(Closed) How to handle my friend's wedding (super-long, sorry!)

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
3886 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Wow, this sounds like a big train wreck waiting to happen.  I think you first of all have to decide if you really want to continue being the “wedding planner” because it sounds like a lot more than what you signed on for. There’s a huge difference between offering to “help” and offering to do it all for someone else.

If you decide to keep that role, I think the best thing you can do is price a professional wedding planner in your area. Then go to your friend and explain “I’m saving you $2500 by doing this job for you, and in return I absolutely need you to support my recommendations. That doesn’t mean everything has to be my way, because it’s your wedding; but if I tell you something is not practical, then you have to trust me on that.”

It may also help to reach out to any mutual friends who have recently gotten married and ask them to give you some details on what worked well in their wedding and what didn’t. You can spoon-feed them the answers if you need to; ask them if they had it to do all over again, would they still have gone with professional catering or would they try to make a pot luck reception work. Chances are, you’re going to get the answer you want, if you ask the question right.  Use this to help your friend see how unrealistic she is being.

You also need to give your friend a lesson in what you can reasonably expect a guest to contribute, such as “it’s okay to ask guests to bring an iPod playlist, but it’s not okay to ask them to bring potted plants.” 

Post # 4
3136 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I say stop taking so much on. You are a bridesmaid- not a wedding planner. I would feel wicked uncomfortable being seen as the go to person in a wedding that sounds like a disaster in waiting. Just back off a bit. Say NO! You can do the shower, but don’t be the person to organize the potluck and the furniture etc. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I tend to lean towards type a and this would make me nuts. 

Post # 5
1460 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@mamadingdong:  I agree.   Do only what you need to do and don’t take on any other responsibiites.  It’s not your wedding and you were only helping out as a favor. 

Post # 6
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings

Yikes! Talk about out of touch with reality. You need to get out of being the planner. When this turns out poorly, who do you think will be blamed?


Post # 8
663 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - Vegas Wedings

The evil side of me wants you to let things happen and then post pictures of the houseplants/ decorations, tables with church ladies standing and eating, and all the casseroles! I wanna see this!

Post # 10
2712 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Wow, that really is a train wreck waiting to happen.  As PPs have said, you first need to decide if you want to take on the wedding planner role.  If you do, then I would definitely push your opinion more.  Explain to your friend that you’ve been researching all of this stuff and that you know what’s best so if she does want you to be her wedding planner then she needs to listen to you.  A PP had a good idea about pointing out exactly how much you are saving her.

If you do not want to play wedding planner (which is what I would advise) then you can politely tell your friend that you want to help, but don’t have time to be her wedding planner.

Either way I think I would then buy her a wedding etiquette book.

Post # 11
1513 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

oh man. i am not jealous of you!  the ONLY person who should be this stressed out about her wedding is HER. but, yes, left to her own devices, this wedding will undoubtedly be a train wreck…

a lot of people will probably tell you to step away and dont feel bad, but i have a friend exactly like this, so i get where youre coming from. as a recovering helpless friend enabler, i get that it will be impossible to cut off the hand holding cold turkey. and really, i know you’ll feel more sadness than anything if the wedding of a person you love is an unmitigated disaser.

i think your best bet is to shift a large part of the responsibility back to her while using fishbone‘s approach to start building some more realistic expectations of how this wedding will come together. with my friend i have found having a finite number of solutions on hand, presented as the only options has helped. ie: “here are the 2 caterers with lunch menus for only $10 pp that work for your menu vision”… then its up to them. you can still be there for her emotionally, but you need to stop taking on so much because you arent the ultimate decisionmaker here. they are. 

Post # 12
2247 posts
Buzzing bee

You cannot possibly be a bridesmaid AND a wedding planner.  Do you know how hectic that will be for you?  I would step down from at least one of those roles.  I don’t see anything wrong with a potluck reception, as long as only immediate family/close relatives/friends are asked to bring dishes.  To ask ALL of your guests to bring food on an STD, is just un-couth.  Tables and chairs should be a given. 

It is my opinion that if you’re going to host an event, such as a wedding, you must be prepared to accomodate your guests.  If your friend couldn’t afford 400 guests, she shouldn’t have invited 400.  She should have only invited what she could afford to feed and seat.  If that meant only having 30 people there, then oh well. 

I feel so bad for you, because I am a lot like you.  I get myself into situations I do not want to be in because I cannot say no.  I’ve been where you are.  I am actually an event planner and my family (DH’s family, really) takes advantage of my knowledge and skill.  Whenever it’s time for a birthday or some other event, I am immediately expected to handle the entire thing on my own. 

Post # 13
1547 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

Holy cow!

that’s the perfect recipe for disaster! Please tell them how tacky they’re/she’s actiiiing.

Post # 14
2781 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@allisonc:  Why are you insisting they go against the potluck they want and hire a caterer? That isn’t very polit of you. They are allowed to have the type of reception they desire, and potlucks can turn out to be very well done with organisation.

Also, why are you bothered by the Groomsmen being expected to rent tuxes and the BMs being expected to get dresses? That is the most obvious expectation of any wedding party, to cover your attire picked out by the couple. If you weren’t ok with this then you shouldn’t have agreed to be a Bridesmaid or Best Man.

I also think them expecting you guys to help decorate the hall the night before is pretty typical for wedding party expectations when decorating is not being hired out.

They obviously can’t afford all the things you keep suggesting to them, they are just trying to do what they can within their budget, I think you need to cut them some slack.

You offered to help plan, and that means doing things as they want them, not as you want them.

Post # 15
9955 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

As someone who has done some Special Events planning over the years as part of my job (including Dinners similiar in size)…

I gotta say they are TONS of work, and take months of planning and coordination, and help from various PROFESSIONAL Vendors to pull-off

I would NOT want to be doing this event as a “friend”, volunteer or on my own (you are right now “holding” the bag here… and not getting any real help or credit from what I can see, except for the job title that has been thrust upon you)

AND YES, if this all goes south… it is going to be you takes the blame etc

I’d sit your friends down and tell them… you’d be happy to be their Bridesmaid (if that is your wish), but you STRONGLY Suggest that they look at hiring a PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PLANNER as you aren’t it !!

As an aside…

I gotta say this whole thing sounds like a mish-mash of stuff with little or no cohesive elements…

Your friend may “envision” a formal event… but based on what she has on tap right now… Pot Luck – Potted Plants – No Seating – etc.  That isn’t going to be the reality at all.

She may see it as a “classy” event… but I can tell you it isn’t.  It is just a tacky disorganized mess (honestly NO ONE should be Hosting a Wedding Celebration and IMPOSING on their Guests to provide ALL the required elements… Food, Seating, Decor and oh ya GIFTS*).  All that is just RUDE

*GIFTS – Cannot believe the nerve of this Bride, when she actually says / believes that her “Guests better give them money, and things that can be returned for cash”

YIKES… she really is BEYOND RUDE she is downright GIFT GRABBY and SELFISH

Yup, I’d be distancing myself as possible from this disaster !!

Lol, infact if I had a big problem saying NO, I’d book myself a vacation that overlaps their Wedding Day, send my Regrets and a nice card & a gift, and be done (sadly tho knowing that they no doubt would return it for cash… sigh)


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