How to Cope with Family Wedding Stress

Written by    Last updated: April 19, 2014

As well as being a joyous event, planning a wedding can also be very stressful. There’s wedding finances, venues, suits and dresses, food and a lot more to worry about. But the biggest cause of wedding stress is the most simple thing—people. Yes…people.

Moody Bride and Devil Bridesmaids

If you’ve never planned a wedding before you’re in for a treat of the most shocking kind! The reality is that things like wedding dresses and wedding food are just that—things. They carry no baggage and don’t try to interfere with your wedding planning, and you’ll quickly realise this! Some people on the other hand might cause you all sorts of stress, from seating arrangements to food allergies and dislikes, to over-bearing family members wanting greater control over the wedding proceedings. Not to mention the stress a wedding can cause for a family with finances and giving up their son or daughter.

Beware of interfering parents. Of course they love you and want what’s best, but what they want and what you want isn’t always the same thing. One of the biggest causes of wedding stress is the differing views of you and your parents. It’s important to communicate fully—let them know what you want and feel, be prepared to compromise with them, and try your best not to fall out over it. Obviously if your parents are paying for your wedding it puts you in a very awkward position. They will feel they deserve more of a say as they are fitting the bill, and that can be very hard to argue with. So encourage open dialogue and don’t let your own views and opinions get lost behind those of your parents.

Preventing family fall-outs is a big issue you will need to meet head on. Some family members may have fallen out yet both will still be involved in your wedding—and you don’t want to be seen to be taking sides. Perhaps talk to each member individually and explain the importance of the occasion, and how important them attending is to you. If your parents and your soon-to-be spouse’s parents don’t get on, don’t force it. Let things happen naturally over time.

Wedding Party - Bride and Groom's Parents

Dealing with reconstructed families can be stressful. Maybe your parents have separated and both have new partners. Bringing them all together in a way that doesn’t make either party very uncomfortable can be difficult, maybe even impossible, in some instances. Although tradition dictates the parents of the bride and groom sit at the top table, today it’s perfectly acceptable to separate warring factions and seat them at different tables. Hopefully they will put you first and be nice to each other on your big day, but it never hurts to politely remind them to do so. If you feel it may help, why not ask them where they would like to sit ahead of time?

It’s important when dealing with any family stresses that you keep a united front. You and your partner have to be on the same page regarding how you want things to be between both families, what you want on your wedding day, and how you want the planning to go. If you want total control over your wedding planning and your partner agrees, tell your families this. If you want them to all get along on the big day, tell them this together. Showing a united front will help knock down any barriers which may come before you.

Bride and Groom sweet embrace

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