How to accept help from the not-so-helpful without pulling your hair out

Guestpost by Beatrix on Dec 18th

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Got wedding guests willing to lend a hand? (Photo by photo by Marty Takagawa)

There are a million reasons why someone offering to help out at your wedding will actually cause more hindrance than help. Distance, time, ability… whatever.

These people are offering their help because they care about you and want your day to be as awesome as possible. So what's the best way to graciously accept their help while minimizing frustrations and/or pulling your hair out?

(Un)fortunately, personal wedding experience has allowed me to offer these tips:

Work in bulk

I've seen some Offbeat Brides host crafting nights, and I think those are great. Getting people together to finish tasks allows you to see the final product and (hopefully) get a bunch done while hanging out with awesome people! Which brings me to…

Pair 'em up

Who doesn't need a spotter in life? If a flaky relative really wants to do the centerpieces, enlist the help of a more reliable family member to keep that shit on track. Or perhaps they'd be willing to stay up all night two days before the wedding when said flake, well, flakes out.

Don't rely on them for something imperative

This one is especially good for those that have time conflicts. Favors aren't a big deal for us, so it provided a perfect opportunity for my aunt to take that task over. She's going all out on them, and lord knows if they'll be finished. But, if they don't get done, no big deal.

Something borrowed

My grandmother desperately wants to help with her first grandchild's wedding. But she has such bad anxiety that she's been sent to the hospital before with stomach ulcers. I wanted her to feel like she could contribute, but not feel like she had to run around getting stuff done. So I'm going to borrow some of her basket collection to use as the card box, favor holder, etc. She already has them, so no stress, and she'll get to be a big help!

Monetary help is still help


I know this topic is touchy, especially for Offbeat Brides with traditional relatives who want to activate the power of the purse. But that's not the kind of "help" I'm talking about. Some people are not able to give their labor or time, so they cut a check to express their support. This is help. Accept it along with their love.

What do they want to do?

Sometimes the easiest thing is to ask them what they want to help with. Working on something they like will (hopefully) inspire them to actually do it.

Acknowledgement goes a long way

As cheesy as it sounds, even if the person who wanted to help didn't, it's the thought that counts. They should still be thanked for thinking of you and even making the offer. Enthusiastic gratitude will make for a wedding atmosphere that is warm and fuzzy come Game Day.

What are your tips for receiving help from the well-meaning but not-so-helpful?

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About Beatrix

Beatrix is an environmental scientist who loves all things green and crafting like a madwoman. She's currently trying to plan a holiday wedding without the holiday theme.