Your family and friends think they're being helpful, which is why a tactful approach is essential.

By Courtney Levia
January 11, 2021
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Credit: Getty Images

Your wedding plans might be set in stone, but that won't stop friends and family members who have been down this road before from sharing their advice, whether you've asked for it or not. While this can be quite frustrating and overwhelming to deal with, especially if the recommendations keep on coming at full speed, it's important to remember that this advice, although unsolicited, is almost always coming from a good place. More often than not, your loved ones genuinely think their pieces of wisdom, recommendations, or opinions will help you, which is why a taking a tactful approaching to responding to their ideas is so important.

Ahead, expert tips to both accepting and responding to everyone's unsolicited advice about your wedding.

Consider Hiring a Wedding Planner

The number one way to ensure all that unsolicited advice doesn't throw you off course? Make sure you have a trusted sounding board in your corner. For some brides, that might be their future spouse, but others appreciate the help of a professional wedding planner. Plus, it's an easy fallback response for why you don't need another recommendation for a florist, caterer, or band. "Hiring a wedding planner always gives you an excuse not to accept unsolicited advice," says Michelle Cousins, owner of Michelle Leo Events. "I tell all of my couples to make me the bad guy and avoid hot water with your opinionated friends and family members."

Consider How You May Be Creating an Environment for Unsolicited Advice

"Consider your actions and how you may be unintentionally creating an environment for unsolicited advice," says Cousins. If you don't want several opinions about your wedding menu, don't invite a large group to your food tasting. The same goes for choosing your wedding dress, stationery, flowers, and more.

Make Sure You and Your Partner Are on the Same Page

"Make sure you and your partner are on the same page about accepting advice from outsiders and from whom you're willing to involve in the planning and decision-making process," explains Isabel Rokeach, a wedding planner at Michelle Leo Events. Only include those you've established as decision-makers in the planning process in scheduled meetings and appointments, she says.

Respond Gracefully and Consider the Source

"You can respond to unsolicited wedding advice by saying, 'Thank you for the idea, I will consider that if it works for me,'" explains Rokeach. "You can also say, 'I appreciate your desire to help, but I am not looking for any advice right now.'" It's also worth noting that you should consider who this advice is coming from. Is it a well-meaning relative that you'll continue to be close to for the rest of your life? Then you'll definitely want to be gracious when receiving it. But if the advice comes from a total stranger or a friend of a friend, you can respond politely and then move on.

Try to Smile and Nod

"While most close friends and family giving unsolicited advice are coming from a good place, it can often be very overwhelming at the moment," says Jesse Tombs of Alison Events Planning + Design. Always thank them for their perspective and set them at ease by letting them know you have a great plan in place, she explains.

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