7 Tips to Avoid Family Drama at Your Wedding

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With your wedding day coming up, there’s nothing you’re thinking about more than getting your mens wedding band placed on your finger by your bride-to-be.

All right; let’s cut the crap. There’s nothing you’re thinking about more than the stressors of getting married. For some, it’s worrying that something is going to go awry prior to the day of. For others, it includes worrying about the things you overlooked: whether you’ll forget your wedding rings at home or if you didn’t order enough food and drinks for your guests.

But if you come from a divergent family, your worries are sure to be related to how they’ll act while you try to say I do. What are you and your spouse doing? Besides doing your best to calm the waters and wade off any storm, the following can help to reduce family drama at your wedding.

1. Make sure you agree on your guest list.

First and foremost, you and your spouse-to-be need to have a serious discussion about who is going to be at your wedding. Really think it over.

Who is it you plan on inviting? Now, who on the guest list is most likely to cause drama? Who among them is most likely to get into a fight with one another? Who among these guests needs to be in attendance?

You’re going to have to answer some difficult questions, and it might not be easy to find the right answer, but it’s necessary.

2. Meet with a therapist beforehand.

Unsure about how you can cut down your guest list? Not sure how to handle unruly guests on the day of? You and your partner should consider meeting with a relationship therapist beforehand.

They can help assist in the mediation of your discussions, as well as provide insight into which guests are most likely to cause stress on the day of. Furthermore, it’s not a bad idea to have a therapy session with your partner. You’re sure to both feel pressure and stress up until your big day, and they can provide you with a safe space to describe your worries while providing healthy coping mechanisms to respond to them. Consider it as a way to start your marriage off on the right foot.

3. Keep your ceremony small.

A great way to avoid stress is to keep the ceremony small. Not only will it alleviate stress for you and your spouse, but it will help limit potential issues between your guests. If certain groups of friends act poorly with one another, it might be smart to split your ceremony into multiple small parties. Is it ideal? Maybe not. But it’s a great way to keep the peace.

4. Let people speak their minds, and actively listen.

There might be some bad blood if you have a set of divorced parents who plan on bringing their new partners or spouses to your wedding, especially if they haven’t interacted with one another in some time.

It’s natural. People get jealous, and it can be difficult to bring new partners into the hierarchy of parenting. If you’re worried about their actions on the day of, consider doing the following:

  • Allow your parents to vent prior to your wedding, speaking to you directly about their concerns and issues, as being heard is what they most want.
  • Set up a meeting with your parents prior to your big day, where all parties can meet and talk, working to ensure your wedding is as copacetic as possible.

5. Give people a space to relax.

Expecting guests to get a little worked up between your reception and ceremony? Provide a room during your ceremony where they can separate themselves from everyone else to relax. Consider it a cool-down room, a place to take a deep breath and get away from the commotion of the day.

If you had your dog as your ring bearer, you could place them in a room with other guest’s dogs to hang out during your reception. Any frustrated guests could stop into this room to pet the dogs, separate, and calm down.

6. Don’t be afraid to get tough.

No one wants to be the monster on their wedding day, but it might be necessary if your guests are getting exceptionally out of line. If guests begin arguing or fighting, it’s time for you to step in—especially if no one else will do the job.

The best thing you can do is be stern. But don’t be rude, either. You can be commanding without being a jerk to your guests. The best approach is to remind others that this day is about you and your spouse. It isn’t about them, so they’re in no position to be making a scene. Tell them to put their differences aside, stop acting immature, and respect your wedding day—otherwise, they can be told to leave.

7. Ask for intervening help.

Don’t hesitate to ask other guests for help if you need it. It’s your big day. It’s unlikely you want to be tough with your guests, as you want to keep the day as lovely as possible. Instead, have a trusted family member or friend who can step in, when needed. A bouncer, if you will.

This can include your mother, who can pull aside guests and help them calm down if they’re getting unruly. It could be your best man, too, ordering an Uber for a drunken guest so they can safely get home while getting them out of the reception. Just make sure you have someone you can trust; someone who can calm a dramatic guest without allowing things to get heated or physical.

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