I get a lot of private messages through this blog or via Facebook from brides-to-be who are tearing their hair out with stressful situations. The one thing about a wedding is that people can lose a little perspective. It is one day, a very special day but one day and after that day, life goes on. BUT for some reason this one day has the power to make or break friendships as well as starting a family feud.
There are some that embrace your wedding, to the point that they take over, albeit that their intentions are good (and maybe not so good) or some just couldn’t be bothered and perhaps seem unsupportive.
There is no easy way to deal with either of those situations but what generally happens is most couples will say nothing when the problem starts and let it boil up in to a time bomb which goes off in the last few weeks to the wedding day. AND to make it worse, the time that you do fly off the handle is probably over nothing to do with the root cause.
Most of the conflict happens within the bridal party……in particular with parents. So here’s the thing about parents. Take a step back for a second, they have raised you, put their blood sweat and tears in to raising you and finally their amazing son or daughter is getting married. This is one of the proudest days for a parent and this day signifies so much, while you may have been planning this day for years, their plan for your day went all the way back to the day you were born! What i’m trying to say is that in many parents eyes, this is as much a day for them as it is for you. With that comes a sense of ownership which is where the conflict can arise, particularly now when there are so many alternative ways to get married which may be alien to them. When you are in the wedding zone and have gone to the trouble of organising your day, the last thing you want is your parents questioning or disagreeing with how you are going to do it. Your wedding can be your creative baby and it’s hard not to take offence when someone criticises something so personal to you. Voila – conflict!
Next up is the bridal party. You’ve chosen your nearest and dearest friends or family to stand beside you through not only the big day but all that goes with it in the lead up. You are on this magical journey and all of these people are flying right beside you…….or maybe not. So here is the reality check. This is your special day and while it is special for those around you, being realistic, this isn’t their biggest day of their life so if you are expecting 24/7 on call happiness and encouragement, you’re expecting a bit too much. Set expectation accordingly and no one will fall out.
With that said, there are exceptions to the rules. Sometimes there can be bad feeling over time within the group as they may feel that you are moving on without them, they might be envious of your upcoming new life, a little self centred and not used to doing things for others, weddings may not be their thing, they could have various issues going on in their own life or you could just be expecting too much and losing a little bit of focus. There is also so much going on and you draft in so much help and if you don’t appreciate the work others are doing for you, you can alienate people and create a bad feeling of not appreciating the kind help. Either way, this is where friendships can be broken.
In terms of how to get through all of this conflict, its not easy but i always recommend the following;
1. When something niggles at you at the very start of all of the planning, maybe just casually mention it in passing. Don’t make a big deal but let your feelings be known. – Nip it in the bud from the start so that it doesn’t grow up to be a massive issue.
2. Parents taking over: This is so hard as in some cases, parents are paying if not contributing to the bill! There is no easy way to deal with this but again from the start stand your ground and explain very nicely that this planning is such a big deal and you guys want to get your head around it first before getting help, once you find your feet you will then know exactly what help you will need and will call on you for that.
3. Bridal Party Issues: You both risk losing your friendship beyond the wedding. If you feel that there is tension in the camp, meet one on one for a coffee and find out whats going on, hear them out, maybe you’ve been in the wrong too. If there is an issue and it can be fixed, fix it but if its looking like it may be something that either party can’t get over, ask them if they still feel that they want to support you for your big day. If they don’t, let them go. Don’t drag it out and keep stressing yourself out. In most cases, once you have a chat all is fine and everyone can move on. Do not text or send an email, meet face to face. Once you’ve agreed a solution, don’t bring it up again, it’s over.
Outside of family and bridal party drama, you can also be tortured with wedding supplier drama…..that’s a whole other blog in itself! Coming soon…..
If you have some other good advice, make sure to post in the comments.
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