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Updated: May 28, 2021


First, we love you and are thrilled to be part of your life, ceremony and ever after with {soon to be spouse}. We are the 16 members of your wedding party, we represent both sides of {the couple}. We are so excited to stand up with you as you say your vows and to celebrate all weekend long. We love the wedding destination and will make the trip, that is not in question. We have planned parties and showers for you, we've been on the "party bus" for nearly 6 months and it is a fun ride. Your wedding has become a defining part of our year.

We have a confession to make: We didn't realize things were going to get quite this time consuming and expensive. We love to travel, the theme parties with professional photographers will be lasting memories for all of us. We are gathering as couples/wedding party for getaways, sports events and concerts. As we outlined the "required" elements, we also realized we will be paying for baby sitters, ride sharing, and for some of us, several plane tickets just for the wedding -- and honestly we're not sure how many gifts to buy for which shower/party before the wedding. We didn't understand that we would be paying for your hotel, tickets, and entertainment for some of the destination parties {the couple} created as part of the celebratory events before the wedding. It seems that etiquette has changed, we're not sure what the "rules" are and how to approach this topic.

We want your day to be perfect and we are worried we can't be all the things you want us to be. We love you, we never want to disappoint you nor put you on the spot. We feel the need to be honest that the wedding of your dreams is putting pressure on us we didn't anticipate and we don't know what to do. Our request at this point is for you to tell us what is most important to you for your wedding and to hear us when we tell you we love you and that most, yet not all of what you want from us is within our means. We truly want your day to be amazing and we support you in every way possible, how can we talk about this in a loving and honest space?

Wenda Weighs In: Your request comes from such a caring place and articulates what others have shared regarding the breadth of an event and expectations, stated and otherwise. Readers are likely experiencing feelings of "been there, done that" and/or anxiety because they are in a similar spot. What may seem realistic/reasonable for one person may stretch the resources of another, the intensity of the stretch is where things can become awkward.

The short answer to couples is this: ask yourselves, would you do the same things you are asking of others for your wedding, and if so, what is the intensity of the stretch for you? What is your understanding of the stretch for your wedding party and guests? Talk with your wedding party when you invite them to join you as part of your ceremony, get expectations and needs out on the table, and for goodness sakes, please don't add several more events or requirements when the wedding date is within three months.

Couples, ask yourselves what is most important and why is it so? If you have designed a fabulous wedding with lots of parties and outings, etc. ask if you are doing this for you or is there some other motivation like competing with your first cousin's event, or trying to be the most followed on Instagram in your social group. What do you want to remember as the top three things from your wedding as you describe it in years to come?

Readers, Wenda has seen a lot in her time and a happy wedding party has more energy for the big day than a stressed wedding party who is running on jet lag and life's usual challenges including wanting to please someone they love dearly. Expectations and the impact of same need to be made known for everyone. And yes, one more time on finding a loving space (in heart, mind, conversation and location to chat) to share and accept there may be differences in time and resources-- then work toward solutions.

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