Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)
Question: My parents hired a wedding coordinator to help my fiancé and I plan the festivities. We are both busy professionals who travel a lot, so we are grateful not only to my parents for covering the expense, but also for the helping hands and guidance of someone familiar with the wedding industry and all that it entails. In fact, she has already saved us both time and wedding budget dollars and we are only about halfway done. The only problem is that now that we are getting down to some of the finer details, I’m not 100 percent keen on many of the coordinator’s suggestions. I feel a bit between a rock and a hard place however, since I’m not paying her fees. Do I have to do what my wedding coordinator says? If not, how do I politely decline her suggestions without causing problems with her and my parents?
Answer: What a special gift from your parents. I certainly understand why you’d feel compelled to be amenable to your coordinator’s recommendations, since she is, in a way, under the employ of your parents. That said, ultimately you are the client and as an experienced professional, she is most certainly familiar with this circumstance and also with instances when her client’s aren’t on board with something she advises them to do, rent or purchase. Wedding coordinators understand that this is their client’s Big Day (not their Big Day) and they want to do everything to ensure that it comes off without a hitch and exceeds your wedding day dreams. As for a script, when she suggests something you don’t care for, say, “Thank you, I can see you’ve put a lot of thought and effort into this, but that’s not really the direction I envisioned. Can we discuss some other options?” Also note that she can often glean as much from what you dislike as from what you love, so don’t ever be afraid to express your preferences. In wedding planning and in life, boundaries are important, so set them up and keep to them to ensure that your voice is being heard and that you have the wedding (and marriage) of your dreams, not that of another party.
Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email Melanie@MyNewOrleans.com.