• Bride & Thrive

The Questions I Wish I Asked my Family When Planning my Wedding

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

When I was a bride, I of course asked my family the more common questions that a bride would ask ... For instance: "What do you have in mind for a wedding budget?" or "How much should I spend on the gown?" are both commonly asked questions that I discussed with my parents ...

However, I realize now that if I had asked just a few more specific questions about the wedding day, it would have saved me from a fair amount of conflict and miscommunication along the way. When you plan a wedding for the first time, you don't always realize or think about these detailed questions, so to help give YOU all a better start to your own wedding planning journey, I've listed a few questions I wish I had asked my family at the start of my wedding planning process:

1) Do you have any “must-haves” on the guest list?

This one is a funny question, because it may shock you to hear all of the people your parents actually want to invite! You might not realize that your mom or dad was planning on inviting a friend that met you when you were 2, even though you haven't seen them ever since...

This can also come into play when you sit down with your fiance and map out your guest count, especially if you have a max capacity set for budget reasons or limited venue space. That's why knowing the answer to this question can really help you avoid any surprises and miscommunication!

2) Should official family photos be kept to close/immediate family only or be open to extended family as well?

This one not only comes from my own personal experience, but also from my perspective as a wedding photographer. If you don't know this answer ahead of time, and if you don't communicate it with your family, mom could be meandering around looking to bring over aunt Susie from cocktail hour right in the middle of your family photo time because she didn't know if aunts and uncles were supposed to be in your photos or not. This sounds like such a silly, minor thing, but if you start losing people like that, at least one of these three things can and WILL happen:

  • You will have to wait till mom comes back so she can get in your must-have family shot

  • She will miss one of the group shots she was supposed to be in because she was out looking for aunt Susie (and you won't realize it until you get your photos back a few weeks later)

  • OR you will miss out on some of your bride & groom photo time together because your family caused a delay in the schedule

3) Does anyone have a desire to make a speech/toast?

This question was one of my regrets ... I wish I had asked my parents if they wanted to speak at our wedding, because for one, it would have been a nice gesture, and for two, it probably would have been a really special memory to think back on someday ...

4) How much involvement does everyone want in the planning process?

This one could have helped save me a lot of stress and planning time! I ended up taking on WAY to much by myself, and it would have been pretty nice to delegate to those who might have wanted more involvement ... remember, people WANT to help you plan your wedding!

5) Do you have any other priorities, visions, or must-Have Elements for the wedding?

People will inevitably want to share their opinions about how they think your wedding day should go (some opinions will be stronger than others!). This will be your chance to make sure those opinions get out in the open so that you can either honor them or readjust expectations and set boundaries. You all know your family, so you know where to honor requests and where to draw the line ... but this question will help make people feel heard and set you up for successful communication right from the get go! And trust me, planning a wedding is SO much easier when everyone is on the same page!

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