Is there a such thing as a drama-free wedding? In hindsight, there will ALWAYS be someone who wishes something were different. And we all know you can’t please everyone. Here are some answers to common pitfalls to avoid an excess of family drama and allow yourself to have a peaceful, beautiful best day of your life. This can even be done while keeping your important relationships intact and egos unbruised. Well, relatively intact…we can dream, right?
I come from a small family and he/she has a large one, so bridal parties will be way off balance. How do we avoid hurt feelings? There are two ways to approach this subject. If your dear husband-to-be has six brothers and three broseph friends he wants standing up with him, then you can either employ equally as many girlfriends and get into juggling all of that, OR decide to avoid hurt feelings by EVERYONE and simply have one attendant each. Tell everyone you are taking the economical or minimalist approach. It can be pretty chic to have just two attendants, anyway.
What if there is stepfamily conflict? – Divorce and remarriage is all too common, and chances are you may have a stepparent or two to navigate around in the wedding planning process. If mom and stepmom don’t dig each other, but you still want to make them both know that they are loved, try doing wedding-related activities with each of them separately. They may still have to show up to a shower or two together and play nice, but tensions may not be quite as high if you handle them with care ahead of the bigger festivities. For instance, do your bridal dress shopping with your mama and later, jewelry or shoes with your S’mom. They will both feel included, and you will have quelled their egos enough to feel solid that you aren’t leaving anyone out. If the drama still ensues…put up your invisible emotional force field and try not to engage in or absorb any of it.
We want an adults-only reception, but family members want to be able to bring their 3 year olds and screaming newborns. This is a tough one. People get very defensive about the kids-vs-no-kids when it comes to family weddings, especially. One tactic that handles it delicately is to have an age cutoff for the invitees. Say, no one under 16 or 18 or whatever the magic number is for your guest list. Just be sure to put specific individual invitees on the invitation, not “Jim Bob & Family.” You can also elect to offer a babysitter for the wedding. Although this will be an extra cost, it shows your guests that you do want to be accommodating, though it may not be appropriate for their kids to be milling around at cocktail hour. Most parents will relish in having a no-kids break, anyway!
I don’t want the traditional walking down the aisle and if I do it differently, people’s feelings will be hurt. There seem to be a few strains to this debacle. Either you aren’t close with or have a tense relationship with your parent(s), or you are closer with a stepparent, or you simply associate being “given away” with anti-feminism. Whatever the reason may be, it can be hard to achieve what YOU want without offending someone else. Bottom line is, don’t sell yourself out on this one. Walking down the aisle toward your partner in life is a monumental moment, and it really should not be clouded by guilt or obligation. Be strong in your reasons why you envision this moment a certain way, and be honest with the person or people you are concerned about slighting. They hopefully will learn to accept it and respect your honesty.
In the end, this is your day, but remember to show those you care about how important they are to you. And when you look back on your photos, they won’t be marred by memories of family drama…all you will see is LOVE.
What are some family-drama situations that you have avoided at your wedding or are facing for your upcoming day? We would love to hear about them in the comment box below.