As beautiful as weddings are, they don’t always bring out the best in people. In fact, sometimes there is enough stress, jealousy, and family history to cause some pretty colorful battles. Tension is common, but these family fights can be avoided or tamed with a little forethought and a touch of diplomacy.
1. They Don’t Approve
“Not having familial support for your relationship is a challenge that particularly LGBTQ couples face. Communicate with your family members about your concerns, and see if they can set aside their own personal beliefs, even if it’s just for the weekend, to truly celebrate your happiness. However, it is your day, and you should never feel anything less than bliss — (sometimes) it might be best to not include them on the guest list.”
Brittny Drye, Love Inc. Mag
2. Home or Away?
“Destination weddings are prime breeding grounds for family opinions. The first issue you’ll have to deal with is hearing who disagrees with the destination wedding decision in general. It’s important to keep in mind that this is YOUR special day, and you and your fiancé’s opinions are what matter most.”
Megan Velez, Destination Weddings Travel Group
3. Your Way… Or Their Way
“Things can get heated if family members involved in the planning process disagree on traditions — that is, what should be kept and what will evolve into something more modern. You may have your heart set on a cocktail reception with action stations, while your family would prefer a seated affair. In this instance, communication is key — find out why, and if it’s an absolutely necessary request, see if you can find some common ground.”
Heather Jones, Wente Vineyards
4. Who’s Sitting Where
“What do you do about family members who don’t want to sit next to one another? We usually say to people, “It is two hours out of your life; suck it up.” This is where having a planner is useful as they can sometimes have those awkward conversations for you and lay the guilt trip on instead of you having to do it.”
Tara Fay, Xena Productions Bespoke Events
5. Who’s Invited
“Who to invite to your shower or bachelorette party can be a point of contention with some family members. The very best thing you can do when deciding on guest lists for these related gatherings is to run through the list of all your wedding guests and identify close loved ones. Then try and identify those who may not react well if not included.”
Tifany Wunschl, Gourmet Invitations
6. A Second Photographer?
“Photography styles have evolved so much over the decade (and beyond!) that arguments can pop up between the couple and the parents. In some instances, a family member may even try to hire a second photographer on their own to cover the celebration and it’s important to stop that before it goes too far. It’s disruptive and most important, photographers typically have a note in their contract stating that they can be the only professional photographer there.”
Keith Phillips, Classic Photographers
When it comes down to it, this is your day, so ultimately, you have to choose what will make you happiest. Just know that you’re not alone and that most family conflicts have solutions that will allow you and yours invited to enjoy a simply magical wedding day.