If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that their aunt or mom's best friend "did" weddings, I'd be able to retire. People attend weddings and don't realize how much work actually goes into making them successful. I can't tell you how many times I have encountered an aunt's hurt feelings because she wasn't asked to help with the wedding. Honestly, if your niece cared for your opinion, she would have asked you to plan it and not me.
I recently had a nightmarish experience with a mother and aunt-of-the-bride. The mother/daughter dynamic is always an interesting one. Either they are best friends or there is a constant power struggle. This mother/daughter/aunt trio was chalk-full of drama. I normally take a backseat so as to not ruffle too many feathers and only step in when I think a wrong decision is being made. From the tasting to the rehearsal, the power struggle was in full effect. The aunt whispered "I'm really the one in charge here" to the staff as she left the tasting. She showed up to the rehearsal with a clipboard, because all wedding planners use clipboards, and interrupted all of my instructions with what she thought was best. Wedding day felt like a WWF wrestling match between her mother, aunt and I. They were more focused on proving that they knew what was best than the bride enjoying her day. My job is to make sure that after all of the months of planning, the bride gets what she wants.
Here are some tips on how to stay in your lane and allow the professionals to do their job during the planning process:
1. This is not the Oscars. No one is winning an award for the Best Supporting Aunt/Mother Duo in a Drama. Give your opinion once and if the bride or wedding planner decides not to run with it, let it go. Pushing your opinion to the point of confrontation only makes you look crazy. It becomes clear that you are more focused on being right than keeping the bride happy. She hired a planner for a reason.
2. "I'm Type A" does not give you a pass to hound your vendors. This is what we do every single day. Micromanaging doesn't make your wedding perfect, it just annoys your vendors.
3. Listen to the professionals. I recently had a bride ask me to plan her final walk through at the venue 3 months before her wedding. I told her that I typically schedule them 1 month before because so many things can change in between that time. She wasn't happy with that answer. To be honest, your florist, caterer and venue aren't thinking about the details of your wedding 3 months ahead of time because they have 12 other weddings before yours. Brides don't want to hear that but it's the truth.
4. Bossy bridesmaids don't make the day run smoother. Every once in a while I encounter bridesmaidzillas who think that their job is to keep the wedding planner, dj and photographer on task. "Aren't we supposed to be taking pictures now?" or "Shouldn't we pose with our bouquets like this?" and "I think we need to get this show on the road!" Yes, I've heard all of these before. If we are off of your assumed schedule, it isn't because the photographer is leisurely sipping a cup of tea or the planner just wants to make you wait. There are so many things that happen during a wedding, it's almost unbelievable. Your job as a bridesmaid is to support your best friend during the most important day of her life. Understand that we both have her best interest at heart.
Remember that weddings are a production and in order for the show to run smoothly, you have to allow the professionals to do their job. If you, as a mother or aunt or best friend, think that the bride made a mistake by hiring a certain vendor or booking a certain venue, let it go. Be supportive in her decision and remember that the day is all about her.