|Photo by Sarah Peet Photography|
Family dynamics can play a tricky part in the wedding planning process, and we've got a few tips to help you handle this aspect as smoothly as possible!
1. Figure out early on who will foot which bills for the wedding. If you're keeping the American tradition of having the bride's parents' pay for the bulk of the wedding, you can expect that they'll want a say in a few (or all) matters. If that bothers you, be upfront on which parts you want full control over, even if it means you may need to take on the expenses for those specific items. Don't get entangled into a web of animosity by failing to set clear expectations at the very beginning of the planning.
2. Communication is key! We've seen families tip toe around each other during the planning, for fear of offending one another with their ideas or expectations. In the end, there is always a lot of disappointment, stress, and anxiety. We encourage our clients to communicate with their families during the progress of the planning, so if issues come up, they do so prior to the wedding day. There have been countless times when parents come up to our team on the wedding day, asking (or demanding) why a particular family member is not on the family portrait list, or not assigned to the reserved seats at the ceremony. By then, it's an awkward situation for everyone involved, so please do make the effort to communicate with your families during the planning.
3. A marriage really is the blending of two families, not just two people. The celebration becomes much more meaningful when the families are equally as excited to become one. We recommend planning a few pre-wedding events for the immediate families to come together, allowing them opportunities to get to know one another better before the wedding. Believe it or not, we've had a few weddings where the parents meet for the very first time at the wedding rehearsal, and the awkward vibe tends to trickle down to everyone else.
4. Assigning specific roles or tasks can help family members feel included and valued. It also gives them a focus, which can be helpful in honing their involvement to just one or two areas of the wedding. Some special roles/tasks can include being a reader and finding an appropriate piece for the reading, or hand crafting something small, but significant, for the wedding such as a ring bearer pillow.