisions. I think most of the time it is because of differing expectations or a lack of clear, forthright communication but regardless of the cause, the cost is still the same.

I am so thankful for my amazing friends and laid-back family but I truly feel for those brides who have ended a friendship or severed a relationship with a family member due to wedding planning. I can only imagine how truly bittersweet a wedding would be for someone whose best friend or aunt or cousin was absent or not performing the role originally asked of them.

It breaks my heart every time I see a thread on the boards or other blog posts from a bride who is miserable about a bridesmaid or having drama with family members. A wedding is a joyous occasion; shouldn't the planning be as well? It makes me sad to think of all the damaged and ruined relationships because of a wedding, a happy celebration of love and life.

I've tried so very hard to avoid this, mostly by refusing to stress out over anything.  It's not always easy but in the back of my mind, I just keep reminding myself that relationships are more important than things and my wedding is the last thing in the world that I to be a source of unhappiness in my life.

Anyone been in a situation where a friend or family member caused you stress during the planning process? How did you handle it?


  1. Ah yes, the dark side of weddings. I've come across this a few times even early on in my planning. My philosophy is "you want it, you buy it." So when his mom didn't like our menu, we let her pay to add on items she enjoys more. Or when his stepmom was upset that we weren't planning a rehearsal dinner, we said we were fine with her hosting it. Fortunately this has worked well so far, as we just graduated college and can fall back on the "too broke to do that" excuse.

    As for the wedding party, I don't expect anything of them besides coming + having fun, so no conflict there. Hopefully it'll stay that way.

  2. With my family there is drama at all major holidays so I'm anticipating the same stuff for my wedding. I think the key is to stay realistic. If your family is crazy on Thanksgiving and Christmas, they're probably still going to be crazy at your wedding.

    Like Katerina, we just expect our wedding party to show up in the right clothes with dancing shoes and smiles on! :)