Welcome to The Bride Link podcast, your home for expert wedding planning advice! Today we're talking all about how to have a drama-free wedding! If you're lucky and everybody on both sides of your family gets along there is little chance of family drama on your wedding day! Families are complicated, and if you're dealing with any family drama concerning divorced parents, individuals outside of your immediate family that might cause a little bit of strain then join us for some easy tips to help avoid complications. Use these four tips to help control wedding day drama before it event begins. You can also grab your FREE copy of our Ceremony Cheat Sheet to plan and separate family members if needed!
As a wedding planner, at one of our planning meetings for a specific wedding last year, a groom let me know that he did not like his stepmother. Unfortunately, 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 and he felt strongly about it. When asked 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.
His plan at that time was to let his father and stepmother come to the rehearsal and when we lined up to rehearse, 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, but I was to inform her he also didn't want her to sit in the front row. I had to let him know that this was something outside of my wedding planning duties and an all-around terrible, terrible idea! Creating some family drama at the rehearsal will ultimately bleed into the wedding day. Informing someone unexpectedly the day-of that they are no longer going to be part of your wedding (after they had rehearsed) is not a recipe for success. Leaving them out could not only hurt his step mom's feelings but also his dad's. 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!
What you're looking for here is to get some insider information about the feelings of the person that you're dealing with. Try and find out any hot button issues, or specific things that make them upset. What's the best way to approach them? What are 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. Be strategic and have a plan in place when you're ready to approach them.
Speak with them directly and the sooner the better. It's a mistake to wait until the rehearsal and be sure not to ask your wedding planner to speak with them on your behalf. Speak to them, either one on one or as a couple and let them know your feelings. You might want to make a list of reasons why you've come to a decision beforehand. 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. For example, maybe your dad's going to be present when you're talking to your stepmom. Set things in a way so nobody can gang up on one another. If talking head-on, one on one, is the best way to do it, then plan accordingly
This means separation at all times. 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. That way they don't even have to look at each other if they don't want to. Have a person sitting between them during the ceremony so they don't feel uncomfortable if needed. You could even do separate photography times if you think it will help.
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. Instead, get ready with mom in the bridal suite and then meet dad outside for your first look. 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. Create separate tasks for them while planning if you've asked them to help. 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, just need to sit back and trust that person to act their best. Once you've told them how important it is that there's no family drama on your wedding day, they'll understand and won't want to be the person who ruins it for you.
Now, if you can't do this, or you're still unsure they'll have your best interests at heart, you really should think about not inviting that person. If you think some things might go wrong on your wedding day, it's 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. Remember, this your day and any decisions that are best for you and your partner, are the right ones.
For more expert wedding planning advice, follow us @thebridelink