If you’ve been tuning into our Wedding Chats the last few weeks, you know we’ve been getting a lot of questions about conflict. From conflict with parents to children to members of the bridal party to guests, dealing with conflict surrounding a wedding can be a bit like walking on egg shells. While you want to be respectful of others opinions and wishes, you also want that other person to be understanding of your perspective.
So how do you handle conflict with friends and family surrounding your wedding day in way that everyone wins? We’re sharing our top tips below.
No matter who the conflict is with // It doesn’t matter if the conflict is with a parent (or your child if you’re the parent), your future in laws, a member of your bridal party, or an invited guest, the first thing I suggest is having a conversation. Sit down together with an objective 3rd party and talk about the issues. Find out what’s bothering them and talk about what’s bothering you. See if you can come to a solution. Put both of your feelings out there and try to explain your position in a way that’s not trying to be demeaning or hurt the other person’s feelings. Try to be open minded and understand their perspective as well. After all, this is supposed to be a joyous occasion and the last thing you want to do is ruin a valuable relationship over something that might seem insignificant a year from now.
If the conflict is with a parent or child // I hear from brides, grooms, and parents all the time about how one is trying to control the day or there is a disagreement on who should be making final decisions when one party is paying. And, truthfully, this is the hardest scenario to deal with because everyone’s situation is so different. On one side, I want to tell the parent that this is the wedding of their child to the person their child loves. It’s a day about the couple, their love, and the new life they are starting together. It should be a representation of them. But, on the other side, I want to tell the couple that mom and dad have been dreaming about this day just as much as they have. And while yes, it is about you and your fiancé, it’s also about your families and your past leading you into your future. Additionally, if mom and dad are paying for the wedding, their wishes should be honored. So how do I give advice in this situation? With cases like this, compromise is more important than ever in my opinion. Make a list of the elements of the day that are most important to you and how you envisioned the day. Talk with the other person and see what’s important to them. If flowers are more important to you than you take the lead there but if the venue is more important to the other person, let them choose that. For details where your opinions and wishes are on opposite sides of the spectrum, put them aside and ask an objective 3rd party (like a wedding planner or vendor) to give you their opinion based solely upon the existing details and feel of the day.
If the conflict is with a member of your bridal party // This is actually the complaint I hear the most. I don’t know what it is about weddings, but something makes some friends turn into not nice people. Whether they are complaining about what to wear, the events they have to attend, or just making rude and unwanted comments about the flowers you’ve chosen, this is one person that you can tell to shove it. No seriously. While you should be respectful in doing so, tell this unfriendly friend that if they aren’t happy with the dress, events, flowers, or shoes they are welcome to excuse themselves from the bridal party if that would make them happier. If they say no, then politely tell them to keep all opinions to themselves.
If the conflict is with an invited guest // It may seem strange that an invited guest would have opinions about the interworking of your wedding, but some do. Like with your opinionated member of the bridal party, tell this person to shove it. Truthfully, be respectful, but let this person know that their opinion will simply have no impact on your wedding plans. Take everything this person says with a grain of salt and remember that the old saying about opinions (if you don’t know it, Google it).
I hope these solutions help you deal with unwanted opinions. But, if you want help with a specific situation, feel free to shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, comment below, or send us a Facebook message.