Today we are going to talk about family politics.
I could write an entire book about what goes on behind the scenes and sometimes even out for the world to see – between family members on wedding days.
It’s common for there not to be just 2 sets of parents, but 4 due to separations and remarriages, or your mother or father having a current partner.
Unfortunately, many times parents don’t get along. They won’t be seen in photos together and they are going to put a lot of pressure and stress on you.
Sit down with each set of parents and discuss how important it is that they all remain civil and be polite to each other on your day and not make any scenes or cause any fuss.
If they can’t get along, they need to politely keep away from each other.
They should be on their best behaviour just for one day.
It’s best to talk this through before the wedding rather than have a big argument on the actual day.
If parents can’t behave and don’t think that they are going to be able to handle it, you may have to really carefully reconsider who you invite to your wedding – because it can destroy your day if your parents decide to have a screaming match in the middle of the reception.
And it’s not always just the parents.
I’ve held weddings where siblings have not liked the person who their brother or sister is marrying and have been rude to them and not wanted to have photos taken with them.
It may be best to sit down and talk with all members of the families to be sure there is no silly business on your wedding day.
Be mindful about how you seat family members at the reception especially if there are issues and family politics involved.
I need to mention death in this chapter as many weddings lose close family members in the lead up to their wedding – which makes the day not just a happy day but also a sad one.
Particularly if it’s the brides’ father – who she had planned to walk her down the aisle.
Discuss with your family members how much you wish them to talk about the deceased person before the day.
Make sure everyone is clear and respects your wishes.
If you want to be composed and happy for the wedding day, ask them to not make a big reference to that person during speeches other than a short word in respect.
Too many weddings I see an Uncle come up to the microphone without warning and start a lengthy and heart wrenching tribute about the bride’s father who has just passed away – making the bride totally fall apart.
And this was the one thing the bride told me she did not want to have happen on her wedding day!
It’s lovely to have a framed photo of the deceased either on the bridal table or on the signing table. It makes you feel like they are with you.
You can also carry something special of theirs like a hanky, a piece of jewellery or a small photo in a locket tied onto your flowers if you don’t want to wear it as a fashion accessory.
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