Monday, January 30, 2006

MUSINGS ON THE MISCELLANEOUS (PART I)

I want to cover some issues/questions that don't fall into one particular category or another, but are nevertheless very important topics that must be addressed.

I received a very thoughtfully written email from a young woman who is tackling a question that many caring brides-to-be face....

"When does the desire to accomodate my guests become annoying and overbearing? I mean, I've been doing things like emailing my friends to make sure they're getting in touch with each other to share rooms so no one is left out or staying in a different hotel and to split the cost but isn't that pushy? Maybe they're not ready to make travel plans for June (for example, maybe they're still deciding if they're going to come). I'm purposely trying not to talk about the wedding every time I talk to someone, or see them, or email because I'm worried that it will seem like that's all I'm talking about. How do you strike the perfect balance?"

I think this is a great question, and I have several points I want to raise in response:

(1) You can RARELY be too pushy if you are a caring, thoughtful bride.

Ok--maybe if you email your friends every other day, reminding them about travel arrangements, as well as sending them endless bus routes, airfare, and roadmaps--THEN people may start blocking your address from their inboxes.

Except for that extreme, there really isn't much you can do to be an overbearing bride, as friends will REALLY appreciate your going out of your way for them when it comes to making it easier/cheaper for them to attend your wedding.

If you email/call your friends sporadically, just checking in to have a normal conversation and perhaps throwing in a casual "Let me know if you need any help with travel plans" or "I know that MutualFriendfromCollege is going to take a train to Baltimore to get to my wedding" or "I know how busy you are with work, etc. -- please don't stress about my bachelorette party -- we'll have fun no matter what we do!", you will be appreciated beyond your wildest expectations.

(2) Avoiding the constant chatter about your wedding is a perfect way to avoid being an overbearing bride -- and it helpes accentuate your helpfulness.

When you help out your friends/family out with things like travel arrangements, as well as limiting various costs for bachelorette parties and wedding showers, it's best to say as little about the actual wedding as possible--in order to accentuate the fact that you're HELPING, rather than using your emails as an excuse to ask them about floral arrangements or color schemes. While it's nice to be able to ask people for help, using communication to act selflessly--in terms of emails to your bridesmaids about where to find an inexpensive tailor for the dresses, or calls to friends regarding rooming situations for the destination wedding--is the best way to underscore your intentions.

As my reader indicated, she is trying to limit the references to the actual wedding itself--this makes perfect sense, as that way, the emails/phone calls you DO make in order to help people out are welcomed--and people won't be bracing each time you get in touch.

(3) Despite #1 and #2, there are no easy answers.

I admit -- it is difficult to strike a balance. However, the fact of the matter is that no matter how many times you correspond with friends/family members about your wedding, it's really HOW YOU DO IT, not THE NUMBER OF TIMES YOU DO. There's no formula or easy answer -- but if you are THINKING about theses issues--and conveying your thoughtfulness to friends and family--then you are five steps ahead of the game!

Thanks for the question--keep 'em coming! Stay tuned!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can understand a bride's anxiety that she talks about her wedding too much, particurally if the people she is speaking to about it are not inclined to get married or have recently been divorced. Some people get really frustrated when their friends that are getting married obsess about themselves and every minor detail of their wedding as if it is the most serious obstacle in a world full of starving children and political unrest. If a bride has the compulsion to talk about her wedding until the cows come home, one way she can offset the unpleasantness of her obsession is to truly ask her friends about what is going on their lives, what is pressing to them to keep the balance. If she really cares about her friends and it is only temporary obsession with her wedding and not just long term narcisstic personality disorder, she should really go the extra mile to show interest in her friends lives, even if she feels it will be transparently obvious that it is all one big act to pretend that she is not obsessed with her wedding and has checked out for a period of time in regards to anyone elses feelings but her own.... If I personally have to endure wedding obsession talk, I enjoy at the very least the EFFORT of a bride to pretend that I exist. After all, my woes are just as real as hers. Feel free to comment.