A wedding planner answers the questions couples are too afraid to ask

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  • As a wedding planner, I’m used to answering questions that people are too shy to ask.
  • There are polite ways to say that you don’t want children or unvaccinated guests at your wedding.
  • You are not required to serve a meal or register, but this should be clearly communicated to guests.

Planning a wedding can take a lot of time, and from listening to the opinions of loved ones to managing the phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s normal to have a lot of questions when planning your wedding. special day.

Here are the answers to 10 questions couples are sometimes too shy to ask when it comes to their marriage:

Will it kill the mood if I mention COVID-19?

guests seated at a wedding ceremony

It’s best to go over the health and safety guidelines with your guests before the wedding.


Your guests and vendors are still thinking about COVID-19, even though you don’t want to talk about it.

Instead of leaving them in the dark, let your guests and people you hire know how you and your partner prioritize their health and safety.

An easy way to do this is to create a COVID-19 safety policy and share it with your guests and vendors. Think about what a vaccination limit would look like at your wedding or what kind of proof of vaccination you want or need in your area.

Of course, it’s not perfect, and whenever we talk about vaccines, we have to remember that some people can’t get them.

However, I encourage you and your partner to at least engage in some sort of conversation around COVID-19 and your marriage. The alternative – which I’ve seen often over the past year – is that you don’t talk about it at all, which unfortunately is how people end up stressed and, sometimes, sick.

How do I politely uninvite people?

Couples have realized that an intentional guest means more money to spend on other things and a chance to talk to everyone at their own wedding.

But I won’t lie: it’s a tough question, especially if you’ve already sent this person some kind of guest correspondence, such as a save date or an invitation.

For this reason, it is possible that this person has already made arrangements such as travel, vacation or childcare.

Depending on the situation, you can do one of two things:

  • You can own it. Explain that you and your partner have reassessed the purpose of your marriage and realized that your original plan is no longer working. As such, you had to reduce the number of guests.
  • You can lie – just a little. Many couples I’ve spoken to are using the next phase of the pandemic to alter their guest list. They explain that they are doing their best to comply with current health and safety regulations, which emphasize small gatherings, and that they are reducing the number of people even though they could probably have more people.

I think there’s worse you can do when it comes to a wedding, so if using a little lie to politely rescind the invitation from that first cousin you haven’t spoken to in 10 years makes all a little easier, go ahead.

To make this bad news go a little better, you can offer alternatives so that non-guests can still recognize the start of your wedding through virtual options or other types of wedding-related gatherings like “mini- receptions”, where the couple goes to the guests.

You can also suggest ways to connect such as text messages, phone calls, cards, and even gifts. One of the ways people show their love and support is by giving gifts, so don’t give anyone – even uninvited people – the chance to show it even if they’re no longer coming to your wedding.

What if I changed my mind about someone in the wedding party?

Although there is a legal requirement in most states to have witnesses at your ceremony, you are not required to have a wedding party in the first place.

But, if you’re asking someone to stop being your bridesmaid or best man, it takes empathy and kindness. Ideally, you will explain in person, over the phone, or via video why you and your partner no longer believe that this person’s role serves the purpose of the marriage.

Make this choice out of the higher purpose of marriage and not a critique of the person’s character by avoiding “you” statements and focusing on how everyone can fully enjoy the day. For example, “I deeply appreciate your friendship and feel like this job has taken a toll on what we love about each other as friends, so I want to find another way to be part of our marriage. »

That other part could be that person reading something during the ceremony, toasting, or having time before, during, or after the wedding just for the two of you. Don’t be limited by the titles and responsibilities of a wedding party.

Of course, it’s probably still bad news for the other person, so their initial reaction may be defensiveness, pain, and even anger. Give them space and don’t force them to feel a certain way about your decision.

What should I do if someone brings a plus-one and it’s someone I don’t want at my wedding?

Couples often ask me about it regarding a sibling’s significant other – even if you care about them, you might have doubts about their tastes in partners.

Before you and your partner pass some kind of “they can’t come” edict, I challenge you to ask yourself, “Is this person’s presence at our wedding going to drastically reduce our joy? “

In most cases the answer is “no”, having someone’s weird boyfriend will be unhappy but not a deciding factor.

However, if you answer “yes”, be prepared for a very difficult conversation that may end with neither party present.

It’s tough, but unless you can have a one-on-one with this person and they’re willing to come without their date, your only other alternative is the more nuclear option: don’t not allow plus-ones for any of your guests.

How do I make it clear that I don’t want children at my wedding?

A waiter takes bread from the wedding feast table at a wedding.

There are ways to politely say that you don’t want children at your wedding.

martinedoucet/Getty Images

You can just say it and understand that your decision and that of your partner may mean that some people you care about cannot come to your wedding.

This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic when certain vaccines are not available for children under 12.

Another alternative is to offer on-site childcare at your wedding. It costs more, but it can be a good way to invite children over without having them take over the entire wedding.

What should I do with relatives who want to plan the wedding for me?

Relatives, especially if they are helping to pay for part of the wedding, usually want to be involved in the planning process.

The most effective option is to pay for everything yourself but, of course, this is not possible for the vast majority of couples.

Instead, be very clear about what you both expect from your wedding day, then communicate those guidelines to those around you. In almost every situation, the person texting you wants you to know they love you, and sending you a million links is the best way they know how.

You can acknowledge this outpouring of love without accepting something that is out of alignment with your values ​​by remembering the power of “no, thank you” and, in more intense situations, considering the ways others might be involved who exploit their talents.

Is it okay not to register?

Although you don’t need to register, some people will want to give you a gift.

Depriving them of this opportunity doesn’t mean they won’t – either they’ll bother you about it, or they’ll buy something you’ll never use.

Instead, think of your registry as an opportunity to fund other opportunities. Are there experiences you and your partner want to have that a registry could help fund? What about the nonprofits you support? Could you ask for donations?

Approach a registry as a creative project and build it together as a couple.

Will people be bored during our wedding ceremony?

Couple dancing at wedding

Although the reception is fun, there is no need to rush.

Oleksandr Shevchuk/Shutterstock

Although you may think you should rush through the ceremony to get to the reception, I think this part is one of the most defining parts of a wedding.

Even the most elaborate secular ceremonies usually last no more than 30 minutes. If you think yours will last longer, send a message in guest correspondence before or on the day of the wedding so people are notified before the ceremony begins.

For more religious ceremonies, if you think your guests don’t normally attend these kinds of functions, or if you’ve invited a diverse group of people, let them know so they can get an idea of ​​what to expect. what the day will look like.

Should I serve a meal?

Even if you don’t have to serve a meal, you should warn people because the idea of ​​a wedding usually involves some kind of dinner.

Tasty ways to talk about food include “Dessert to follow” or “Guests are encouraged to bring their favorite side dish.”

The goal here is to let your guests know what will and won’t be available at the wedding so they can plan accordingly.

Should we make love on the wedding night?

Although some cultures still adhere to a “sleeping ceremony”, many don’t, which means you luckily don’t have to prove anything to anyone when it comes to your sex life.

A wedding night can actually be the worst time to have fun because you’re really tired and maybe even a little drunk.

Release the pressure and remind yourself that you have the honeymoon and the rest of your life to make up for.

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