Toxic relationships and your wedding
This is always a tricky subject to navigate, how to deal with toxic family members, but it is a subject that I see time and time again. How do we navigate toxic relationships at your own wedding? I myself, know exactly how difficult this is, coming from a divorced parent family, and having rather delicate relationships with some family members.
For me, it not being my first wedding, I am inclined to just not invite anyone that potentially could disrupt the day. I do, however, completely understand that if its your first wedding you want them to just put things aside, just for that day!
To be clear, we are talking about family members that potentially could upset you and ruin the day, not just Auntie Margaret who becomes a little acid tongued after a few drinks. NB: if you are worried about guests like this, add it to your bridesmaids/ushers’ duties to manage them if this happens, perhaps gently encouraging them to calm down/reign it in.
Can I Just not invite them?
The first thing to think about is ‘How important is this person to your day?’ How would the day feel without them there? I am going to use the example here of parents, perhaps they have and an acrimonious divorce and can’t stand the sight of each other. (I can totally relate to this!)
Obviously in this scenario, its not really an option to exclude one of them. Please do not feel pressured to invite people that may ruin your day! It’s a cliché but its YOUR day and people are just going to have to accept your final decision.
If the toxic relationship is directly aimed at you, then I just would not invite them, however harsh this may seem, sometimes it’s the only option.
How could we manage the situation at the wedding?
Let’s look at how we can manage it, assuming that they are both coming to the day. Have a conversation beforehand with the parties involved, just to explain that you are nervous that their conflict will impact your day.
This in itself may be enough to make them aware that you are feeling apprehensive, and they will be thoughtful and considerate.
One of the biggest things that will help, is asking for assistance from other family members who understand the problem. They can look out for them and keep an eye for potential fireworks. If it’s a beef between family members its important to try and keep space.
In my experience the ceremony isn’t a problem as alcohol hasn’t been imbibed at this point, make sure you have considered where they are seated for the reception.
Consider changing the top table and perhaps only having bridesmaid’s and ushers and not other family. Position the warring parties at either end on separate table. Consider putting people you trust on the table with them just to dispel any trigger topics.
As more alcohol is consumed, the potential for a quarrel increases. Again, allocate someone you trust to keep an eye. If it is a parent, I would encourage them to call it a night if they are getting argumentative.
Remember, you are not responsible for the actions of others, but you ARE responsible for how you react.
Think hard about this; ‘Do you HAVE to invite them?’ and if you do, relax, it’s your day, you are not in charge of them, they are a grown adult. You do you and have the most wonderful wedding.
If you have any tip that may help, then please do comment below.
Read HERE for some inner wellbeing advice.