Pick a Seat, Not a Side

When my husband and I began to plan our wedding, I distinctly remember one family member sitting us down and saying “I get that it is your wedding but at the same time it’s kind of our wedding too…” As I tried to really understand what was meant by that comment, little did I realize how true it was. I am going to be completely honest here – while my wedding was absolutely everything (and more!) than I ever imagined it to be, there were definitely some bumps along the road! I never thought I would have to put out so many small and even a few big fires in the months leading up to our special day.

Trust me when I say, it can sometimes feel as if the closest people in your life just don’t get it when it comes to your wedding. So, what do you do if there is more tension than excitement during the planning stages? More drama and a little less feeling of love and togetherness? Let’s talk about that.

First and foremost, know that if you and your partner are dealing with stress or wedding related family drama you are not alone in that! Honestly, it happens more often than not. Problems can stem from miscommunication, finances, the guest list, seating charts - the list goes on. It feels so overwhelming trying to plan your perfect day while simultaneously trying to keep everyone happy, especially if your parents, a family member or a friend have offered to contribute financially.

As these bumps come up, you and your partner will definitely be tempted to throw the towel in and sneak off to an undisclosed location where no one can bother you with their ideas for your wedding.

Take a breath, have some wine and maybe even a shot of tequila!

If there is anything I learned along that way, the best way to balance your families’ opinions and your own is to be patient and to be mindful. It is a lot easier to plan a wedding when you act as allies rather than rivals! Be patient and listen to their wants and ideas. This can be harder than it sounds but try to remind yourself that this family member is coming from a place of love and excitement for the big day. If do you find yourself in a particularly heated debate, make sure to stand your ground but be respectful and mostly, be kind. You do not want to tarnish an otherwise great relationship, over a few heated words.

One phrase that seemed to get me and my husband through the more turbulent times with our families was “is this problem going to matter a year from now?”. If the answer was no, chances were we were wasting our time even discussing the issue. If the answer was yes, then we made sure to have each other’s back – 100% - and sit down with our families to find the best solution.

Now, looking back, I can understand where that family member was coming from. It wasn’t just my wedding, it was our wedding. It was a time for all of us to celebrate, and it was the beginning of a newly formed family. I once read that a wedding doesn’t mark just the emergence of a new family of two, but also a dramatic rearrangement of the old. So try to keep in mind that this excitement and change isn’t just about you and your partner, it includes everyone.

Most importantly, remember that bright light at the end of the tunnel - your wedding day! It may not always feel like it but all those long nights are totally worth it.

Written by Madeline Silveira