One of the most common problems my brides vent to me about is stressful family feuds. Planning a wedding can be an emotionally intense experience for all involved, and high emotions tend to equal disagreements and resentment. How do you deal with these disagreements when your wedding is supposed to be about love and happiness? Well, it is different for every family, but there are some common tips to keep in mind.
1. Be honest. Keeping the communication lines open is key. If something your mother is doing is upsetting you, tell her. If you keep quiet and let the anger and frustration build, it is eventually going to boil over. And when it does, things typically are going to be much worse than if you had talked out the much smaller issue back at the beginning.
2. Don’t put your groom in the middle. It is not uncommon for brides to butt heads with their future mother in law (FMIL). Many times those brides are tempted to complain to their grooms and expect them to fix the problem. It is fine to vent, but remember that you are talking about his mother. Don’t ask him to choose sides. If you are having problems with the FMIL, see tip #1. Feel free to bring your future hubby with you, but have a conversation with her. She’s going to be in your life for a long time, you might as well learn how to deal with each other.
3. Remember that you are not the only one who has been dreaming of this day. Of course your wedding is “your” day, but your parents (moms especially) have been planning for this for almost as long as you have (and some for longer). I’m not suggesting you forgo your wishes, but if your parents are asking you for small compromises, give in, especially if they are footing the bill.
4. Call in reinforcements. If you have attempted to talk out your problems with your family members and there are still issues, make sure you have back up. Tell your wedding coordinator or your maid of honor about your situation and ask them to mediate on the big day. The last thing you want to be worrying about on your wedding day is a family feud so have someone on guard and ready to step in should there be any problems.
5. Try to keep it all in perspective. Some family problems are serious and run much deeper than wedding planning spats, but many really do come down to the stress of planning such a huge event. If your family falls into the latter category, remember that your wedding is one day; your family that you are creating is for the rest of your life. In five years, you will hardly even remember the battle between you and your mom about linen colors, or the war waged with your in laws about the guest list.