De-stressing Wedding Planning by Changing My Wedding Party Expectations

There are numerous wedding traditions that soon translate into serious expectations when planning a wedding. Essentially, family members and the wedding party are expected to step up and donate time, energy, and most importantly–money, to help the new couple launch their lives together.

When I first got engaged, I knew many of those traditions would be flying out the window as the differences in incomes were significant between ourselves and many in our wedding party, particularly on my side. But as I navigated those financial waters, I uncovered a pleasant surprise: my tailored approach had resulted in a drastic reduction in stress and conflict.

Here’s how I de-stressed my wedding planning by changing my wedding party expectations…

During my eleven month engagement, there were:

  • zero arguments about bridesmaids dresses,
  • zero conflicts about any other part of the wedding,
  • zero hurt feelings and/or misunderstandings,
  • …and most importantly: zero hesitation to be happy, rally, and muster genuine excitement about the wedding!

So how did I do it?

It was simple, really: I removed expectations. It cost me approximately $2000 more than it would have of our $25k budget to cover at least some of the expenses for our wedding party. And it was worth every penny. I showered my bridesmaids with gifts. Our wedding party was surprised, grateful, and excited to join. By offering to cover either attire or a room cost, we sent a clear message: we want you here with us so much, and we don’t want your attendance to be a burden for you. You are valuable and important to us.

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