If you come from a large extended family then you will know that it’s hard enough organising anything, let alone a huge wedding. For some reason, and we can’t quite put our finger on it, people tend to stop behaving in a civilized manner when it comes to weddings – it’s like all normality goes out the window and we just don’t get it! We bet at some point you’ll have an over excited aunty, or the over sensitive bridesmaid, or maybe even a loud-mouthed uncle who likes to get his own way. It’s not easy by any means, but part of growing up means learning how to handle all types of situations – awkward family ones included.
If you want your wedding journey to run as smoothly as possible without any family drama, then you’re going to have to put some rules in place. We’ve been doing some brainstorming at our offices and have put together a list of 8 things you can do, to avoid a family crisis.
1. Be prepared
You’re getting married! From this moment on you need to prepare yourself for the chaos that comes along with being a bride, because if you enter this wedding planning phase with your guard let down, you may face a few nasty surprises. Everyone from your grandmother to your next door neighbour is going to have an opinion on EVERYTHING, so have a few go-to phrases ready for those awkward conversations; ‘Oh, we haven’t started looking into that yet’, ‘That’s a great idea, we’ll have a think’, ‘Thanks so much for your advice’.
2. Know what you want
Before you start sharing any ideas and plans with extended members of the family have a firm idea of what you want on your big day. If you start discussing things with multiple people they will all start putting ideas in your head and will end up getting upset when you don’t listen. Instead, know exactly what you want and be clear, that while you’re open to suggestions, you will be sticking to your guns on this.
3. Gather a trusted army
You are going to need your nearest and dearest by your side. This army could include your friend, sister, sister-in-law, mother or literally anyone. These are going to be your most trusted advisers throughout your wedding planning journey and will give you an honest opinion at all times. They should also be people who are capable of diffusing any tension that may arise from other extended members of the family, and ensure it stays clear of you.
The truth is, everyone wants to get involved. It’s just human nature. So if you can, try and give people a role. Perhaps one person can assist with music, another with food and another with welcoming the guests. And even better, why not let your bridal army liaise with them. The more involved people feel, the less likely they will be to cause a scene. This won’t work in every scenario in which case please see point 5.
5. Don’t lose your cool
No matter how much someone is irritating you DO NOT lose your cool and shout. You do not want to turn into a bridezilla and you do not want to risk someone saying you were out of line. If they really are annoying you, just choose not to respond and remain quiet. Just because someone is acting like a fool, does not mean you have to stoop to his or her level. Maintain a dignified silence and move on.
6. Have a heart-to-heart
Sometimes you may see some tension arise and find yourself being affected by it more so than you should. In this case we recommend you have a one-on-one chat with the person in question. Just be open and honest about how they’re making you feel and ask them why they’re behaving in such a manner (you need to be tactful when you do this). In many cases people won’t even realise what they’re doing and will be quick to apologise. In other instances, they may see things from your point of view and will back down.
7. Show appreciation
The best way to keep someone happy is to praise them. It can become a little tedious but it has to be done. Remember to thank aunties and friends for even the tiniest thing and show them how much you value them. If you build up a habit of doing so, they’ll feel much worse about interfering or behaving like a nightmare.
8. Take care of yourself
And the most important of all, take care of yourself. Don’t let anyone get to you because this is your special day after all. Take plenty of rest, eat well, exercise, get enough sleep and also lots of fresh air. No matter what’s happening around you make sure that you and your other half are on the same page and don’t take it out on each other.