A Guide to Avoiding All That Wedding Drama
Let me digress from the onset: if you’ve planned your own wedding, congratulations! You should put it in your resume really. Because it’s work experience. It includes exceptional organizational, legal and accounting skills. It means you know the ins and outs first-hand. Drama is inevitable, and you know it. Well played you.
People sometimes say it’s easier when you hire a wedding planner because then you’ll be freer to focus on your own “couples” stuff.
But there’s one other thing that I haven’t read yet in a gazillion wedding planning articles- a wedding planner is a person who can actually help a lot with the above-mentioned theatrics.
Of course, you’d want a drama-free day. What you imagine is your partner and yourself chirping the vows at, say, this lovely wedding venue in Houston, raising your crystal flute glasses to all your dear guests, but the reality could be, and most likely will be way different.
What follows is a list of some scenarios that can put a frown on your face.
On a positive side, there is a gracious way of dealing with them and we’re here to help you rule them out, or at least, handle them properly.
- You are having a budget wedding and not all people can be invited. Especially the plus-ones. Feelings are hurt;
- You come from two different religions and your parents are not sure about an interfaith ceremony;
- Both of your parents feel excluded from planning;
- You know a person who can’t hold their liquor. You don’t want “Men Behaving Badly”;
- Bridesmaids feud;
- The wedding gets canceled.
Tight Budget + Small Venue = No Plus-Ones
It’s tricky, we get it. Especially if your second cousin is dating the girl for like 10 days and you can’t say no.
But it’s easier if you set the rules in advance. For example, plus-ones are granted to your closest family, all other people are single.
It’s much easier to explain to your furious friend that no other guest is coming in a couple, and that you’ll give your best to make the best possible seating arrangement.
Or if you can’t invite a lot of people to the actual wedding day, you can throw a fantastic gift-free post-wedding party. Because you know how some people think that weddings are opportunistic events to get “rich”.
This is nonsense by the way.
I loved this idea from offbeatbride.com that you’d rather spend your money buying what you need than spending your money on a wedding to get what you might need or don’t need at all.
You’re Padmé, He’s Anakin, It’s Complicated
Trying to talk some sense into people who are offended because of the only thing that doesn’t involve sense is like trying to tell a livid person to just “calm down”.
First and foremost, it’s all about emotions and expectations. So you have to drop the logic and go to the level of the heart.
Give them some time to digest your intention. Tell them success stories. Tell them what it’s like. Show them some films or videos. Take them to such a ceremony. Promise to keep the most important parts of both your religions. Finally, tell them it’s about two humans who love each other.
Isn’t the message of love what all religions propose? It’s your common denominator. Love can only multiply this way, never subtract.
Oh no. Somewhere down the road, they forget what this day is all about and start fighting over the most minute things possible. Who’s standing where and why, what they’re wearing and why (not), whose gift is better and who’s more important.
This may sound silly, but resentment builds from silliest stuff. So if you notice some issues, nip them in the bud.
Lovingly remind them how much you cherish them for who they are, and how much their presence is important to you. And that you’d like to ask them to cite “irreconcilable differences” after the marriage takes place. Pun intended.
“But We Think…”
For the hundredth time, dad, we can’t have a bagpipe during the ceremony.
Sigh. You love them a lot, but at the same time, you want to tell them to chill out and leave you alone. It’s like your whole adolescence life on steroids.
This article offers some great advice on what to say to let them know that you and your partner are the captains of this ship.
Here’s my favorite though: “Wow, thanks so much for sharing your ideas with me. It really makes me feel like you’re as excited about this as we are! My partner and I believe really strongly in working together to shape a wedding that’s a reflection of who we are, and I’ll definitely be keeping your ideas in mind during our planning discussions.”
On repeat. Let’s hope this helps.
Open Bar vs. AA
This is also where a planner comes in handy. You tell them who likes to booze and ask them to keep their vigilant eye on them.
If a guest is behaving inappropriately or plagues others, then the planner does the dirty job of escorting them to their seat and calling a cab.
“And Then There Were None”
Let’s hope this never happens.
If it does…well, ask your closest relative or friend to send information to everyone invited. Delegate returning gifts to other confidante.
It’s painful as it is. You really don’t need to explain. You’ll probably get questions though that don’t need an immediate response.
Do what you need in order to grieve, and remember it’s probably for the best.
It’s only natural that people want to be happy and make others happy for the day.
But the pressure might be too high because a lot of people are involved, so drama is inherent to it.
Having firm boundaries and keeping them intact is indispensable in avoiding excessive turmoil.
Upfront conversations should fence the troops off the battlefield as well.
It’s important to havethe support and remember what this day is all about.
You as a couple, and your love.