How to Politely Reject Unwanted Wedding Advice

When you start planning a wedding, everyone you know offers advice. Not all of it is good, even if it’s offered with the best of intentions. Here’s how to say no, without hurting anyone’s feelings.

  • Just say no. If the person offering help is a known control freak, and you fear that he or she will take over your wedding and make a lot of bad decisions in your name, the most compassionate thing to day is simply say, “That won’t be necessary.” 
  • Be grateful for the offer. When someone offers to make some god-awful decorations for you, let them down easy by saying you’ve already chosen your decor. But take the extra step of thanking them for the generous offer.
  • Let them do something non-critical. Most of the people who offer advice and help just want to be part of your wedding. There are lots of small jobs, like addressing invitations and save-the-date cards, or being in charge of some wedding day transportation, that don’t give the person an opportunity to really muck up your big day. Be grateful for all help you accept.
  • It’s easier to reject help from your own family. A bride who rejects help from a future in-law risks engendering bad feelings. Let the groom say no to his own family’s bad ideas.  
  • Pushy people and wedding planning events don’t mix. If you have a friend who won’t take no for an answer, taking her to a planning meeting is the worst thing to do. It will only fill her head with ideas on how to “improve” your wedding; and you’ll wear yourself out saying, “No, no, no,” and having to repeatedly answer the question, “Why not?”
  • Say someone else is already doing it. If someone suggests that she create some tacky table-number posters for you, just say you’ve already assigned that job. Only a rude person would suggest that you turn down someone else’s offer in favor of their own.
  • Don’t offer a lot of details. If people don’t know what needs to be done, they can’t offer to do it.

You probably have a good idea which of your friends and relatives are artistic, or well-organized, or talented in ways that can help your wedding. You don’t have to turn them down. Just make sure that you assign low-priority tasks to people of questionable abilities, and you’ll still be able to let them share in your big day. 

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© Fourth Estate Audio, 2014 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.

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