Navigating Tricky Wedding Situations for the Family-Oriented Couple

Make Sure You and Your Fiancé are on the Same Page

Before the planning begins, sit down with your partner and express any concerns you have about family during the wedding planning process.

Are there possible situations where you need them to be ready to be an advocate for you?

Are there any boundaries you need to clarify with particular family members?

What are the things you are not willing to compromise on?

What family members are contributing financially? What expectations might they have because of this?

Communicate Clear Boundaries and Expectations with Grace

There is no question, this is YOUR wedding and it should be the celebration you dream of but it is also important to remember that your loved ones have also dreamed about celebrating this day with you.

At the beginning of your planning stages, let them know any important boundaries you have in place and reiterate that those boundaries are there to protect your relationships. Ensure them that their ideas or concerns are welcome and will be taken into consideration, but ultimately, it’s your decision. Ask them to honor your relationship by respecting your decision.

In some cases, you may even want to share what you dream your wedding day to feel like. For example, “We want our wedding to feel like a celebration. We would rather spend time making memories with the people who matter most to us than using that time to greet people we don’t know or do traditions that are insignificant to us.”

Delegate Responsibilities based on their Unique Skill Sets

Sometimes family members who really want to be involved will insert themselves into situations causing more stress. One way to help with this is by delegating them a specific task or role based on their skill set. It will keep them busy and let them feel connected.

Here are some tasks you can consider delegating: Vendor research / Hospitality for out of town guests / Lead a DIY project / Managing the guest list, RSVPs / Transportation arrangements / Designing the memorial table honoring family members who have passed away / Creating a wedding day basket for the bridal suite with snacks and supplies / Capturing behind the scenes moments on your phone

Here are a few ideas on how to incorporate a family member into your wedding day: Ask them to be an usher/greeter / Ask them to do a reading or blessing during your ceremony / Do a family unity ceremony such as candle lighting or tree planting / Family band or performance during the reception / Ask them to go around the dance floor and take cell phone pictures of different guests with a special prop

Step Away When Necessary

Sometimes family members can be stubborn and tensions quicky rise. When this happens, stepping away from the situation to breathe and think it over will be more beneficial than allowing an argument to arise. One way to release some of that stress is through exercise or meditation. After unwinding is a good time to check in with your fiancé or even wedding planner to asses the situation before returning to that family member.

Assign a Go-To Person

Assign someone to be the point of contact for family on the wedding day. Share with your family ahead of time that this person is who they should go to with any questions or concerns. This could be your wedding planner or even a trusted friend.

Additionally, some brides also like to give their cell phone to their maid of honor so they aren’t getting unnecessary calls or texts that take them out of the moment.

Rivers Light Photography,  based in Houston, Texas, helps thoughtful couples preserve their legacy of love, family, and traditions through timeless photography.

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