How To Have A Non-Traditional Wedding Without Upsetting Grandma

These days, you can do just about whatever you can think of at a wedding. The sky is the limit, literally! But sometimes planning the wedding that you want doesn’t always align with the expectations of others, and it can be all too easy to end up giving in to peer pressure to avoid stress.

When we were planning our wedding, I knew from early on that I wanted to incorporate skiing into our wedding (a summer wedding, I must add) and most people’s comments were usually along the lines of “you can’t be serious” and “that will be so tacky”. But here’s the thing. We met as ski instructors, our love of the mountains is what brought us together and is a passion that we both share. It is one of the MOST IMPORTANT things in the Menno and Cat story. So why wouldn’t we want to make reference to that on the day that we promised to spend our lives together as man and wife. Since I’m a pretty stubborn person, I stuck with my guns and went ahead and planned the day how we wanted it. Whilst many were sceptical, in the end, they where all won over.

I hear the same concerns from my couples. They want to plan a wedding that matches their styles and personalities, and often their families have other ideas, and it causes stress and tension on both sides, even more so if it is not the couple paying for the wedding themselves.

Here are some ways that can help when family and friends have different expectations, that can help them see why you are planning the wedding the way you want to, and not necessarily how traditions dictate:

1. Explain to them why you are doing what you are doing.

Try to make them understand your reasoning for your choices. Most of the time, when they realise that what you are doing makes you happy, they will be on board too.

2. Help them visualise what you see.

These days there are so many wonderful things online, such as wedding blogs and Pinterest, which showcase every type of wedding you could possibly imagine.

3. Work out your priorities and find a compromise if you can.

Especially if a family member is contributing to the costs of the wedding and has their own ideas of how things should be done, try to find a compromise to help them feel included without giving up what you want. Perhaps let them choose something like them wedding menu if it’s something that is not as important to you. Of course, if you really can’t see eye to eye, it could be better to work out what you can afford to pay for on your own so that you do not feel pressured to agreeing to anything that you are not comfortable with. A beautiful, intimate wedding doesn’t have to cost the earth.

4. Keep people informed.

If you want to do things a little differently, keep the important people in the loop right from the start of your wedding planning. Then nothing will come as a surprise at the last minute.

5. Present a united front.

It’s really important that you and your partner stick together and show people that what you are doing is what you both really want.


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