Recently, I had a client inquire about my services because she was afraid that she would miss something and also would turn into a Bridezilla. How nice of her to think ahead to prevent that from happening! After some thought, she decided against hiring a wedding coordinator at all - her future mother-in-law insisted on handling the details. No judgement - I completely understand how important it is to keep the peace, so I wished her the best of luck!
What do you do, however, about someone that isn't you who wants to plan your wedding (and I don't mean a "wedding planner"), Moms, sisters, future in-laws...you will be very surprised just how many people are invested in YOUR day. You are their first born, or their only daughter, or the groom is their only child or they never got to plan the wedding of their dreams...the list goes on and on. On top of all of the romantic expectations, your parents and family often do also impact the guest list, which means they will have personal guests. Some will then worry about impressions or just being a good host.
So, how do you, the bride, make sure that things stay focused on YOUR wish list? Stay firm, committed to your vision, but be polite. This IS the time to find your voice and to use it, gently, to make sure that you keep everyone focused on YOUR dream for the day! I know you're stressed, and I know that you feel pressure and now, probably, guilt but this is YOUR day and will be yours to glance back on for the rest of your life. It sounds easy, and it won't always be, but I think that if you think very hard and take into account the very reasons that the other party (or parties) want to be so involved, you will be empathetic. If there is a particular piece of your wedding that you are not as concerned about (say the ties that the groom wears), compromise if someone else has a specific idea that won't bother you. Pull those special people in your life into your planning and put them in charge of something special, with specific instructions on how you want things to go, and let them run with it (while checking in)! For example, invite your future mother-in-law to the appointment you have with your florist and invite her opinion and enthusiasm. In the end, however, make sure that you choose what YOU want. Find a gentle way to explain that while you loved her idea of incorporating baby's breath into the bouquets, you have always had your heart set on a simple arrangement of calla lillies but that you will keep the baby's breath in mind, just in case.
Ultimately, stay calm, stay focused, stay light-hearted and remember to be understanding and polite. I can assure you that when it comes to the day of the wedding, EVERYONE will take part in and enjoy every special moment you have envisioned for your special day!