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Feeling Railroaded

Hello Ladies,

I am needing some impartial advice!

We have only been engaged for a few weeks and it's been wonderful, everyone was so happy for us and spoilt us with lovely celebrations.

However, since we've started to plan the wedding both of our families have been very forceful about where it should be, when it should be, how much we should spend, who should be invited, who should be in the bridal party etc etc. I am finding it very overwhelming! For example, my younger step brother has already been told that he will be a groomsman by his mother before my partner and I have even had a chance to think about it......I mean we haven't even booked a venue yet! And now I feel that that expectation has been set but I do not want my step brother to have a roll in the wedding as we are not very close and he's a lot younger than I am and isn't very polite or well behaved.... even so it's up to my partner who he chooses to have as his groomen. I haven't actually agreed to anything, I've just said that we haven't thought that far ahead yet...but even so I feel like its a desicion that's been made for me that I can't get out of without upsetting people. I really do not want to fall out with anyone or have any tension.

This is just the start of it.....a list of over 20 people that neither of us know has been put on us to invite, I've been quizzed on and had hints regarding the top table, fueds that I never know existed have now emerged and threats have been made....!

I feel like everyone is getting well ahead of themselves and that they feel like that have a right to dictate what we should and shouldn't do. I feel that I am being pushed into doing everything a certain way to keep 'peace'

How do I now approach these issues without falling out with anyone? I have never fallen out with my family before, but I am feeling that I if I don't do what people want then they will fall out with me and I really dont want that.

Any advice would be appreciate.

B x







  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride

    I think without some decisive action this will continue. 

    You need to gather everyone, and say very clearly, "look we respect that you are excited, but this is OUR wedding, and WE will be making decisions over the next few months about what WE want for  OUR wedding. Please stop being so forceful with your opinions because this is NOT your wedding.


    a) put them on an information diet, e.g. just don't tell them things, then they can't give an opinion. If you want to go and see venues, they don't need to know. Discuss who you want in your bridal party, then just ask those people. You do not have to justify or explain to those not included why they haven't been asked.

    b) be very wary about accepting financial contributions as lots of people think if they pay, they get a say.

  • Firstly - i feel you. I was in a similar position when i first got engaged. 

    I think the best thing to do is when anyone asks about it, offers up advice or says how something "should be" you just say " we haven't got to that stage in the planning yet - at the moment we are just enjoying being engaged but i will bear that in mind when we do come to make decisions". 

    And then plan what you need, with minimal involvement from them. 

    We asked if the date we had picked was suitable, but that was it. We picked the venue, photographers, menu, DJ, alllll without any input from anyone else. When i was told i should have my cousin who ive met a handful of times as a bridesmaid i just aid it wouldnt fit with the ideas i had. 

    dont get me wrong its really hard, but be polite but firm. Its a day for you and your partner to plan and decide on together, and if anyone throws expectations at you you just say it isnt what you want, so isnt going to work for your day. 

    If anyone gets shitty about it i find the simple phrase "we just wanted a day thats really meaningful to us, and includes only the things we want, im sure you understand" works well, because their only response can be to say yeah we understand or to go no we dont - at which point they are well aware theyre being unreasonable. 

    Try the Bridechilla podcast out - its a great bullshit free approach to wedding planning that really helps gain the confidence to stand up for your perfect day! And good luck! x


  • Thank you both, it's good to know I am not the only person who has felt this way or has experienced these types of things but at the same time I couldn't feel anymore alone as I don't know who to confide in without being judged. Some coversations I've had in confidence have actually been used against me in a negative way to create fueds and issues between people when actually there isn't a fued or an issue, I just need to talk about my concerns. I talk to my partner about it but he is a lot more relaxed than I am and he can't understand why I am feeling this way.

    Did either of you experience any fallings out? Or was it OK when you stood your ground? x


  • MrsCToBeeMrsCToBee Posts: 2,957 New bride

    I haven't experienced any fallings out because I have the opposite experience, no one in our families gives two hoots about our wedding - but I'm pretty assertive anyway so I would shut anything like that down right away.

    My granddad tried it over my son's christening, as he wanted it at his church rather than the one we chose, but again, I just shut it down immediately - and luckily I had already sneakily checked that his church wasn't available on the date we needed anyway!

  • In general I am pretty assertive but for some reason I am being really weak when it comes to wedding talk....I know what I want to say but it won't come out! I just sit and smile and nod. It's really not like me. I think I am worrying too much about what people with say or think and of hurting feelings.

    I like the 'information diet' that you suggested, that way I will get what I want without having any awkward conversations

  • I havent had any fallings out so far, and its mostly been my mum thats been hard work but i have found the polite but assertive method has worked well. I know its so so hard, but start with small moments of assertiveness, like if someone says something about the step-brother being involved just comment that you havent actually decided yet. They cant come back to that without seeming rude. 

    I wish there was an easier way, but i have honestly found people are really respectful about it when you stand your ground, most of the time they arent doing it to be awkward, theyre just assuming and think theyre being helpful, so when you point out you dont need the help they do tend to back off. 

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