Just Say No To Wedding Day Drama!
The time from the moment you decide to tie the knot, until the very last moments of your honeymoon, should be a joy filled, fun, exciting and memorable era for you and your fiance!
But wedding planning can get a little complicated, when you or your fiance come from a family with divorced parents, separated parents or blended families. Which could mean that engaged couples may also need to navigate an emotionally charged landscape of unspoken rules, misunderstandings, or hurt feelings. This can add a lot of tension to an already emotional time!
The reality is, that in many couples these days, one, or both parties, have divorced parents, bonus parents and likely step Brothers and Sisters to consider. And, seeing as some couples may not have separated or divorced on good terms, there could be calls for increased sensitivity, diplomacy and boundaries during the wedding planning process.
Whether parents have separated recently or have been apart for many years (or decades), your wedding, your loving relationship and your upcoming nuptials can bring up a lot of strong, and at times unresolved, emotions. And, these feelings might take everyone by surprise in their strength!
It’s no wonder that wedding planning and trying to make your divorced or separated parents feel included can feel like it creates a lot of added pressure on you. It does! But, we’ve come up with a few ways to help take the pressure off!
Set and Share your Expectations Early!
Cutting through the (often) complex dynamics that exist between divorced, separated or remarried parents requires forward thinking, along with a big dose of sensitivity/tack!
To that end, when people are surprised or put on the spot, they’re much more likely to bring unproductive/unhelpful emotions/ideas out in the open, especially when it comes to a grand, formal (and highly emotional) occasion like a wedding.
The key is sidestepping that, is to be upfront with everyone as early as possible, meaning:
– Keep tensions low by communicating your expectations openly and honestly to your parents and your wedding planner (if you have one) at the start of the wedding planning process, or even include it in the phone call announcing your engagement.
– Talk individually with all of your parents and step parents and be upfront about your hopes and plans for them on your big day.
– Do not, in any circumstance, spring things on them in a group setting or with their ex-spouse in attendance. Do not put them on the spot!
– Give a heads-up/parent primer to your fiance, bridesmaids, wedding party, siblings, and other key family members. If you do that, they will likely be able to help to make uncomfortable situations a little more bearable in the leadup to your wedding, and on the big day.
– Also take some time to think about all of the pre-wedding gatherings and their impacts too. Things like engagement parties, the hens/buck’s night, bridal shower, as well as wedding dress shopping are other times and occasions you may need to consider the emotional impact of including (or excluding) one parent/step parent might have on the other.
Give Everyone Something to Contribute
People can be so strange! If they feel that you’ve given them too much responsibility, they’re likely to be unhappy, but on the flip side, if you don’t give them enough responsibility, they’ll often feel that their contributions are unimportant or the relationship is not valued in the way they would like it to be.
So, please take time to consider parents that are not going to be included in the ceremony entrance or processional, make sure to give them some opportunities to help with different, but equally important jobs and try to include your step-parents too, if applicable/possible!
There’s lots of opportunity to help everyone feel included: From readings during the ceremony to toasts at your wedding reception, to helping set-up decor before the celebration, ask your parents and step-parents to help with tasks that make them feel both involved and valued during the leadup to and on your actual wedding day.
It might seem like more work for you, but it will pay off in a big way!
Be Strategic With Seating
Allocating specific seats for (at least) your immediate families, from the ceremony right up to the reception, means that:
– Everyone will know where they need to be.
– No one will waste time/energy trying to second-guess what you want.
– Uncomfortable/problematic interactions are minimized or avoided altogether!
– Everyone’s anxiety and sense of authority will be kept in check.
Bottom line: The less problematic contacts need to interact, the less there’ll be to worry about.
About the Author
Jake Nissen is a charismatic and refreshingly down to earth DJ who exudes good vibrations. A lifelong music and pop culture fanatic, and natural people person, Jake is passionate about teaming up with you to make your celebration amazing. Jake started his DJ journey while he was earning his Media Arts degree, and DJ’ing at local bars […]