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Make sure you have the right people with you for these milestone wedding planning occasions!
Too many cooks in the kitchen can ruin the sauce, but many hands make light work. How do you know which events and wedding preparations to handle on your own and which ones would be great to bring your posse too? And who is your posse, anyway? Do you have to bring your mother-in-law to everything if you want to avoid hurting her feelings? Do all 8 bridesmaids need to come with you to every dress shopping appointment? Can you occasionally leave your fiancé at home/split up tasks, or do the two of you need to be together for each thing that you do?
The etiquette of it all can be quite confusing, right? When you've never gotten married, it can be a lot trying to figure it all out and please everyone and not drown in stress and exercise and drink enough water and still be a nice person.
So we put together this guide* (a combination of research, experience, and opinion) to help you understand who your A-team should be for each** event!
(Remember, this is a guide, not gospel. You don't have to follow this to the letter if your personal situation differs or if you see potential pros and cons that we don't because we don't know your people. A lot of this will depend on your relationship to your people anyway!)
(**If you have a wedding planner, they should be brought to any of these that involve your guests! They may be able to get you great deals or offer great advice.**)
Bring:Just you and your fiancé!
This can be a lot of fun, and you can do a large chunk of this online nowadays, but this should solely be between you and your future roommate for life. You can and should definitely ask friends and family members what their favorite registry items were that they got, or what kitchen applicances/gadgets they currently have that they really love, but physically having someone weigh in on the items you have to choose as your gifts that will be in your future home? Not the best move. No one is going to use these items but you and him, and you're just going to get a lot of messy and plain unnecessary opinions from anyone you involve in this process. But you DO need to involve him in the process. The kind of coffee blender your mom thinks is best doesn't matter, but he's going to have to see your bed comforter every day for the initial rest of his life.
Wedding Dress Shopping
Bring: Only the people whose opinion you really need and who care about your opinion most. Choose carefully. And don't bring your fiancé.
This one is probably the trickiest to decide. Obviously, everybody wants to be involved in this step, but this is the one event where the wrong opinions can be really damaging. You don't want to be facing unnecessary pressure here. But you definitely need someone else's eyes besides your own! We think you should keep it to only the people whose opinion matters the most to you. Maybe that's just your MOH. Maybe that's your mom and dad. Maybe that's your siblings. Maybe that's your fiancé's sister. Whoever it is, try to limit it to just them. We guarantee the process will go much faster with a smaller crowd, and you'll be more focused when you have less voices to listen to and body language to try to read. If you fear leaving anybody out, there are two pieces of advice we'd give you: a) don't publicize your shopping trips ahead of time - the less people who know, the less people who can feel left out, and b) send pictures to ONLY necessary and trustworthy parties rather than having everybody tag along. (I only brought my mom, dad, brother, and MOH to appointments, and sent pictures to my bridesmaids and mother-in-law and sisters-in-law to get their opinions on potential dresses. Texting opinions don't carry the same weight or same stress!) This also works well if you're on a strict timeline but have out-of-town people. Just make sure that no one leaks the photos!
Bring: The foodies! Your parents, if they're helping pay. And your fiancé.
Got anyone in your life who just really likes food, or is a food critic you trust? Bring them! Catering tastings tend to be very laid back, and while food is truly one of THE most important things at a wedding (seriously, people do not give that enough attention in the wedding industry), the tastings are often free, and really fun - I mean, since when is free food not fun? It's important that you and your fiancé feel confident in the food choice, though, cause you're going to have to eat it on your wedding day. You probably only get to bring 1-2 additional people including the 2 of you, though, so it's probably best to bring either your parents (dads, or moms, or just one set, particularly if they are paying for anything in your wedding - they've fed you enough in your life and the reception part of the wedding is technically hosted by them!) or your MOH & best man. You can also totally invite someone in the wedding party you just really enjoy and want to hang with! Don't invite anyone who's not directly involved in the wedding unless you have a good reason to make that exception. But again, you don't have to publicize every little thing, so no need for everyone to know who was invited and who wasn't!
Bring: Anybody you want! Or nobody you want!
This is probably one of the most laid-back of the events, because the cake matters the least of all of the ones we're listing. Truthfully, your fiancé probably doesn't care about what the cake looks or tastes like (if he has a sweet tooth though and wants to come, bring him and make it a fun date) so you can leave him behind. You can take care of this on your own, if you feel confident - really, unlike food, the only one whose opinion really matters when it comes to how the cake taste's and looks is the bride's! We recommend bringing along your bestie/MOH or mom though, just to make it a fun quality time girls' day. Make sure it's someone who likes cake and who you like spending time with though!
Bring:Your fiancé and anyone helping pay that wants to come
Venue touring, like dress shopping, will go a lot faster and be a lot simpler if there are less opinions involved. Ultimately, you and your fiancé need to make this decision together - the place you get married influences EVERYTHING about your wedding day. But if either sets of parents are helping you pay for it, their opinion matters too, and it may be a good idea to have them with you to see things you may not and point out things that you may not notice/think about.
Vendor Meetings (Photographer, Videographer, Florist, DJ, Officiant, etc.)
Bring:Just you (and probably your fiancé!)
If you have a wedding planner, all of these involve your guests so you should definitely bring them along, but other than that, meeting with a photographer, videographer, DJ, florist, etc. is something that really just needs to be a bride or couple's decision. This is something you could split up if you want/have to, and most guys won't care at all about the flowers so you can probably handle that one your own, but in general it's a good idea to make sure you are both on the same page about your vendors. No one else really needs to be with you during these consultations, as it tends to be awkward for the vendor and for your party! Their opinion won't be consulted during the consultation - the vendor will be focused on you - and isn't really necessary anyway.
Wedding Ring Shopping
Bring: Just you and your fiancé!
Like registering, this is a decision that's ONLY going to impact the two of you. No one else needs to be involved in helping you pick something that you're going to wear on your hands for the rest of your lives! Go pick them out together. It's really romantic to look at wedding bands (when it's not frustrating because of how expensive they are) because you know you're going to promise each other to each other with these rings! So special! Leave everyone else out of it.
Hair and Makeup Trial
Bring: You and 1-2 people you really trust.
Many wedding sites would argue that it should only be you at the makeup & hair trials, but we would say that everyone needs a second opinion when it comes to this aspect of beauty for such an important and photographed day. You may not feel confident enough to tell the stylist that what she did is not exactly what you want, or that you just don't like it, but your bolder best friend would - she's who you should bring. You may like your hair down and flowy, but then your mom points out that you're going to be getting married on a windy beach and it might be better to have an updo (something you haven't thought of) - she's who you should bring. Keep it to one or two people, though - you need to feel totally comfortable, and so does your stylist.
Any other questions or advice? Who did you bring with you to your appointments? We'd love to hear your stories and advice in the comments!
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