It’s a little-known fact that when you get engaged, your aura changes colour to alert people that you are ready and willing to hear all of their unsolicited wedding advice. Pay no mind to the fact that the would-be-advice-giver got married four decades ago. Ignore that much of it is second, third and even fourth-hand advice, “Oh so your work friend’s son’s friend got married at a caravan park and they saved heaps of money? Awesome they definitely sound like someone I should listen to.” Obviously, you have to completely disregard the fact that they have the literal opposite tastes and interests than you, and just stand there and Take. All. That. Advice. Right?
NO FUCKING WAY.
Like I said to my mum when I was pregnant, ‘The advice I want is the advice I ask for,’ and it was the best boundary-setting I had ever done. It made me realise that politely listening to the unending stream of other people’s opinions about what you should do about your life, doesn’t serve anyone. Meaningful connection is not made through the one-sided pushing of opinions, nor through the simmering resentment that builds from feeling accosted with opinions that you never asked for and that are not at all appropriate for your life.
Add in that little thing called social media, and you’ve literally got the whole damn world giving you their opinions. Lordy, it’s enough to make the chillest of the friggin’ chill run for the hills.
There’s a little sumthin’ sumthin’ about getting married (and reproducing, relationship status and what’s for dinner) that seems to invite people’s opinions en masse, not to mention a bunch o’ prying questions. So, we’ve put together a guide for how to deal with all the advice, covering options from the polite nod and smile, through to high tailing it away from the offending Advice Giver in a hail of screams. After all, you get to choose how you respond, and that’s really quite empowering.
Nod and Smile, Redirect (NASR)
The path of least resistance is the nod and smile, nod and smile, then redirect to a new subject (preferably about themselves!) I use this one for the people I love and care for whom I don’t wish to upset or piss off. Can also be safely used with bosses who you may not care for, but it’s wise to just suck it up. Also works perfectly with toddlers and small children, but they are rarely giving wedding advice and more likely telling you something you told them 12 seconds ago, or asking for you to make them a goddamn snack.
Thanks, But No Thanks (TBNT)
Also known as the ‘Yeah, nah’ approach, it’s the middle ground where you’re gently setting a boundary and letting the person know you’re not taking advice resumes at present. TBNT is great when you’re feeling empowered enough to say you’re not interested but still keep things nice. Decent people will take this on and leave it at that. Annoying people will plough on regardless. Dickheads will both plough on AND get offended, with the added bonus of never forgiving you. You may even need to move on to the next phase with those types.
FUCK OFF YOU FART FACE (FOYFF)
For the really difficult people (see Dickheads, above) most definitely scream in the person’s face; “FUCK OFF YOU FART FACE!” Or the more generally polite; “GET AWAY FROM ME!”, then throw paint on them and flee the scene. Alternately, if you don’t have any paint on you and have forgotten to wear your screaming pants, tell them you’ve just seen the Bat-Signal and have to go save Gotham City.
But really, what the heck do I do?
The answer is simples my dears, SIMPLES! Surround yourself with the people who you love and make you feel good. The loved ones who you have great conversations with, feel inspired by, make each other laugh and ‘get’ each other. For every Dickhead, insulate yourself with three ace people who make you feel a million dollars about this special time in your lives. For every person who wants to tell you about the budget-friendly caravan weddings of their work friend’s son’s someone-or-other, attach yourself to four legends who understand you and want you to be happy.
An important reminder too, this goes for IRL people and non-IRL people (i.e., the internet). You may find yourself compelled and excited to join a few wedding groups on Facebook to chat with people who are also wedding planning. You can get ideas and ask for advice (have I taught you nothing?! That was a test and you failed, sir/madam), but you must choose those groups more carefully than you chose the human you are planning to spend the rest of your life with.
Because oh my freaking god, so many of them are dumpster fires the size of the Pacific Ocean Trash Vortex (aka, the size of Germany, Belgian, Netherlands, Switzerland, and large chunks of Italy, France, Czech Republic AND Austria combined). Starring huge fights, nastiness, name-calling, budget shaming (for both cheap and expensive weddings), judgement, righteousness. You know, the internet. Often, it’s totally fucked and deeply unworthy of your specious time and energy*.
*Editor’s Note: If you didn’t already know, Rock n Roll Bride magazine has its OWN Facebook group, and it’s none of those things!.
The moral of this story is to choose wisely. Choose the people you talk to about your wedding. Choose the people you involve in this part of your life. Choose to avoid internet trash vortex fires. And most importantly, choose to go with your instincts and do whatever it is that you want to do for your wedding. There is nothing more rock ‘n’ roll than that.
Co-founder and creative director of Melbourne vintage furniture hire and event styling legends, Good Day Club, Kate Forsyth is an expert at stacking unstackable vintage chairs and designing the raddest, most non-traditional and fun weddings known to wo/man. Outside of running her business with husbo Dave, she parents small human Remy, plays the drums and just painted her house every colour of the rainbow.