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How to Handle Being the First Person to Get Married

Wedding + How to Handle Being the First Person to Get Married

If you would have told me when we got engaged that one of the most difficult parts was going to be the first person on all four sides of our family to go through the wedding planning process, I would have laughed. It hasn’t even been the fact our families have been difficult, we just don’t have anyone to go off of in terms of the guest list, who was invited to what pre-wedding event, and how much to spend on what. Being the first person to get married isn’t easy, but here are some ways to make it manageable.

This post is sponsored by WeddingWire, but as always all opinions are my own! Thank you for supporting the brands that make A Blonde & A Briefcase possible!

How to Handle Being the First Person to Get Married

How to Handle Being the First Person to Get Married

1. Be Ready to Hear About Every Person’s Own Experience With Random Weddings

People really try to be helpful by giving your examples of what other people have done. Whether it be the daughter of a co-worker or a wedding they saw on Pinterest, you will hear about it. The best you can do is say thank you, and take note of anything you might like.

You’re the first person that they have to really help, and it comes from such a good place, trust me!

2. You’ll Have A Lot of Help

One of the things that make me want to cry tears of joy is how many people have offered their help for our wedding. Grandmas, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends not in the wedding party have offered to do things for us and it’s been almost a little overwhelming.

Best piece of advice? Take advantage of it by writing down who wants to help. As you go over your to-do list for the wedding, try to match people with their strengths. Double check that they still have the time by sending a text or email. Then have as much information ready as possible, email it if you can, and have a “due by” date just so people know.

Matt’s brother got engaged while they visited us!

3. There Might Be Different Expectations

You might be expected to have a larger wedding than maybe a relative in five years because your parents/grandparents want to invite a lot of people. Or you might be expected to include as many relatives as possible in your wedding party.

Be clear with your parents and loved ones up front about your budget, and who will be involved. It can be tempting to give into pressure to include everyone, but don’t! You’re setting the example for your cousins and siblings, so stick to your guns. People may be upset/offended in the moment, but know that they will probably get over it. If possible, make your parents your biggest allies by having them field a lot of the family questions and drama.

If your parents aren’t being your allies, gently remind everyone that this is your wedding, and while you love them, it just isn’t possible to include all relatives. It’s tricky to think that you’re disappointing people you love, but you don’t need to drive yourself crazy trying to find a place for everyone.

Also, a lot of your attendants might not know what exactly they’re supposed to be doing, so you’re going to be asked what their jobs are supposed to be. (Here are checklists for the groomsmen and the bridesmaids)

4. Use The Resources You Do Have

You may not have a cousin’s or best friend’s wedding to go off of, but you do have the Internet! One of the biggest blessings I’ve had are the articles that WeddingWire has been posting.

Here’s an example: we aren’t going to be driving to our bridal shower, so we thought we should skip the gift opening because we didn’t know how we’d get all the gifts back. This article about six traditions we could skip was so helpful and made my maid of honor and I feel much better!

Also, in trying to save money in our budget we found this article about flowers really helpful! We used some of these ideas in our meeting with our florist and it turned out really well.

Did you know you should be giving hostess gifts? I wasn’t really aware and this article was so helpful in giving me ideas to spoil my maid of honor and bridesmaids!

To sum all of this up, WeddingWire is a great resource for you to use as you plan your wedding. I’ve spent hours researching and reading articles so that I felt like we were making informed decisions!

5. You Will Have to Rely On Your Vendors

Personally, our vendors have been amazing. They have helped with everything from the day-of time line to finding a replacement vendor for us. If you or people around you don’t have a lot of experience with weddings, try to find vendors that are experienced. They can give you advice and tips if you just ask!

We found our photographer on WeddingWire, and with her amazing reviews and awards, we knew we were making a great choice. Also, our amazing florist and decorator have been really helpful by staying in our budget!

6. Everyone Will Be Incredibly Excited For You

Since everything is new, people are even more excited for your bridal shower, bachelorette party, even your rehearsal dinner. It’s been the sweetest thing having people this excited for our wedding.

This excitement is so motivating, and I’ve personally been trying to soak it all in as we’re the first of a really fun year full of weddings!

7. You Get to Set The Standard

Instead of maybe being the fourth or fifth person to get married in your family, you get to set the standard for weddings as the first person. When your siblings and cousins get married, they will probably be looking to your wedding guest list, venue, and other traditions to see what they should do at theirs!


Have any of you been married before most of your friends and family? What has your experience been like? Any of participated in your first wedding recently? Let me know in the comments below, please!




Like what you’re reading? Look at these!

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  • Congratulations! I’m the youngest out of my cousins (by a lot) so I’ll definitely be the last to be engaged haha. I’m going to one of my cousin’s weddings in September!

    Lauren //

  • Miss ALK

    This is such a good perspective Ashley! I’m from a super small family on both sides and my couple of cousins are all like 10+ years older so someday I’ll be by far the last to get married, but by then it’ll have been so long since a family wedding haha!

    xoxo A

    • Thank you! I’m the oldest cousin so I’m kind of used to it, but my youngest cousin is 2.. so he’ll probably go through the same thing!

  • Audrey Knizek

    Whenever I get engaged I won’t be the first in my family, but I can only imagine the stress! I can tell I’m going to look for people for recommendations, so not having that must be challenging. I’m glad you’ve had helpful vendors though!

    • Thank you! I’ve been loving helping other people out with their weddings after going through what we have!

  • Amanda Faber

    Pinterest was the most helpful tool for me when I got engaged. Happy planning!

    • Pinterest overwhelms me haha. But I have found some really great stuff on there! Thank you!

  • What a great post! I’m the only child so I def didn’t have anything to compare it to haha.

    • Oh gosh that might be worse! your wedding was so pretty! I’m hoping mine turns out half as well haha

  • One of my good friends/co-workers is getting married this year and I’ve definitely seen/heard a lot of these ringing true for her too!

    • I wish her good luck! We’re less than 2 months away and I’m starting to feel anxious haha!

  • thesophiadiaries

    oh these are such good points! And I totally love how you managed to turn such a scary thought into a positive outlook! totally inspired <3

  • Love this post! I feel this is going to me too. My sister had an Egyptian wedding so I can’t compare it to that lol.

  • haha this is on point! I was the first of my friends to get married but my husband was the last so we had a nice blend of the spectrum

  • I think #1 happens whether your the first person or not, ha! #7 is so true!

  • mckenna bleu

    That is very exciting to be the first to get married!

  • Great tips, dear! So excited for you! Love all this encouragement!