How to avoid unnecessary wedding drama
Your wedding day will be one of the most amazing days in your life and one you will want to remember forever – for all of the right reasons.
There is no doubt that bringing together people from all areas of your and your partner’s life may mean some potential for conflict, but there are some ways you can avoid unnecessary drama and enjoy the best day of your life.
A lot of it comes down to planning, talking openly with everyone and having the courage to step back and allowing someone else to handle things when the big day arrives.
All of these little things will help you to avoid drama in the lead up to and during your wedding day.
You might have some of the best ideas for different elements of your wedding day, but the only way they will ever see the light of day is if you can communicate them and let others help you to bring them to life.
It is also important to communicate openly, and regularly, with your fiancé to make sure they are comfortable with how everything is coming together.
While it can be draining, it is also important to keep your guests in the loop with any changes you might make to the wedding. A change of location, a change from a gift registry to a wishing well, or even a change of theme.
Let them know as soon as possible so they can alter their arrangements accordingly and don’t get caught out.
A lot of drama can also be avoided by being upfront about your decisions surrounding plus ones and the attendance (or otherwise) of children.
Planning a wedding is full-on and can be quite time-consuming. But while you are in the midst of it all, remember that the more you have planned for your wedding day, the less drama there is likely to be.
Getting together an itinerary and giving a copy to suppliers, bridal party members and anyone else involved in anything from the ceremony to the reception will ensure everyone is on the same page and know how you would like to have the day unfold.
Any great leader knows how and when to delegate tasks. Since you are the chief wedding orchestrator, you will need to know when you have reached your limit and need to reach out for help.
Whether you hire a wedding planner to take over, or ask some of your bridal party, family members or other close friends to help, delegating will help to spread the load and give people something important to focus on during the wedding day so you won’t have a zillion things racing through your mind.
Pulling together a guest list can be a tricky element of planning your wedding as it is, but if you truly want your day to run smoothly, you may want to think about whether any of your guests are prone to causing drama where there needn’t be any.
We all know someone like that. The person who will kick up a stink because they got the fish instead of the steak, or thinks someone is giving them ‘the eye’, when they are just trying to read one of the gorgeous signs that just happens to be on the wall behind them.
If in doubt, leave them out. You will be grateful for it when the day comes.
Families where parents are divorced and/or remarried can be a complicated juggle, particularly if your parents are not on the best of terms.
Whether they are coupled up or not, ask your parents to each bring a friend or a date so they can have somebody to celebrate with and not spend time worried about their former spouse and what they are doing on the day.
You can also discuss with them if they would like to sit at the same table, or at opposite ends of the room. Open communication with everyone will minimise any potential for drama on the wedding day.
You can also consider putting all parents on your wedding invitations. This will not only help to keep the peace, but they will feel more invested and be more likely to behave themselves (Psychology 101).
Stray from tradition
If you have sisters squabbling over who should have the maid of honour position, or you are torn about who you should ask to walk you down the aisle – consider alternatives.
You can have a wedding sans bridal party, or choose not to have a maid of honour and just two bridesmaids.
You could ask your fiancé to walk you down the aisle, or strut down solo, to avoid hurting feelings if there are a couple of people vying for the role.
There are always alternatives that can help to save you from unnecessary drama.
As tempting as it will be to continue to monitor everything and everyone on your wedding day, you will have a lot more fun if you put down the phone and switch off from social media.
This way, you can be present and get the most out of your wedding day without worrying about what is happening in cyberspace.
Get the blinkers on
If guests come up to you with problems that seem trivial on your wedding day, you have every right to excuse yourself from the conversation and remove it from your mind.
Holding onto your sense of humour and your desire to have a good time while some of those around you are determined to find fault with something or someone will be your saving grace and allow you to avoid the drama and enjoy your day.
Take time out
Make some time during wedding planning to take a step back and unwind from it all. If it is a morning, a day, or a weekend, whatever you can spare will help you to de-stress and re-focus and maybe even see things in a clearer light.
Similarly, taking some time out on your wedding day, perhaps just before the ceremony starts or before you enter the reception, can help you to calm down and feel ready for the next stage of the day.
You may not be able to eliminate the crazy, but there are ways to minimize it.
1. Unite In Prematrimony
“Don’t have a single conversation with your family about wedding details in which you and your fiancé are not united,” says Bonnie Maslin.
Make an appointment with your fiancé to see a neutral party (therapist, minister) to discuss potential issues and how to handle them together.
3. Tweak Tradition
Relatives angling, elbows out, for honors? Consider walking the aisle solo or nixing a bridal party.
4. Enlist an Emotional Ombudsman
Rely on a friend for counsel and deflection.
5. Get Creative
For instance: “If your mom is single, ask if she wants to bring a buddy for support,” advises Maslin.
6. Be Generous
Consider putting all parents on the invitation, regardless of who’s paying. If they feel invested, they’re likely to behave better.
7. Allot Time to Talk
Announce to your family that you’ll be free to discuss nonlogistical wedding issues for an hour a week at a specific time. Then stick to that.
8. Take Charge
You don’t have to bow down reflexively to every person’s needs. Make sure you and your fiancé feel comfortable with the decisions being made.
9. Lighten up
If you can hold onto your sense of humor when all those around you are losing theirs, you might just have the time of your life.
10. Practice Non-Avoidance
“People think talking about a situation will stir it up, but the opposite is true,” says Bonnie Maslin. “A mother who is given the chance to say, It kills me that your father is going to be there with his new wife,’ is the mother who is less likely to throw a glass of champagne in anger.”
11. Channel Oprah
“Start conversations with questions,” says Maslin. “Don’t interrogate, which can create defensiveness. Instead, be open to discovery. If your dad has a potential issue, ask, Is this hard for you?’ “
12. Respond, Don’t React
“Responding means you’ve had an intervening thought, such as, This situation is complicated for this person,” she says. “Don’t act in kind but in kindness. You can’t go wrong with empathy.”
13. Take a Time Out
You don’t have to RSVP yes to every fight you’re invited to. If your sister starts getting feisty, Maslin counsels, “say, This isn’t going to be productive.’ ” Raise the topic again when tempers cool.
14. Strike the Right Tone
“Instead of saying to your fiancé, I hate your mother, so you need to talk to her,’ try, This is a painful situation for me, and I need your help to get through it.’ It’s the difference between asking someone to have your back and demanding that they execute your need.”