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Why Can't Everyone Just Get Along?

Photo courtesy of William Ames Photography

This may be a question you find yourself asking as yourself a time or two during the wedding planning process. While weddings are a joyful time, they are also an emotional time. The emotions may not always be positive; and the sad truth is that not everyone in attendance at your wedding may like each other. Whether it’s divorced parents, bridesmaids who disagree, or feuding family members, there could be the potential for some sort of wedding day conflict. Before you scrap your dream wedding and run off and elope to avoid the drama, there are some things you can do to try and help ease the tension.

​​First and foremost, you and your fiancé need to talk to the people who are not getting along.

Do not just assume that if you let it alone, the problem will go away on its own. Schedule a time to chat with those involved face-to-face. If distance is a problem, then a phone conversation will be fine.

Do not handle this through text or email, as written communication can be easily misunderstood.

It is not recommended to put them in the same room together, but talk to each person individually. Explain to them that your dream is to have everyone there to celebrate, and you are hoping they can put any difference aside for that one day.

Do not discuss the source of the conflict, take sides, or try to mend the rift.

It is usually best to remain neutral. During the conversation, try to stay calm and polite. The couple getting married establishes the rules and expected behavior of the wedding day, so remember that as you communicate. Most people will behave if you handle the situation graciously. If someone is being stubborn and refuses to attend if the person they dislike is invited, then it is their breech of etiquette. Tell them you are sorry to hear that information and you will miss them on the big day. Then your best bet is to let it alone.

If the talk goes well and everyone agrees to come to the wedding, that is great news! However,

Still take some wedding day precautions.

First, try and keep some distances between the two. Do not put them at the same table or tables right next to each other. Seat them with people whom they get along with well. If they are seated with those they enjoy spending time around, the least likely they are to get discouraged. If it is divorced parents, don’t have one parent table. If it is a member of the bridal party, skip the head table; do a sweetheart table instead and seat the bridal party with their dates.

Next, During tense moments such as pictures, have someone act as a buffer. Pick a neutral person or your wedding coordinator and have them help facilitate. If you do have a wedding coordinator, be sure they are aware of the situation ahead of time. They can keep an eye on those in involved and help calm a situation if things get heated. I would also alert the bartender - especially if you know that someone gets “vocal” when drinking.

Finally, try not to show favoritism the day of the wedding. This is extremely important in the case of divorced parents. For example, let’s say you are closer to your step-father than your biological father. For a moment such as father-daughter dance, you could dance half the song with one and half with the other. Another option is to have two separate dances. Either way, try to make sure everyone feels included in the day.

We can’t always predict what will happen the day of the wedding, but most people tend to be on their best behavior. Being proactive can help reduce the chances of any arguments. Remember that the most important thing of the day is the marriage taking place.

Holly Wagner, along with Kacy Smith, make up H&K Weddings and Events. Your wedding planning experience should be a fun and joyous time, but it is also one of the most stressful times. Holly & Kacy believe in personalized customer service, and are dedicated to make your wedding experience enjoyable.

H&K Weddings and Events Holly Wagner or Kacy Smith Holly (State College Area): 717-437-3741 Kacy (Lewistown Area): 717-437-4302

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