Weddings

Dear Bitchless Bride: My Friend Is Challenging Me to a Wedding-Planning Competition

What to do when revelry turns to rivalry.


Welcome to Dear Bitchless Bride, a series in which wedding planner Deborah DeFrancesco—the founder of Bitchless Bride the Podcast + Blog—offers uncensored advice on your most complicated wedding-planning woes. Have a question for Deborah? Email weddings@bostonmagazine.com.

wedding-planning competition

Photo via Unsplash/Katie Treadway

Dear Bitchless Bride,

I got engaged over the holidays last year, as did a good friend of mine. At the beginning, we were having a lot of fun talking about the wedding planning, potential venues, cool vendors, annoying family stuff, the endless opinions from those who “mean well,” and everything in between. But, lately, we seem to have taken an unusually frustrating turn. My friend is and has always been competitive by nature, and I feel like she’s starting to compete with me in wedding planning. She’s constantly asking me if I’ve booked this or that, and telling me how far behind I am if I haven’t secured something that she’s already completed. Aside from how irritating it is, it’s hurtful and upsetting and I honestly don’t want to play. I liked it better when we were on the same page. How do I nip this in the bud before I snap and lose her as a friend?

Sincerely,

Frustrated


Dear Frustrated,

That’s quite a conundrum! I bet it was fun having having a close friend going through the same exciting experience at the same time. Planning a wedding is a pretty big undertaking, and having somebody who really understands the intricacies and logistics to turn to for support is a beautiful thing. It’s unfortunate that something that used to be fun is taking a sour turn. But, here’s the thing: You mentioned that your friend has always been competitive by nature, so it was only a matter of time before she turned your dual wedding planning into a duel. When this behavior has presented itself in the past, how have you handled it?

Due to the enormity of the experience (wedding planning is amazing and amazingly stressful at the same time) and everything that’s at stake, it’s important for you to stand your ground. Don’t let your your friend suck the joy out of your experience. Shut her down. Nicely. There’s nothing wrong with setting boundaries. And, in this case, setting boundaries will save your friendship. Just get ahead of it. Don’t wait for the next “competition” and lose your sh*t. Next time you’re together, have an honest conversation about how you’re feeling and gently begin placing those boundaries. She might not even be aware of her behavior, and may appreciate your candor.

Good luck!

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