1. The Testy BridesmaidThe Problem:
"I love my maid of honor, but getting her in a dress that wasn't black or covered every inch of her was a task. If we found a color or a print, she would tell me that she didn't want to take attention away from the bride." Our Advice:
If one of your bridesmaids is a little nervous about showing some skin or wearing a bold color, it's better to find her an alternate option than to force her into something she's not comfortable with. For a modest maid of honor, make a strapless dress more conservative by incorporating a wrap, a fun cardigan, or a vintage bolero jacket in a complementing shade. Or play up your color palette in a subtler way with jewelry or hair fascinators. And look at the bright side -- compromising now will give you a little leverage when you serve as a maid in her wedding.
2. The Wedding Know-It-AllThe Problem:
"My future sister-in-law is telling me I shouldn't wear a white dress because it would be too harsh with my skin tone, wants to register for gifts with me (as well as tell me what to register for), and is suggesting where we honeymoon!"Our Advice:
When wedding suggestions cross the line from helpful to aggravating, it's time to redirect that input so that you don't end up arguing over something that might not seem so significant a few years down the line. Assign specific tasks to keep her busy but still involved, like helping you confirm orders with vendors or assembling favors.
3. The Doesn't-Know-Her-Place Wedding Guest
"One of our guests keeps insisting that we invite everyone on her 'party guest list' to our destination wedding -- I even found an open invite on her MySpace page!" Our Advice:
Some wedding guests take it upon themselves to suggest a few invitees. And then some guests invite everyone on the Internet. Unless you want Tom from MySpace raising a glass to toast your union, make sure it's clear that there's only one guest list for your wedding. Luckily, rationalizing a small guest list is a lot easier when you have a destination wedding -- just explain that you're having an intimate wedding with close friends and family only (she should feel honored that she's one of them!).
4. The Over-Eager Wedding GuestThe Problem:
"A woman my mother works with wants to do my ceremony music, and a customer of my mother's always volunteers to help and acts like she is family. I hardly know her!" Our Advice:
You know that expression about too many cooks in the kitchen? Meet its wedding equivalent. Having a lot of people offer to help you plan sounds like a blessing, but when assistance comes from left field, it can feel like more of a hindrance. If you feel like someone's eagerness is a bit more than you need, let her know how grateful you are for the offer, but that you're in great shape, planning-wise, and that if anything comes up that she could help with, you'll be sure to call.
5. The Children-Or-Bust Wedding GuestThe Problem:
"My husband-to-be has a niece and nephew (both under five), and his sister, her husband, and his parents said they would refuse to come if the children aren't allowed." Our Advice:
A lot of couples choose not to invite kids to their wedding, but if you risk a boycott by some VIPs, find a way soothe the situation. Offer to hire a babysitter and set up a private area with games, coloring books, and a few comfy pillows for little ones to crash on if the reception runs past their bedtimes. Your relatives might even offer to chip in once they see how accommodating you're being, but if they don't, the extra expense will be worth bypassing the drama of a fight with your new family.