Wednesday 27 December 2023

Wedding Planning - family arguments and disagreements

Over the last 20 years as a marriage and funeral celebrant, I have seen literally everything when it comes to weddings, planning stress and family difficulties.


I have worked with so many couples who were dealing with issues like:

  • Family disputes
  • Divorced and non-speaking parents
  • Family issues related to dislike of the person you’re marrying
  • Family or friends who are refusing to come because someone they don't like is invited
  • Bridal party fights and issues
  • Bridal party members who are making trouble or not showing up

  • Issues around kids being invited

  • and religious issues for the couple and their families

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many more!

So, the point of this post is to consider some of the ways couples can reduce their stress around these issues so that they can have the day they want to have, not the day that has been changed and even at times ruined by others.

REMEMBER: No matter what happens, at the end of the day, the goal through all of this is to be married and you will be. You absolutely will be.

Preparing for potential issues:

It is rare for a couple to plan a wedding without encountering a single hiccup. It's important to remember, you are not alone if you're facing some stressful issues. However, you can set yourselves up for a smoother ride by panning ahead. 

First, from the moment you get engaged, understand that problems will come up and accept that. Things won't run perfectly so don't be alarmed when something does happen.

Second, don't overreact. In high stress situations it's easy to catastrophise, so when something does come up, take a minute, breathe and look at the big picture BEFORE reacting or saying anything you might regret. Give yourself a minute to think.

Third, assess whether the issue/s will really have an impact on you and your partner long-term. Will this be something that causes long-term harm, or is it just a hiccup that won't matter too much when you're looking back at the day in years to come. Talk it over with your partner and make sure you agree on your assessment of the situation. You're a team!

Fourth, understand that while your wedding is important, people around you have things going on too. When someone can't make it, can't get a baby sitter for that night, or can't help you with something they said they would, let yourself feel the irritation and move on quickly. People have things going on that others might not know about and it's better to just move on quickly and find another option rather than dwell on why they can't help or whatever the situation might be. Dwelling will waste your energy and lower your mood. Don't let the actions of others reduce your excitement and shine.

Fifth, build in pockets of time in the lead up to the wedding to take time out and de-stress. Take some time alone to remind yourself that the point of getting married is to commit to your partner. It is not to have every tiny detail fall perfectly into place for your fairytale. Relax, meditate if you need or just go for a calm walk in nature and reset your emotions so you can keep moving forward with a clear head. (Check out our post for Bridal Meditation).

Sixth, and last but not least, while it is your big day and your family and friends should behave well and support you, ALWAY try to put yourself in the other person/peoples position when issues arise. If it is a family member who doesn't want to see another guest, try to be empathetic and do what you can, but if you can't resolve it, simply explain to the person that you can't and allow them to either suggest a solution or not attend if they feel they can't. Forcing people into uncomfortable situations isn't good for anyone, including you and your partner. If it is someone who is wanting to bring their child and you are having a child-free wedding, simply write them a nice message saying that you totally understand if they can't make it due to parenting responsibilities. Many couples are now live-streaming their ceremony so distant family and friends can still attend (and it's a great way to reduce cost!)

REMEBER - be calm and empathetic but firm in your responses to issues that others bring up. Even if all of the above were to happen, and even if important people couldn't be there for you, the wedding is about marrying your partner and by the end of the day, you will be married. That's all that really matters. 

Check out some of our other posts for other ideas while planning your big day.

Good Luck!

The Wedding Gurus xx




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