Family Drama on your wedding day
The Bride Link
Editorial Category: 
Thursday, April 25, 2019

How To Avoid Family Drama At Your Wedding

Today on The Bride Link podcast, we're talking all about how to avoid family drama at your wedding.

Welcome to The Bride Link podcast, your home for expert wedding planning advice. Today we're talking all about how to avoid family drama at your wedding. If you're one of the lucky ones and everybody in both of your families gets along, this probably is not the podcast for you. However, if you're dealing with any family drama concerning divorced parents, maybe somebody outside of your immediate family that might cause a little bit of strain, then this is something you should definitely listen to. I've got four tips to help you avoid family drama, but before we dive into that, I want to tell you a little story.

I'm a wedding planner and at one of our planning meetings for a specific wedding last year, a groom let me know that he really did not like his stepmom. His father had already planned for her to be at the wedding and for her to walk in the precessional, he wanted neither of those things to happen. I asked him if he had talked to his stepmom about any of his feelings or at least mentioned this to his dad. He said that he hadn't, and quite frankly, he didn't want to deal with it.

So, his best plan at that time was to let them come to the rehearsal and when we lined up to rehearse for the precessional, I was going to be the one that got to tell her that he didn't want her to walk in his wedding. Not only that, he didn't want her to sit in the front row and he was kind of on the fence about her coming at all. I had to let him know that this was definitely outside of my wedding planning duties and an all-around terrible, terrible idea. Creating some family drama at the rehearsal would most definitely bleed over into the wedding day and leaving somebody that was unexpectedly finding out that they weren't going to be part of your wedding, leaving them out could not only hurt his step mom's feelings but also his dads. So today we wanted to give you some tips about how to avoid family drama so you don't find yourself in a situation like that!

Tip number one, talk to another relative or family friend first. What you're looking for here is to get some insider information about the feelings of the person that you're dealing with. You might want to understand any hot button issues, specific things that really make them upset or just their overall feelings about you and your wedding in general. You're not trying to be sneaky here, but what you are looking for is some emotional insights so you can come from a place of understanding when you talk to them.

Step number two is addressing the issue. Head on with that person. So don't wait until the rehearsal and try to make your wedding planner do it. You need to talk to that person, either one on one or as a couple. You might want to make a list prior if you need to keep things straight. They should know how important it is that they don't cause any extra stress on you. If you need to bring any backup, you could also bring in another relative. So for example, maybe your dad's going to be present when you're talking to your stepmom, but really you should think about things in a way to make sure nobody can gang up on one another. So sometimes talking head-on, one on one, might be the best way to do it.

Tip number three, make some accommodations to keep people separated if needed. So if you need to do separate tables, for example, at the reception, if your parents are divorced, maybe mom gets a reserved table, dad gets a reserved table and they can invite family members to sit with them. If needed, you might even put some tables in between mom and dad's tables, so that way they don't even have to look each other's way if they don't want to. I would also suggest having a person sitting between them during the ceremony so they don't feel uncomfortable if needed. You could even do separate photography times. For example, if you're going to do a first look with your dad in the bridal suite, don't do it right after mom gets you into your wedding dress because they're both going to be there with pretty much nobody else around and feel pretty uncomfortable. Instead, do something like getting ready with mom in the bridal suite and then meet that outside for your first look. Just separate them when possible. They'll probably act best and be most at ease when there's a large group around. That way they can kind of be civil but also totally ignore each other.

Definitely, have separate tasks while planning if they're helping you plan your wedding. That way you don't have any conflict during the planning stages that can bleed over to the wedding day.

After you've gotten some emotional insight, you've addressed the issue head-on and you’ve made accommodations to keep everybody comfortable, tip number four is that you need to trust the person that you love. Once you've told them how important it is that there's no family drama on your wedding day and you've gone as far as making special accommodations so that they're comfortable on your big day, you really just need to sit back and trust that person. Trust that they know how important this is to you and that you're important to them and they won't mess that up.

Now, if you can't do this, you really should think about not inviting that person after all of that. If you think some things might go wrong on your wedding day, it's definitely a consideration that maybe they don't get an invitation. I hate to end this on a sad note, but that is the truth on how to avoid family drama at your wedding.

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