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Wedding Planning Advice: 12 Things Not to Feel Guilty About

a bride and groom holding hands

At one point or another, every bride has felt it. Wedding Guilt. It might be a 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 special occasion? Here are the 12 most common decisions that can cause wedding guilt, and why you shouldn’t feel bad for making them!

Avoid Wedding Guilt: Don't Feel Bad About These Decisions

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. 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) Accepting Financial Assistance

Finances are a hot topic when it comes to wedding planning - but it needs 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.

bride on the morning of her wedding day

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 guests they barely know. In fact, intimate weddings are becoming increasingly 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.

bride and groom walking down the aisle

Regardless of the reason, 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 wedding.

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!)
a group of bridesmaids smiling and holding bouquets
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) Choosing to Have 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
Dancing Reception Wedding.

5) Having (Or Not 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.

On the same note, if a bachelorette party isn't your cup of tea - don't feel pressured to have one! You can enjoy a laid back get together with some of your friends or skip it altogether. Remember, it's completely up to you when it comes to your wedding celebrations!

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.
Bridesmaid and Groomsman walking down the aisle

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 handYour 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.

Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid and Bride getting wedding ready

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!

Bride on her Wedding Day

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 to Your Wedding

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 Wedding Planning 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.

Wedding Reception Decor

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 Wedding 'Traditions'

Are you over the traditional bridal entrance? How about tossing a bouquet or wearing a garter? Feel free to skip any traditions to make the event your own! Another 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.

Bride and Groom Dancing

Don't Let Wedding Guilt Get You Down!

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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Leave a comment

December 08, 2023 16:10

As a venue coordinator, i wish brides would stop feeling responsible for their guests hotel rates, travel plans etc. there are much better places to spend your time and energy. You aren’t responsible for this!! Promise, ppl will come!

Kara B.
May 19, 2021 09:59

This blog was a HUGE relief to my wedding anxiety/guilt!!! Financial assistance, not including children, and breaking away from tradition are huge stressors on my mind. This article truly helped me come to terms with decisions I’ve been struggling. SO thankful to KB for not only supplying me with a great company for dresses but also for these helpful articles. The articl about pregnant bridesmaids was also a HUGE help for 4 of my girls who are trying to get pregnant within the time before our wedding. Definitely recommend y’all read that if you have the same situation.

December 22, 2020 09:14

Feeling really guilty right now because we’re only having 5 people come to our wedding as guests – mums and grandmas and one joint best friend as a witness. I have other parents, step parents, grandparents, five siblings and friends that won’t be coming. And that’s just on my side! We’ve made the decision because we aren’t flush but we really want to get married, and we’re a same sex couple so any babies we have will cost us a lot to even try for. We’ve got to think about the future and not spending all our money on one day. I know people will understand but the guilt is eating me alive, real pit of my stomach guilt.

December 10, 2020 10:44

This was a very encouraging article. My fiance and I are planning a small wedding (about 50 people). I have been struggling with guilt over numbers 1, 2, 6, and 7. I don’t want to hurt anyone, so number 7 is hitting hard. I know my dear friend is happy for me, but I know she wants it for herself. To top that off because of our small wedding, she may not even be able to stand up with me. However, I like the suggestion to have her be part of the wedding in a different way! It’s just encouraging to hear again that the people who love you will be genuinely happy for you!

August 18, 2020 09:03

I’m feeling so guilty right now about a situation involving my bridesmaids and read your article hoping that there might be something to ease it. Basically I’ve made the decision to stay at our venue the night before The wedding but can’t afford for all the rooms, for all my bridesmaids and family. My Family have said they will pay for themselves, but can I honestly expect my future in laws and future husbands family and my bridesmaids to do the same? Advice please

August 04, 2020 14:42

I would like some advice on people wanting me to have the wedding where they live and not closer to where I am. I want my dad to walk me down the aisle and if I do it where other family is he won’t be able to. What do I do?

Delores Harris
July 07, 2020 22:59

Some of my best memories are of children at family weddings, just appoint a crying baby wrangler to remove problem kids. Teen family members are good at this.

July 05, 2020 13:22

My mum is trying to guilt trip me into allowing my siblings children on our wedding and it makes me so sad. Haven’t talked to her i a week because of this. Needed this article.

Aubrey Cole
June 23, 2020 14:18

Thanks for these wonderful tips!!

June 14, 2020 08:44

I was starting to worry a little to much about what others thought of my wedding, but this reminded me that the wedding is about making the 2 of us happy!

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