It is pretty common to see brides in the salon who are concerned about doing what’s right and proper. They want to follow all the wedding rules, and they often seek our advice in doing so. This happens especially concerning the bridal party. They have so many questions about what should be done because most of them have never been married before and because they genuinely want to follow the rules. Do the mother of the groom and the mother of the bride have to match? Should they match? Should they not match? What about the flower girl? Should her dress match the bride’s dress? Should it match the bridesmaids? Can you wear black in June? Is it allowed?
You might hate the answer, but of course the answer is there is no answer. There are no rules. At least not rules about color and dresses. The truth is the bride can and should do what she and her fiancé want. It is an opportunity to show their personality both as individuals and as a couple, but that should not mean getting bogged down in minor details that have no precedent only preference.
The other truth is that yes, there are rules, but they have nothing to do with aesthetics and everything to do with manners.
1. Keep People in the Loop
Yes, the marriage is about the couple, but the wedding is about joining two families. This means diplomacy. It means involving the most important players in at least a few of the big decisions. It means asking each set of parents if a certain date is acceptable. You do this as a courtesy. You also allow them to invite guests of their own. No, they can’t invite all their friends, but remember they are as excited to share this moment with their friends as you are with yours. You don’t have to wear your future mother-in-law’s dress just because she asked you to, but you can always bend on a few points.
2. Treat Your Friends Like Friends
This is a friendly reminder that the people in your bridal party are actually your friends and relatives and you care about them. You care about their financial situations. You care about how they feel about their bodies in clothes. You care about how much or little free time they have to devote to you, and you also care about what is happening in their own non-getting-married lives. It might mean that you opt for a less expensive dress if a few of them are having trouble with money. It might mean you make the bachelorette optional and not I-will-never-forgive-you-mandatory. It might even mean you break the no-dates rule because you know someone would really like their significant other there.
3. Remember it Will be Perfect.
In all the moments leading up to the big day, and there will be a lot of them, when you think everything is going to fall apart, remember that in the end it will be perfect. This means that in those moments you don’t lose control, you stay calm. It’s not easy to do, but try to remember, everything will be perfect. And the true reason for that is you have to decide that nothing can ruin it. If all the details don’t go exactly as planned, and they won’t, you have to ask yourself, is that enough to ruin the day? No. Nothing short of a true catastrophe can ruin the day as long as you let the little things go. No one will notice. You probably won’t even notice, so why drive yourself crazy beforehand? When you keep that in mind you are free to actually enjoy planning. You are free to enjoy every second of being engaged just as you should.
Your family will thank you for this, your friends will thank you for this, and you will all have more fun than anyone has ever had at a wedding.