Singaporebrides | Weddings 101

March 2024

Unsolicited Wedding Advice? Here’s How to Deal with It

Getting frustrated by the barrage of unsolicited wedding advice? Here’s how to deal with it with grace.

Once people know you’re planning a wedding, you might start getting friends and family calling or texting to share their advice, especially if they’ve been down the aisle before. From your aunties cautioning against spending too much, to girlfriends lamenting about gowns they weren’t 100 % happy with, to colleagues telling you where to shop for flowers, the unsolicited recommendations can come fast and furious–until you’re furious indeed.

When you’re already stressing over the myriad of decisions you have to make to put together a wedding, it can be overwhelming to have every Tom, Dick, and Harry chip in with what they think you should do. While unsolicited wedding advice can be frustrating, it helps to know that your loved ones are genuinely interested and trying to help. It might get increasingly difficult, but responding tactfully is your best bet to dealing with those “nuggets of wisdom”.

Understanding the source of these unsolicited opinions can be a balm in navigating them. Often, they stem from a place of nostalgia, excitement for your happiness, or personal regrets and wishes unfulfilled in their own celebrations. Recognising this can soften the impact of their words and help you respond with empathy. Here are further tips on how you can respond with grace and assertiveness.

Cherylene and Mark’s Technicolour Disco-Dino Wedding at The Alkaff Mansion by Rolling Pie Pictures

Navigating Unwanted Opinions with Grace

1. Acknowledge and Appreciate

Begin with gratitude. Acknowledge the giver’s time and concern. A simple “Thank you for your thoughts; we’ll consider that!” can acknowledge their input without committing to their suggestions.

2. Set Boundaries Early

Early in your planning process, gently but firmly set boundaries. Communicate that while you appreciate advice, you and your partner are making decisions that best reflect your values and desires. This is especially helpful when it comes to the opinions of both sets of parents or other family members, who may have strong views about the “right” way to host a wedding.

3. Unified Front

Ensure you and your partner present a united front. Make sure you are on the same page when it comes to getting advice from other people, such as whom you’re open to suggestions from, and whom you really don’t want involved in any planning or decision-making. When both of you support each other’s decisions, it becomes easier to manage external opinions.

4. Delegate Wisely

If there are persistent opinion givers, consider delegating specific, manageable tasks to them. This inclusion can satisfy their desire to contribute, channeling their energy positively.

Celine and Samuel’s Joyous Wedding at Sofitel Singapore Sentosa Resort & Spa by The Perfect Statement

5. Limit Information Sharing

Be selective about the details you share. This doesn’t mean becoming secretive, but rather, understanding that the more you share, the more opinions you might invite. You can also be selective about with whom you share aspects of your wedding planning. Keep details to those who need to know. Think carefully before extending invitations to events like venue viewings or gown try-ons. Are these people whose opinions you value and want to have while making decisions? Don’t feel the need to involve the whole family or the whole wedding party for every planning meeting or vendor visit, and you’ll have fewer opinions to deal with.

6. Firmness When Needed

If gentle deflections don’t work, it may be necessary to be more direct. A firm “We’ve decided to go in a different direction, but thank you for your suggestion!” can set clear boundaries.

7. Seek Professional Guidance

Sometimes, having a wedding planner or coordinator can act as a buffer between you and the sea of advice. Telling overly enthusiastic relatives and friends that you don’t need another recommendation for a florist or venue is easy when you have the excuse of a wedding planner. Simply saying, “Oh, my wedding planner already has some great contacts and recommendations,” will stop the barrage of unsolicited opinions.

Wedding planning is not just an event to organise; it’s a significant chapter in your love story. While navigating the waters of unsolicited advice can be challenging, remember that the core of this journey is the celebration of your union. Embrace the process with patience, grace, and a touch of assertiveness. By setting boundaries, communicating openly, and focusing on what truly matters to you as a couple, you can transform these challenges into stepping stones towards a beautiful celebration that reflects your unique bond. Remember, at the heart of it all, it’s about the love you share and the life you’re building together.

Credits: Feature image from Khye Theng and Tony’s Romantic and Timeless Wedding with Pops of Blue at Villa Plenilunio Bali by MomentsbyJeremy

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Unsolicited Wedding Advice? Here’s How to Deal with It