Why It’s Totally Normal To Critique Your Friends’ Weddings

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It’s an honour to back on Love My Dress again today and, as always, thank you Annabel for inviting me along to share with you my latest wedding insider, no-nonsense advice packed article.

Today, I’m going to hopefully set your mind at ease because I bet there’s something that you’ve all been doing since you got engaged – yes, you’ll have suddenly become hypercritical of every wedding that you see, even your closest friends’ weddings. If you’ve been trying to get your critical comments under control or if you’ve even caught yourself wondering if you’ve become the biggest wedding bitch around, don’t worry, I’m here to tell you how you can harness this for the good and why it’s totally normal to critique your friends’ weddings.

Even if you were secretly adding to your personal wedding Pinterest board before your partner proposed (it happens), things change when you get engaged. Not only do you suddenly have a gorgeous ring distracting you whilst you try to work, your brain is also given free reign to think about weddings as much as it likes. And it will. All. The. Time.

You might feel like a bit of a bitch for finding fault or picking up on the fact that there weren’t any wedding favours but as long as you can give yourself a mental poke and remind yourself that this is your friend’s day, it’s ok.

Now, you notice weddings everywhere. Everywhere! Your ears prick up on the tube when you hear someone talking about dresses, you click and swipe up to get even more wedding content and whenever there’s a wedding, you just can’t help critiquing.

And this is different because before you got engaged, if you saw a wedding on TV or online, you’d only really notice the generalities. Now you’re noticing the varieties of flowers and how many tiers are used to make up the cake. You can’t help compare these things to your own plans because your mind is now in wedding mode.

Of course, the problem arises when you actually attend a wedding whilst you’re planning your own. In the days before the proposal, you could just take weddings that you went to at face value. You’d enjoy the day without really noting the specifics of the event. But now, you notice absolutely everything; the details, the running order of the day, the menu, the guest book and how the bridesmaids are wearing their multi-way dresses. And, you can’t help yourself from thinking ‘I wouldn’t do it like that…’

And that’s totally normal.

You see, your friend is doing exactly what they want. They’re having their wedding day and they’ve filled it with the things that they like. This means that they’re absolutely entitled to do whatever they like, however they like and that’s just how it should be. You might feel like a bit of a bitch for finding fault or picking up on the fact that there weren’t any wedding favours but as long as you can give yourself a mental poke and remind yourself that this is your friend’s day, it’s ok. It’s impossible to switch off the wedding comparisons totally but just keep your critiques as positive as possible.

What do I mean by that? How can critiquing be healthy? Well, in the wedding world, it absolutely can. When you’re planning your own big day, you’re making lots of choices and lots of decisions based purely on what you think you like. You think that having your bridesmaids walk up the aisle behind you is what you want and you think that your guests will all know to leave their cards for you in your handmade card box but until you get to test these ideas out, you can’t be absolutely and totally sure.

You really have no right to pass judgement on someone else’s choice of venue, colour scheme or wedding dress because their choice is their choice. However, you can look at the nitty gritty of the day and see what works and what doesn’t.

And this is why a little bit of critiquing can be really useful. If you see your friend’s bridesmaids walk up the aisle behind her and you love it, great. If, however you now realise that the groom doesn’t get a clear view of his bride because the bridesmaids are all manoeuvring into their seats then you’ve got time to adjust or just tweak your plans.

This is the time to notice what really works, what’s not so great or what causes confusion for guests. If you notice that it took everyone ages to get into dinner because the table plan was really hard to read, and 150 guests had to all wait their turn to find their names then you can do something differently. Maybe create two table plans or put the plan somewhere visible during the drinks reception so everyone has time to find their table assignment well before dinner. Don’t, however moan that there wasn’t enough evening food and that you were starving when you got home without checking that you’re serving enough yourself!

So, how do you keep it positive and how do you avoid simply spending the whole day picking over the event? Firstly, try to focus on the mechanics of the day because these are the elements that are actually transferable to your own wedding. You really have no right to pass judgement on someone else’s choice of venue, colour scheme or wedding dress because their choice is their choice. However, you can look at the nitty gritty of the day and see what works and what doesn’t.

If you notice that the ushers weren’t really welcoming guests or handing our orders of service, make sure that yours are fully briefed. If you notice that not many people signed the guest book, then think about putting yours in a really obvious spot and even asking guests to sign it during the speeches. These are practical points that can make your own wedding day run more smoothly and these are often the things that you only really notice when you attend a wedding whilst you’re planning your own.

However, don’t set out to critique the whole day. This is your friend’s wedding and it’s a time to really enjoy yourself so don’t make it your mission to notice absolutely everything. The elements that you do notice will naturally be those that are more important to you so stick with those. And, if you catch yourself just being negative, make yourself balance each negative with a positive because you can be sure that there will be plenty of good things and plenty of positives that you can take from your friend’s wedding, whatever style it might be.

And just remember the location of the line that separates constructive critiquing because you’re getting married too and just being a bit of a crappy friend. This is where you don’t want to go because it’s neither nice nor necessary. If you step from critiquing the workings of the day into commenting on your friend’s personal choices, then you’ve gone too far. Noticing that female guests could really have done with blister plasters in a little emergency kit in the cloakrooms is one thing but pulling apart someone else’s choice of flowers, shoes, hairstyle or music just isn’t on.

Also remember that sharing what you’ve noticed with all your other friends, especially if they’re not getting married, isn’t necessary either. You run the risk of just sounding a bit bitter, jealous or downright bitchy if you go on, in great detail, about every single element of the day. Your critiques are your personal notes, nothing good will come of sharing them. Concentrate on your own plans, not everyone else’s.

Your day, your way!

You see, the wonderful thing about weddings is that we all get to do what we like, and we all create a wedding that suits our own personal circumstances. We don’t have to plan an event purely to please everyone else and we are all wonderfully, fabulously and gloriously different. We also work to different budgets and styles and we all want to include different elements. We prioritise different things and simply don’t care about others. Each wedding is as different as the couple who are taking their vows.

So, whilst you might not choose something, if your friend does and if, when you notice it, you smile and say, ‘oh yes, that’s so them’, then they got it right. And you absolutely can’t critique that.

Love Katrina



Katrina is a national award-winning wedding planner who specialises in timeless, understated and naturally elegant weddings throughout the UK. Katrina is a regular contributor to Love My Dress, the resident wedding planner for Coco Wedding Venues and co-founder of Coco & Kat, a creative consultancy for wedding venues and beyond.

Image by Kelly McAllister


Katrina View all Katrina's articles

I’m a planner, strategist, designer, thinker, doer, perfectionist, artist, creative, partner, friend, and I’m passionate about supporting the incredible community of Love My Dress readers by sharing my knowledge of weddings and wedding planning via regular, HONEST and practical planning features. As part of the Love My Dress team, I love having the opportunity to explore different aspects of wedding planning and since 2015 have covered everything from learning how to embrace imperfection to pressures, worries and wobbles. You can find out more about who I am, what I do, my style, my approach, and the wedding planning support services I offer at Katrina Otter Weddings.

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