HOW TO SAY NO
I’m going to guess that you are planning your own event, and for the purpose of this post let’s assume it’s a wedding. If you’re just starting out with the planning you’ll be full of excitement and likely to be spending hours of your life on Pinterest, or talking to people about the plans for the day so far, even if it’s only been a few weeks. I would imagine in that first few weeks there will have been plenty of people giving you what they consider to be their top tips on wedding planning. These are all going in and you’re keen to hear them. You may even have a notebook where you’re writing down all of these golden nuggets of information.
Skip ahead 6 months, maybe even a year. You are now sick to death of people’s opinions, bright ideas, and quite frankly annoying suggestions (as if your friend thought hanging hundreds of photos of you and the groom all around your beautiful minimalistic wedding would actually work right??). Your notebook has gone out the window, you now know what your day will look like once planned, and you are starting to switch off when certain people try to talk to you about it. Most of these people do genuinely want to help you, so as frustrating as it is do try to be kind in your replies, but aside from that it’s time to learn to say no (even if just in your head!).
Food choices can be tricky if you try to please everyone attending
Photograph by Caroline Potter Photography
Choosing your menu
Food can be tricky, especially if you start listening to everyone’s oohs and aahs when running your menu ideas past them. I know from personal experience that there can be people to cater for that have specific requests but you should try to filter the requests from the needs. A request from someone with a gluten intolerance falls into the ‘needs’ column. If you are considering a wonderful goats cheese tartlet as a starter then this won’t work for the person with this intolerance so you’d need to make an adjustment for them. However, someone who says that they really aren’t keen on pastry and could they have something else is a request. You have three options – you can either have a couple of different menu options for your guests to choose from, you can decide it’s ok, it’s just a starter, and so Jim will cope and either eat it or wait for the main course, or you can change your entire starter and have something different.
My suggestion would be to have a couple of options to choose from, but if that’s not an option for you for whatever reason then here is where you have to be strong! While it’s nice to give some consideration to others you are the people footing the bill. If you chose your starter because you really really love goats cheese and your mouth waters at the very thought of that being put in front of you on your wedding day then that is what you should have. The same applies for all courses. Choose food that you love. Maybe don’t go wild and have some bizarre concoction that you’d only eat if living in the deepest darkes rainforests because then your guests may not enjoy that part of the day so much, but do have food that you would love. This is YOUR wedding day.
“It’s your day, so always choose dishes you like”
David, Head Chef at Taste – in our Catering On Your Wedding Day blog post
Having a themed wedding can provoke many different reactions from people
Photograph by Chanelle Knapp Photography
Colours and themes
This really does have to reflect you, your style, your tastes, and what you like the look of at the time. People may give you funny looks when you mention having a mad hatters tea party, and they may frown when you tell them that they’ll need to bring wellies because you’re having your reception in the middle of a field in February, but at the end of the day if that’s what you want then that’s what you should have.
When you look back at your day you should remember it with fond memories. You want to remember the fun you had, or the absolute class and elegance that you desired your day to be. You should look at your photos and think “yes, that was exactly us and our personalities”. The second you start changing your plans because someone has shown their disapproval it starts to become their day, not yours. What is the worst that can happen to them if you do what you really love? They could maybe end up thinking it’s ridiculous, or they could maybe end up loving it! Only you can see what you want it to be. Tell these people that they’ll love what you’ve planned and to have faith. This is YOUR wedding.
You have to be comfortable in what you are wearing, and aim for your bridal party to be comfortable too. You will all be in your outfits for many hours so you don’t want your bridesmaids to be sitting there in agony as the boning in their corset digs into their ribs (oh yes, I’ve been that bridesmaid!). You want them up and dancing and not giving their clothes a second thought, other than how fabulous they look. However, if you want everyone in black then tell them. If you want all of your ushers in bright yellow suits it may look bizarre but it’s what you should have.
Find a way to compromise while still sticking to your guns on your principle wish. Maybe you could give your bridesmaids the choice of styles as long as they wear the same colour (or visa versa), or maybe you could say they all wear the same dress but they get to wear whatever shoes they choose? You don’t need to be bridezilla to get your way on this one, you just need to find a solution that suits everyone. It’s YOUR wedding.
This can be a really tricky part of the planning. There may be lots of reasons why you would want to put restrictions on your numbers for the day as a whole, or just restrict the numbers for the wedding breakfast, but how you cull your guest list can be quite challenging. We’ve written a blog post on the importance of evening guests which may help you in making those decisions. Whatever you decide to do don’t feel pressured into inviting people that you don’t want to share your day with. It’s YOUR wedding and you should share it with the people in your life that you love the most.
You may be getting the idea now – it’s YOUR wedding. Whatever your event and whatever your plans you should apply the same logic. Is there a real need for things to be changed to suit your guests, or are these just requests and dislikes that people have? Are you going to love the changes, or would you prefer things the way you originally wanted them? Don’t feel bad about being a little selfish about your planning. This is a big day for you and you should have it the way you want it.
How do you say no?
Well you don’t have to be blunt, or rude. You don’t need to make people feel that their ideas are bad, or that their “kind suggestions” have been quickly dismissed. Just thank them for their ideas and tell them you’ll have a think about it (well you will think about it, won’t you!). What about those people that are pushy and rude…… well then a little firmness goes a long way. Sometimes you just have to put your foot down.
Enjoy your planning, be confident in your decisions, and if everything feels a bit too much and a little overwhelming then we’re here to help. Take a look at our wedding planning packages and get in touch if you think we can help.