At one point or another, every bride has felt it. Guilt. A gut feeling that you can’t seem to ignore. Whether you fear that you may have left someone out, or that you are taking advantage of people who have offered to help with the wedding. But we’re here with a simple truth: wedding guilt is normal. So how do you overcome it so that you can make the most of this momentous occasion? Here are the 12 most common decisions that can cause wedding guilt, and why you shouldn’t feel bad for making them!
Say "Goodbye" to Wedding Guilt
There are so many small details in the big decisions that come with planning a wedding. Not everyone is going to understand or agree with every decision you make. It's okay to choose what you want, even if someone else doesn't agree with it. Regardless of who that person may be.
When making decisions in regards to your wedding, the guilt may seem overwhelming. And make it difficult to enjoy the wedding planning process. Remind yourself that this day is about what you and your fiancé! So shake off that wedding guilt, and plan the celebration of your dreams.
1. Financial Assistance
Finances are a hot topic when it comes to wedding planning. But it's a topic that has to be talked about. For starters, don't feel ashamed if your parents or in-laws are helping you foot the bill. It's not anyone else's business as far as who is paying for what. Don't feel guilty when it comes time to discuss a budget, or for accepting help. You're not forcing anyone to pitch in, and you're also welcome to deny assistance. Know that the people who are offering help are doing it because they care about you both. When it comes to your personal budget, it is your business and your business alone. So spend the money you feel comfortable spending, and don't let anyone make you feel guilty.
2. Hosting a Small Wedding
Wedding size is a personal decision. Not everyone wants to invite 500 of their closest friends and family. In fact, intimate weddings are becoming more and more popular. Some couples only want the immediate family to attend. Or your dream venue may only accommodate up to 50 people. Perhaps your budget only allows for a small gathering. Regardless of the reason for a small wedding, trust that it will be as beautiful as any large event. If naysayers feel the need to express that you should invite more or specific people, ignore them. Your family and friends will respect your decision to have an intimate.
3. Who You Do & Don't Ask to be a Bridesmaid
This is a huge source of wedding guilt experienced amongst brides! From family, friends, or roommates, there are a lot of people who you might consider asking to be a part of your wedding party. Unfortunately, you can’t pick everybody. (Or you can and have more than the average number of bridesmaids. Do what you want!)
What you shouldn't do is feel obligated to choose anyone. The decision is yours and yours alone, and it's on that you don't want to look back on with any regrets. The pictures of your bridal party will be in your home for years to come! If you want someone to play a special part in your wedding but not the bridal party, consider other roles. Ask them to read something at the ceremony, or invite them to be a personal attendant or usher.
4. Having a Big Wedding
As with a small wedding, you can have guilt about hosting a large wedding. It’s not a competition, but it can definitely feel that way at times. You’re planning a wedding with few financial worries, and it's such a relief! Meanwhile, your best friend is shopping the sample sale rack for the best deals she can find. It's easy to feel guilty when you have a bigger budget than friends and/or family. But remember that like you, their end goal is to tie the knot. And that's all that matters! The best thing to do is focus on what’s going on with your big day.
5. Having a Bachelorette Party
The tradition of having a bachelorette party has become somewhat of an expectation. And it's just as fun for your friends as it is for you! So don’t feel bad when they want to throw you an unforgettable bash. Wedding guilt can come in all shapes and forms, including when it comes to other events in commitments that coincide with a wedding. Allow your friends to plan you a girl's night out and simply enjoy it for what it is.
6. Limiting Guest Plus Ones
Creating a guest list and determining who gets a plus one can cause couples so much stress and guilt. Some guests feel entitled to bring a plus one, while others feel stressed having to find a date. That one friend has been dating their partner for six months, while another has been dating for three weeks. Do they both get plus ones? No matter what you decide, plus ones can be a sticky situation.
Most brides would love to invite everyone they know and give them all a plus one. But for most couples that is not doable. Your venue can only hold so many guests, and your budget can only accommodate a certain number of people. Sooner or later you will need to start cutting down your list and the plus ones are usually the first to go. Keep it simple! Guests who are married, engaged, or in long-term relationships should be the first to get a plus one.
7. Getting Married Before Your Friends
Alrighty, brides, it’s time to get off of your high horse. Just because you’re happily engaged doesn’t mean that your single friends are sulking every time you flash that bling on your hand. Your friends are thrilled for you, so don’t worry about them being jealous or bitter. That one friend who is always the bridesmaid and never the bride will still be genuinely excited for you! If your friends are getting tired of hearing about wedding planning, they'll ask you about other things in your life. Don't feel guilty for being happy about your engagement and the future.
8. Receiving Wedding Gifts
Your family and friends want to help you and your partner start your marriage off on the right foot. Showing support in the form of a gift is a common way to do that. Regardless of what is on your registry, people will want to give you gifts. So ask away - list the items that will help you and your partner start a life together. In general, it is considerate to list gifts of varying price points. Don't feel guilty for asking for expensive items. People will spend whatever they are comfortable spending. You also shouldn't feel guilty if your registry is asking for a monetary gift, perhaps directed to your honeymoon fund. Every couple's needs are different, so making a registry helps your guests know what you want and will use.
While we're on the topic of gifts: don't feel guilty if you want to open your gifts in private. Feel free to skip the gift opening party and open your gifts at home with your new spouse. Just don't forget to take note of who gifts you what. This will allow you to easily write specific thank-you notes.
9. Being Excited About Your Wedding
It’s easy to get wrapped up in and feel overwhelmed during the wedding planning process. So it's understandable that you may want to let off some steam by discussing the details or vent about any challenger. It can be so helpful to verbally process this journey with the special people in your life. Don’t feel bad about your wedding coming up regularly in conversation. However, if you notice your friends or family starting to get bored by the conversation, it might be time to switch it up a bit.
10. Not Inviting Children
Whether or not to invite children to your wedding can be a hot topic for couples. Do you invite everyone in a family? Do you leave children off the invite list? In the past, couples may have felt obligated to invite children, but adult-only weddings are on the rise. If that's what you choose to do, don't feel bad that some guests will need to hire a babysitter. If anything, they may enjoy an evening out that's kid-free. On the other hand, you should prepare for newer parents to opt-out of the event. And for those with younger kids to dip out early. While they will be happy to celebrate your event, they have big commitments waiting at home.
11. Asking for Help
There’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding and sometimes you need help. There's plenty of work to do: selecting centerpieces, invitation stuffing, and so much more. Don’t feel ashamed to ask for help from your bridesmaids, friends, and family. In fact, most people feel like it is an honor to be included in the process, as it means that you want and appreciate their input. Granted, if there is too much work for you and your crew to handle, you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner.
12. Breaking Away from 'Tradition'
Are you over the traditional Canon D bridal entrance? How about tossing a bouquet? Or wearing a garter? Feel free to skip any traditions to make the event your own! One controversial topic is whether the bride should wear white. If you don’t want to, you don't have to. Don’t feel guilty about your great aunt stewing over your blush colored wedding dress. As weddings progress, more couples are breaking away from ‘traditional’ wedding practices. Instead, they are throwing the party that suits them and that they will be able to look back on with joy for a lifetime.
We hope that this list allows you to enjoy the wedding planning process with less guilt. It's your day, and in the end, all that matters is you and your fiance's happiness. So rock that non-traditional wedding frock and enjoy being doted on while it lasts! Tell us about something you've found yourself feeling guilty about in the comments below. How did you handle the situation?
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