N-O Spells No
Laying Down the Law with Friends and Vendors
In the movie Bride Wars, Anna Hathaway's character is always being stepped on by everyone. Not to spoil things, but finally she blows up at her maid-of-honor. Classic bridezilla behavior. While some brides can be overly demanding -- we know that you're not one of them-- but sometimes everyone wants something from the bride. Here's how to say "No" to pushy vendors and your well-meaning but bossy friends.
Why We Say No
Why do you want to say no? The short answer is that you don't want to, but often times we feel guilty all the same. On the contrary, how often do we think, "She said no to me. What a jerk?" We get told no all the time, and we usually get over it. Other people will as well, and it sure beats getting resentful and blowing up.
In a nutshell, saying no is part of good communication, which is especially healthy when you're dealing with something as big and important as your wedding.
No Means No
In other words, "no" doesn't mean "maybe."
Hypothetical Situation #1
Imagine your co-worker says to you, "Ohmigod, congratulations on your engagement. So when do we get to pick out bridesmaid dresses?" This girl isn't even invited to your wedding and she wants to be a bridesmaid?
While this will probably never happen in real life, people who think that they're invited when they're not is a pretty common occurrence. Although, it will be embarrassing and awkward for both parties to tell her no, you still have to. You might be tempted to come up with an excuse or even a deflection like "Um. I haven't really thought about it yet." But that's even worse.
Do not make up excuses like this: Oh. I thought about it, but you seemed very busy and the wedding is in New Zealand.
What if your hypothetical co-worker counters with, "Oh, I"m not busy at all and I have been thinking about visiting the land of the hobbits. I even have enough air miles to go for free! And I can stay with relatives. I'm originally a Kiwi."
Uh Oh. Try extracting yourself from that one.
You need to just level with her: "I'm sorry. It's going to be a very private ceremony and I've already picked my two bridesmaids." You don't have to name who these upstanding girls are or why you've chosen them. First of all, there isn't much you can say without hurting her feelings. She assumed that you two were closer than you actually were. Secondly, you don't owe her an explanation.
When "No" is Not Enough
Sometimes people don't give up that easily, because a) they're desperate or b) they think they can wear you down.
Hypothetical Situation #2
Your florist tries to make you buy a package deal even though you just want a few bouquets and corsages. "But Darling, what about your centerpieces?" You reply that you're going with picture frames. "You know what would be better, Sweet Pea, flowers and frames.
While you should always listen to the experts, you don't have to follow their advice. If your vendor doesn't listen to you, this is a red flag that maybe you should pick someone else. But we understand that sometimes it's worth the hassle. In that case, just repeat your point and leave before she talks your ear off.
Before you start busting out "No" before people even finish asking the question, consider the possibility of "yes." Would things be so horrible if you said yes? Yes, to your fiancé's requests for soccer themed invites? Yes, to your father's request to dance to Blue Danube for your father-daughter dance? Weird, but at the cost of years of estrangement? Not really. Sometimes saying yes has its perks. It opens new possibilities. You might surprise yourself. And sometimes saying yes will ruin your wedding.
No is a powerful word. Use it wisely.
Posted by Anna K. who loves wedding planning.