Wedding planning is all about making a crapload of choices. Even those couples who do their utmost to avoid making every single decision still have to face some choices. Friends, some of those choices are tough ones. And we can talk forever about etiquette, or rules, or best practices, but real life comes with choices that don't always fit into nice boxes.
My dude and I had some of those. The biggest one? We did not invite my dude's parents. I know, it's a little shocking. It took a while for my own parents to understand how we could consider having our wedding without my dude's parents. Long story short? Not a good relationship. So we had this huge choice that we had made and not everyone understood it. We imagined what his parents' reaction would be if they found out. There would be consequences (or at least there were potential consequences).
We made the decision that we still were not inviting them. We thought out all the options and very carefully made our choice. We stuck by it and we owned it. I had conversation after conversation with my mum who would have done anything to help smooth things out but that was not what we wanted. We knew what we were getting into. As it turned out, there was no drama… but we were ready to be accountable if there had been.
Be prepared for major feels
The thing is, when you make a big decision, especially about an event like a wedding, people have major feels about it. MAJOR FEELS. That's part of wedding backlash. And when it comes to weddings, we often want to seek advice but we also often get unsolicited advice. In the face of that, you need to be prepared to be accountable.
Be prepared for consequences and, like a grown-up, be ready to face them
We knew that if the dude's parents found out about the wedding, they would be pissed. There would be a lot of unpleasantness. To a lesser extent, the same thing was true of leaving other people off the guest list, having the wedding on a Friday, having delivery food, and any of the other decisions we made. We also decided it would be worth it to have our wedding without waiting for a disparaging comment or have my dude's stomach in knots.
Be prepared to be accountable for what you choose
So when making decisions, including the awesome ones, I've found that the best policy is to own your decisions, regardless of what they are. For me this has always meant thinking through what the possible outcomes could be (learned that from my mum!) and then just accepting that I might have to deal with that. It's a heck of a lot easier to face if you've already thought about how it could go wrong and prepared yourself.
This also applies to the days we make bad decisions or unpopular ones. We've all had those moments when we accidentally invited those five extra people, turned down help we actually need, had a fight with a member of the bridal party, overspent on something, or sent a grumpy email to a vendor. You have to own those decisions too. It may not be a lot of fun, but in the long run I've always had it work out better to be accountable than to try to pretend it didn't happen. I make a crappy ostrich, people, so sticking my head in the sand just doesn't work.
Be prepared to be an offbeat spokesperson
When you're an offbeat couple, it's even more important to hold yourself accountable for the consequences of your wedding choices. Offbeat couples are known for making our choices in ways that often differ from what people expect… so when we truly own those choices and are willing to be held accountable, we can continue to demonstrate just how awesome it is to be offbeat.
Who else has experienced some backlash for your wedding choices? What were the things that made it easier for you to be accountable for the decisions you made?