Your wedding is more than just one day. It’s a long and illuminating planning process, one that reveals hidden facts about your friends and family. Well, maybe not so hidden, but traits that seemed harmless before start to become very, very obvious when you really get into your planning journey. So here are the ten characters your wedding day will expose to you. They could be anyone – a grandma, a cousin, a friend, a colleague – print these out and play buddy bingo with them for laughs!
I didn’t want to put any pictures up of my mates lest they start trying to match themselves up to the characters! So here’s a picture of me and John on a bench instead. Shot by Modern Vintage Weddings
The ten characters you’ll meet during your wedding planning
The worrier is a well-meaning breed of wedding buddy. They’ll call you up at all hours suddenly in a spin of panic about the canapés, or whether there will be enough toilets for everyone, or if people are going to steal things from the venue overnight. Usually their worries have a basis in reality, but by the time they land in your ears have been blown so far out of all proportion it’s hard to take them seriously.
The best way to deal with a “worrier” is to humour them. Take on board their suggestions and then take time to think rationally whether they’re worth pursuing or not. Another way is to delegate – assign “the worrier” to someone else to deal with.
The “jack the lad”
Almost always a friend of the groom. Almost always single. He lives about ten years (at least) in the past and doesn’t understand why the groom is getting married at all when he could be out drinking beer instead. He’ll sulk through every declined invitation and his catchphrase is “you’ve changed, man”. Usually he comes around when he realises the wedding is a golden opportunity to “pick up chicks” and dance to bad 80s rock.
The best way to deal with a “jack the lad” is to promise him beer and women if he behaves. Patronising? Yes. Effective? Yes.
This is the one that doesn’t believe in marriage. Similar to the “jack the lad” but with completely opposing reasons for disagreeing with your marriage. Usually that it’s an archaic institution that oppresses women. The cynic won’t usually last out the duration of your wedding planning as they tend to be a bit of a dampener on your planning.
Deal with a cynic by giving them an ultimatum – bite their tongue or don’t come. If you really can’t do this, then learn to sing the Smurfs theme tune in your head every time they start going on about the big mistake you’re making.
The clueless one
The clueless one will be the one who invites their new boyfriend / girlfriend without asking you first, rings you about a million times about things that are clearly written on the invitation, casually tells you they’re leaving after the ceremony (the week before the wedding), doesn’t show up, shows up on the wrong day, shows up in jeans, shows up in a white dress and generally doesn’t understand how things work.
Pre-empt their cluelessness by sending them a fact sheet email with every question they could possibly ask answered. Every time they ring from then on, refer them to the fact sheet and end the conversation.
The overexcited one
This person is the most fun, because they are genuinely more excited about your wedding day than you are. However, hang out with them too much and you’ll start to feel very tired. Expect a recurring rendition of “I can’t belieeeeeeve you’re really getting married” every five minutes, followed by a chorus of “what am I going to weeeeeeaaaaaaar??”
Deal with the overexcited one by using their strength as a strength – whenever you need a bit of a pick me up, call them! Their boundless enthusiasm will get you in the wedding planning mood again!
The elusive one
Have you met my invisible friend? The one I haven’t heard from since I got engaged? There will always be friends who disappear entirely when there’s wedding planning to be done. Suddenly they’re working all the time, their phones are permanently sent to voicemail – they’re on Facebook but they’re not answering your messages. Ouch.
It’s hard to know how to deal with the elusive one – because you don’t know their motives. Give them the benefit of the doubt, but if they’re a dear enough friend that you don’t want to lose them, you have to face the music and confront them about why they’ve disappeared on you. A letter is most effective – don’t get dramatic, just ask if you’ve done something to upset them or if something else is going on in their lives that you can help with.
The self-important one
Bordering on matching traits with the clueless one, but for different reasons, the self-important one will call you at all hours – and it’s always about them. They usually have some above-and-beyond request that most people would never bother a bride about a few weeks before their wedding – and it will be followed up by frantic emails and phone calls as if their completely irrelevant question is the most important thing anyone’s ever asked.
They’re the bridesmaid that refuses to wear the same dress as everyone else, or the friend who has to know the exact menu weeks in advance lest it interfere with her diet, or the person who just can’t arrive at the same time as everyone else and wants you to accommodate them.
Like the worrier, you have to delegate. This person isn’t just worrying, they’re trying to get you to do more stuff. No. Just assign someone else to deal with them, someone who doesn’t have everything else on their plate.
The traditional one
Sometimes an elderly relative, sometimes a very “proper” friend – if you’re taking your wedding off the beaten track, expect a traditionalist to rear their head at some point to let you know you’re doing it all wrong! This particular wedding buddy will wander around your wedding in a state of mild confusion, wondering why the napkins aren’t folded like golden swans and why there’s no receiving line.
Deal with the traditional one by trying to scout them out in advance and explain you’re doing things differently. If they don’t get it, don’t waste too much of your energy trying to explain it as they may never get it at all!
The over-the-top one
Usually involved closely with the wedding somehow, with elements of the clueless and the self-important one, this is the wedding buddy who wants you to ride in on an elephant, singing a show song about getting married. The over-the-top one doesn’t really understand how a wedding works but wants everything to be completely show-stoppingly awful – with the best of intentions!
Deal with the over-the-top one the same way you would a worrier – humour them. It will save a big sulk in the long run and by the time they realise you haven’t implemented their idea about a human sculpture farting confetti, it will be too late anyway.
The jealous one
This is the friend who, when you tell them you’re getting married, sighs “I wish I was getting married.” This friend seems to think you’re getting married to spite them, that your whole wedding is designed to rub it in. Like the cynic, they don’t always last the process as they have deeper issues to sort out that stop them being happy for others.
Don’t take it personally, the jealous one isn’t being malicious, they have their own stuff going on, but gently get someone else to explain that the day is not about them and that if marriage is what they want their day will come too. Don’t try to confront it yourself as you’re probably not in the right frame of mind to be too sympathetic.
Does this sound like anyone you know? Have I missed a vital character in the wedding planning mayhem? I’d love to hear your thoughts!