From bridesmaid dramas to jealous besties, planning a wedding can not only be stressful on your relationship with your fiancé, but also on your close friendships. Take it from talented blogger Lily Pebbles, who after marrying a few years ago, has recently written a book dedicated to her friendships called 'The F WORD.'
Having read the book, loved and identified with so much of it, I quizzed Lily on her tips and advice on how to maintain your friendships while planning a wedding.
What tips do you have for women planning their weddings right now?
- Always remember why you're getting married and that it's meant to be a celebration, a happy occasion! It's not worth arguing or getting stressed over.
- Stick to your gut and do what you as a couple want to do. There are no rules, yes there are traditions but you're allowed to pick and choose what feels right for you. - Yes, it can all be in the details but trust me, on the day you won't care or think about the details!
- Take your time to eat the food, you'll regret it if you don't
- Spend as much time on the day feeling in the moment, soaking up at the atmosphere and enjoying time with the people you care most about. Let the photos capture the memories and not prevent them from happening.
Do you think your friendships changed when you got married?
I think as a couple we changed slightly, becoming more of a team, but that didn't affect my friendships. My husband and I were together for seven years before marrying so my friends were already close with him and nothing changed.
What did you do to try and maintain your friendships while you were planning your wedding?
I knew pretty early on that I wasn't going to have bridesmaids, which I think sounds strange considering I'm so obsessed with my female friends. I just wanted them to have the best time and to me that meant wearing whatever they wanted to wear and feeling completely at ease and relaxed on the day, without any jobs to worry about.
So because of this I wanted to make sure that they still knew how important they were to me and I did this by writing them all handwritten notes as soon as I got engaged. They were personal to each friend, reminiscing on why our friendships was so important to me and I think it was just a nice way for them to know that they're important to me.
I was also really open about my wedding plans to make them feel included, I showed them my dress if they wanted to see it, talked about the food and venue… it wasn't all a huge secret.
What advice do you have for other women who are getting married and struggling to maintain their friendships?
I think if you're the one getting married then you need to make the effort to make your friends not feel like you've moved on without them. Sure, things might change, but bring them along for the ride, make them feel included and don't let your wedding consume everything you do. It's important not to let yourself get lost in your own bubble and to show an interest in what your friends are getting up to as well, even if it doesn't feel as important.
What are your tips for avoiding bridesmaid or hen party dramas?
They're pretty hard to avoid because during such a special time there are a lot of emotions flying around and a lot of people who care, a lot. You kind of need to accept that there will be dramas but how you deal with them will matter the most!
- If there's conflict, think about how you would feel in the situation. Do to others what you would expect back.
- Remember that everyone will have a different relationship with the bride and will know them in a different way. Celebrate that, don't compete.
- Don't have too many people planning the hen, 3 or 4 is a good number.
- Don't make it about yourself, now is the time to be a selfless friend.
What's the best advice a friend gave you when you got married?
Take a moment on the day, probably later into the night, to step back with your new husband and look out at all your guests having a good time. And just take a mental picture of that moment.
The F WORD: A Personal Exploration of Modern Female Friendship by Lily Pebbles is published by Hodder & Stoughton, £16.99, available from 8th March.