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10 habits to prevent family feuds leading up to your big day

Wedding Preparations. Emotions run high. Expectations are not met. This is the perfect setting for an Eastenders episode. However, in binding two lovebirds in matrimony, it is important that other relationships remain as intact as possible. Yes, weddings can bring people together but on numerous occasions they have split people apart. Therefore, we have set out our 10 habits to prevent arguments between family and friends.

  1. It is not what you say, but how you say it.

Whilst you may not like some of the wedding ideas and suggestions by family or friends remember to control your reaction  when you are not agreement. Remember it is not what you say but the manner, tone and the words you use to communicate it.

  1. Form a committee of advisors

Any large project can benefit from a small team of advisors to assist you and your partner to sanity check ideas and plans for your big day. It is worth informally recruiting 2 or 3 trusted friends or colleagues (ideally not family) to act as a soundboard and to provide feedback on any plans/ideas you may have.

  1. List your nearest and dearest and allocate them a responsibility

Family and friends may have huge expectations when someone close to them gets married. Therefore, it is important to manage expectations as best as possible. Start off by creating a list of all the people who are close or who may communicate discontent if they are not involved on your wedding day. Then simply allocate these people with a responsibility before or on the big day. It doesn’t have to be a major role – it could be as simple as allowing them to be an usher. The aim is to make the important people feel included and enrolled on your big day.

  1. Address the elephant in the room

If you find that you have had a dispute or disagreement with a family member or friend about your wedding prep, do not ignore it. Also, avoid the silent treatment. When preparing for a wedding, every day counts and you simply cannot afford to waste planning days due to a disagreement. Aim to get to the centre of the issue as quickly as possible and find a way to resolve it.

  1. Couples come first

As you are the couple getting married, your wishes and desires must prevail over any pressures you may get from family and friends to do something in a certain way. Aim to gain clarity with your partner on how you would like to proceed with your wedding plans before taking on family members who may disagree with you. By being on “the same page” as your partner will give you the conviction and strength to stand your ground.

  1. Take regular breaks from Wedding Admin

Weddings are important but do not let them take over your life. Take breaks from planning and allow yourself to focus on our aspects of your life too. All too often, disagreements are a result of overworked and tired minds that are fixated on certain ideas associated with the big day.

  1. Create rules about guest lists from the outset

A ridiculous number of disputes arise from negotiating with family members about guest lists. From the outset, work out the maximum number of people you are looking to invite followed by setting rules about who makes the cut. Examples may include: not inviting anyone who hasn’t ever spoken to the couple, no long lost aunts and uncles or no work colleagues. By creating rules, this allows everyone to be on an equal footing. An alternative method is to provide each family member with an allocated number of guests they can invite. They are then free to invite anyone as long as they come within the allocation.

  1. Retreat from tradition and be creative

We are living in the 21st century. Your family may place pressure on you to adopt traditions and rituals. These are great but if they are likely to cause the couple to be unhappy, it is worth substituting tradition for a more modern and creative approach. E.g. putting the names of all the parents on an invitation card or forgoing a particular aspect of the traditional ceremony. Remember, a couple should be united on their approach if they decide to depart from a tradition or ritual as it is likely to be greeted with some protest from a family member.

  1. Have a leader to make the final decisions 

In the event of dispute or conflict, there needs to be a bold leader who will make the final decision in order to progress the wedding planning. This may well be the couple or a wedding planner but there needs to be someone who makes the difficult decisions to ensure disputes to not drag on.

  1. Finally, if all else fails consider getting married abroad!

It is fascinating how much simpler it can become when you decide to get married abroad. You can invite more people (knowing many will probably not attend) and a lot of your work could be outsourced to wedding planners in your host country meaning you are free to enjoy the wedding festivities leading up to the big day.