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Celebrate the launch of My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 by sharing your dos and don’ts for throwing a big family wedding and you could win a £300 Love2Shop voucher. NOW CLOSED!

(255 Posts)
ZaneMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 07-Mar-16 12:11:07

Weddings should be occasions of joy and happiness; however there are some times when they can be stressful and downright insufferable. From unreasonable demands from brides to issues over inviting (or not inviting) children, not to mention the sticky issue of wedding lists and seating plans, they can be a bit of a nightmare. To mark the return of the long awaited romantic comedy My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, we would like to hear the rules you’d put in place for successful big family weddings.

Written by Academy Award® nominee Nia Vardalos, who stars alongside the entire returning cast of favourites, the film reveals a Portokalos family secret that will bring the beloved characters back together for an even bigger and Greeker wedding. My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 hits cinemas on March 25.

Check out the trailer below:

If you were coming up with a list of dos and don'ts for how to throw a big family wedding what would they be? Have you been to some terrible ones you’d like to share a story about? If you were going to have one, how would you make sure it all went without a hitch?

Whatever your ideas and stories are, we'd love to hear them.
Everyone who posts on this thread with their tips will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky Mumsnetter will win a £300 Love2Shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw,

Standard Insight Terms and Conditions apply

duckbilled Mon 07-Mar-16 12:40:38

Do not discuss the table seating plan with ANYONE! Everyone will moan and you will stress out trying to keep them happy.
Sort it how you want it and they find out on the day. It's only a few hours afterall!

foxessocks Mon 07-Mar-16 15:22:55

Do what makes you and your partner happy and not what other people want.
Don't drink too much if you want to remember your special day (and at least hold back until the party starts!)

asuwere Mon 07-Mar-16 16:02:22

I would say don't throw a big family wedding! smile Probably not the answer you're looking for though.

CombineBananaFister Mon 07-Mar-16 16:04:20

When booking any companies for centrepieces/entertainment/anything that doesn't have to look wedding-specific do not mention it is a wedding or it will suddenly incur extra charges and suppliers will treat you like you have no financial restraint or brain-cells.

DO - Buy a disposable phone and set up a separate email address for all wedding communications so you are not constantly bothered on your personal accounts and can be selective with answering family whingers thus saving your sanity

DO - Agree a set-time and day to discuss wedding stuff with your partner and try to limit it to then so that you can turn off distractions, make quick decisions and not let it take over EVERY conversation you have.

DO - Remember it is a wedding and is only ONE DAY, a means to an end, not the be all and end all - it is the pre-cursor to (hopefully) a long and happy marriage which is more important. Don't get so stressed out that you lose sight of this and end up damaging friendships and relationships for long after the day is over.

DON'T - have a free bar, there are always some people who cannot behave

DON'T - let others influence your decisions, you will regret it - if they want something a certain way let them do it at their wedding.

DON'T - deviate to much from your style when it comes to hair/beauty/dress. Your wedding day is not a good time to try something new or on-trend as you won't feel like yourself and the photos will look dated plus it could go spectacularly wrong. Do it on your hen night instead.

I used to work in wedding hospitality and have seen some truly lovely and awful days grin

TheyreMadITellYouMaaaad Mon 07-Mar-16 16:19:28

My tip for throwing a big family wedding would be:


But if you must have a huge wedding, decide on the aspects about which you will not compromise, make them very clear, and delegate the rest to someone else. You worry about the stuff that directly affects you (like the seating plan at the top table) and ignore the stuff that does not (like whether Auntie Margot should sit next to that bloke Grandad used to work with).

And if someone else is paying for it, let them chase the RSVPs.

Personally, I would have a small wedding ceremony, with the people who mattered most to me/us, followed by a huge party. With waiters handing out drinks at the entrance free soft drinks and a PAYG bar.

Snoopadoop Mon 07-Mar-16 16:22:21

Do not discuss the seating plan with people before hand. You'll have 'I don't want to sit with them', 'I don't like them', 'he's soooo boring' and so on.

Do not send invites that include an awful poem that basically states we have stuff, so no stuff, we want money. Just awful.

If you can, invite children. Excluding children upsets many people and often prevents people you want to be there from attending.

Have fun. Have a wonderful day but also try to get around to each of your guests for a chat, a hug whatever, try to thank them for coming in person.

Have the speeches after food and make sure they're not too long!

Purplehonesty Mon 07-Mar-16 16:43:08

Invite who you want/like

Eat what you like

Wear what you like it doesn't have to be white!

Listen to music you love

Remember it's your day but it is only one day so you don't need to spend a fortune

The little things don't matter so don't stress if your invites are cream and your cake is white. No one cares

CopperPan Mon 07-Mar-16 17:09:54

Keep it simple, go for packaged deals so you're not fussing over details and choices, don't be afraid to cull optional extras that don't matter to you. We didn't bother with DJs or cake or favours but we spent a lot on the food which was amazing quality and we wanted everyone to enjoy it.

Gazelda Mon 07-Mar-16 17:47:41

Agree a budget, no matter how big or small. Its easy to get carried away if you know you're 'going big', but its all got to paid for some how, so set your limits early and start a big bad spreadsheet.

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 07-Mar-16 18:00:07

Don't bend over backwards for everyone else. It's your day and you want to enjoy it.

But don't go too far the other way and be a Bridezilla- you may want some friends after the wedding.

WhatWouldTheDoctorDo Mon 07-Mar-16 18:33:04

Just two tips from me:

You can't please everyone, so please yourself.

Remember, it might be the most important day of your life so far, but it's unreasonable for you to expect your guests to treat it with the same importance so don't be offended when they don't.

purplepandas Mon 07-Mar-16 19:45:44

I agree about not trying to please everyone. No one will agree and you will end up with what you don't want. I don't mean be a bridezilla though smile I guess I am thinking about my dress. I was glad that I stuck to my more understated idea and did not bow to pressure about that. We won't go into pressure about other things though ...

CMOTDibbler Mon 07-Mar-16 19:46:39

People won't remember chair covers, confetti on tables, or the myriad of little things that wedding blogs will tell you you need. They will remember (and not fondly) standing around with nowhere to sit, not enough drinks or food and anything that makes one group feel like second class guests

SyedaAkbar Mon 07-Mar-16 20:06:18

Do what you & your partner want not what everyone thinks how it should you are getting married not your relatives

Please do not become a bridezilla i know you are going through stress of wedding planning and all but your friends or families do not deserve that behaviour .

nerysw Mon 07-Mar-16 21:00:28

Currently planning our wedding, this is all useful stuff to know!

DinosaursRoar Mon 07-Mar-16 21:32:44

Think back to a wedding you went to in the last 12 months - think about the bits you can remember from it, and then look at your list of stuff to spend your money on - can you remember what the invite looked like? chair covers? That sort of gubbins? We remembered stuff like the food and wine (good, bad, not enough!), the music, if the bride and groom made and effort to talk to everyone, was there hours of photos... spend your money there.

forkhandles4candles Mon 07-Mar-16 21:50:50

No idea..never did the wedding thing, never wanted too....but if we are talking big parties..make sure the sound system is top notch and not just producing an echoey hell...and have somewhere quiet too, to chill.

TyrannosaurusBex Mon 07-Mar-16 21:52:43

Turn up the volume on your usual look rather than trying something radically different.

Do NOT invite guests to the church and the wedding dance (AKA the B list event) but not the reception.

Invite children.

Don't include your bank details with the invitation.

Remember that you are more excited about your wedding than anybody else is. Don't discuss it endlessly. If you have something unique and exciting planned, it will be far more impressive if it's a surprise.

BellaVida Mon 07-Mar-16 22:18:39

- Do pay for your own wedding if possible. That way you have total control.
- Do let your family know that personal rifts are not welcome and any silliness will result in them not coming.
- Do try to get some time with your brand new husband/wife just after finish the ceremony. It gives you a breather at a very emotional moment in the day and is one I will always remember.
- Do try to mentally record special moments and things people say, as the cameras won't catch it all. So many people at our wedding are no longer with us.
- Don't fell guilty for making it all about you. Hopefully you will only do this once and it needs to 'feel' special.
- Don't stress about the small stuff. People will honestly not get out the magnifying glass and check the hand-written lettering on your favours for inconsistencies.
- Don't say in the same hotel as your guests on your wedding night. The jokes and knowing looks you get the next day are more than enough!
- Don't forget to put your personality into the day. There are no real rules when it comes to your wedding. Do it your way!

glasgowlass Mon 07-Mar-16 22:21:21

DO things that suit you and your soon to be husband/wife.

DO stick to your budget... no one gives a crap about 'high end invitations' etc.

DO invite who you both want, not who is expected to be invited yet you only see them once in a blue moon.

DO enjoy yourselves. It's a long day. Try to enjoy it as your guests are.

DON'T make every single conversation you have in the whole lead up all about the wedding.

DON'T expect everyone to come running at a minutes notice for the slightest party members have home lives too.

DON'T be a bloody bridezilla.

DON'T ask for items or money with the invitation..a wedding can cost a lot for guests..presents are a bonus not a right.

ClaudetteWyms Mon 07-Mar-16 22:37:00

DON'T have a big family wedding.

DO run away and do it exactly how you want to do it.

fridaykitten Mon 07-Mar-16 23:18:35

I sat people together with at least another couple they knew on the table but with those that didnt know each other i tried to mix people with common interests.

Goodie bags for the kids during speeches - made these different for each child according to age and interests.

Dont drink too much - i drank just a few sips as was chatting and dancing so much, so glad as well as remember the whole day and night.

muddymary Mon 07-Mar-16 23:22:26

People only get a say in what they pay for!
You're not happy with who has/hasn't been invited? Unless you're paying for everyone's meals then tough!
Don't like sleeveless wedding dresses? Unless you're buying my dress, I don't care!
The best weddings have a free bar? Set up a tab or shut up then!
It sounds harsh but myself and she both come from big, opinionated families & that attitude saved my sanity!

mrsronswanson Tue 08-Mar-16 06:07:26

The first thing that sprang to mind was if you are having a big family wedding then you must invite children and just accept that it probably won't be a "sophisticated" affair but hopefully a really fun party that everyone will enjoy and remember.
And if it's a big family wedding and you're having to provide for lots of people then don't stress about the latest must have wedding favours etc.

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