magazine | Weddings | Wedding Planning

10 Ways for Parents to Help Keep the Happy Couple Stress-Free

photo: Samm Blake
Your child is getting married! Besides the inevitable mixed bag of emotions (happy they're marrying the love of their life, sad they officially will leave the nest), the wedding planning process isn't always a piece of cake, for you or them. We teamed up with some of the wedding industry's top pros to bring you their tips for guiding your child to the alter, floral arch or chuppah. Here's 10 of their tried-and-true tips for the big day of borrowed-and-blue. 

Venue: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum | Event Design & Planning: Fête Nashville
1 / 10

Listen & Love

From Summer Newman of Summer Newman Events, "Dear parents, the most important advice I can give you is to allow your daughter and/or son to plan their dream wedding. It so tempting to give your advice and guide a newly engaged couple to the wedding of your dreams, but if you ignore their needs and wants, you’ll run the risk of creating a rift that can remain long after the wedding is over. Especially in the scenarios where the parents are hosting the wedding, though I understand you may want to add to the guest list, give your daughter advice on her dress, push for colors that may be more traditional, it’s important to remember it is not your wedding. Don’t be overbearing, listen to the engaged couple and do your best to surround them in positivity and love."
2 / 10

Be a Sounding Board

From Heather Lowenthal of Posh Parties, "Parents should be a sounding board for their children when planning a wedding. Be there to give sage advice when needed and honest opinions when asked."
3 / 10

Weddings are Not the Way They Used to Be

From Heather Lowenthal of Posh Parties, "Parents should always keep in mind that it's their child's special day and to guide them and listen to their wishes. Weddings are not the way they used to be so it's a nice idea to hear what your child has envisioned and think of ways to make their vision come to life together. Most important - be willing to compromise!"
4 / 10

The Best Ways to Help

From Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, "Plan out the entire weekend in advance (preferably with your wedding planner) -think about all the questions your guests may have come wedding weekend… where to be at what time, parking instructions, attire, rehearsal times, transportation details, childcare options, family photos, etc. and put it all in writing. Send out two emails the week before the wedding: one to family and one to the bridal party including all these details so you can head off questions before the big weekend begins. Be sure to include your planner’s cell phone number and let guests know if they have logistical questions, to contact them. A lot of this information may be pertinent to the other guests as well, so update all of this on your wedding website - especially transportation and parking details. Of course, you can repeat all this in your welcome bags, but guests having access to this information electronically is helpful!"
5 / 10

Give Guests a Day of Event Contact

From Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, "On all vendor contracts, be sure the wedding planner(s) cell phone numbers are listed as event day contacts, so no one is bothering you or the bride and groom about weather issues or other last minute questions that may come up."

The Morning of the Wedding

From Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, "Plan out the morning of the wedding with the bride and groom. Talk about where everyone is getting ready and who is in charge of lunch, so the day can be relaxing. Bring in the bride/groom’s favorite foods and ask someone in the bridal party to be in charge of music, champagne and emergency kit supplies for the bride and her ‘maids getting ready."
7 / 10

Have a Weather Back Up Plan

From Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, "Talk about a rain/inclement weather plan. It’s not fun, no one wants to do it and it costs more money, but talking about your Plan B for family and bridal party photos, ceremony, cocktail hour and reception will save much stress in the long run! And, Murphy’s Law - if you plan for it, it won’t happen!"
8 / 10

Ask the Couple

From Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, "ASK the bride and groom who they want to hang out with on their wedding day and respect their wishes. It’s very exciting that all the aunts, uncles and cousins flew in from New Hampshire, but the couple may prefer to have some low-key downtime with their bridal party besties while they are getting ready."
9 / 10

Ask How to Help

From Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, "ASK your children what you can do to help them have a stress free day. Your son or daughter may be anxious about a friend who is coming to town without a date and wants to make sure they have a good time, or worried their friends who are always late or may drink too much before the ceremony - Let them know you will be aware and on top of these things on wedding day so they don’t have to worry about them."
10 / 10

Plan for the Toasts

From Sara Fried of Fête Nashville, "Come up with a plan for toasts in advance! Typically, whoever is hosting the wedding, the Maid/Matron of Honor and the Best Man give toasts at the wedding. The rest of the toasts, slideshows, surprises, etc. should be at the Rehearsal Dinner, so reach out to anyone you think may want to give a toast and organize that for the bride and groom!"

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