<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=1950904595195898&ev=PageView&noscript=1" /> Wedding Advice - Navigating Difficult Family Dynamics - Lydia Rachel

Wedding Advice – Navigating Difficult Family Dynamics

Today I’m tackling a topic that may seem a bit taboo but is so common when it comes to wedding planning. Conflict can also arise with friends and your bridal party which I may do another blog about, but today we are specifically talking family. There are many reasons why disagreements, pressure and difficult family dynamics can arise when it comes to wedding planning. Be it from who will pay for what, differing expectations, location/timing of the wedding, old conflicts manifesting, family members disagreeing with your relationship, different upbringings or cultural/religious expectations, miscommunication, jealousy or clashing personalities. Some of these issues are much heavier than others and I can’t get into everything today, nor am I a qualified family therapist at all but I hope some of these tips will help.


The Money Chat

I talked a bit about this in my blogpost around budget but I’ll say it again, it’s really important to communicate openly and clearly with anyone contributing financially to your wedding day and any expectations attached to that contribution. It is up to you whether you accept that money and the conditions it comes along with. Be clear about this from the get-go to avoid any conflict down the road. Money can be a huge point of contention when it comes to your wedding. If you know that accepting money from family is going to cause drama, consider not accepting it. Pay for your own wedding, or think about eloping.

If you do accept money then be gracious about it, honour your parents for their help and be thankful. Maybe by contributing a chunk to your budget you allow them to invite some of their friends on the day. Include them in the planning and ask for their advice, whether you take it or not.


Listen

This can be tricky and overwhelming to navigate as it seems sometimes the minute you get engaged a thousand voices are questioning you with all the wedding things and pressuring you to make decisions or follow their advice. You will always have some unwanted or unsolicited opinions thrown at you which may be from family. When you’re under pressure it can be easy to get annoyed, defensive and angry, but, try to listen. Listen to their point of view whether you accept it or not. Figure out where it’s coming from. If reasonable, come to a compromise together. Or, educate them on your point of view and decision-making. Pick your battles and be gracious when someone is just trying to be helpful. Steer the conversation back to them.

Know what is worth compromising on and what is not. For example, if your mother has always wanted you to wear her wedding dress on your day, but you don’t love the style or have a different body-type and feel uncomfortable in it, don’t wear it. It is more important for you to feel completely yourself and love what you are wearing to your wedding. Try to explain this to her, kindly. And maybe you’ll come to a compromise that you just wear her veil or garter instead. Set boundaries with family and act in a way that you expect to be treated. If you react in a firey and stubborn way to everything they say then expect that sort of behaviour back. You can’t control everyone else, but you can control your own feelings, emotions and responses, hold yourself to a higher standard.


Be unoffendable

This is easier said than done but when faced with conflict, do everything in your power to not get easily offended. Be slow and thoughtful with your responses and try to stay neutral.

Surround yourself with positive influences, neutral friends that will challenge you on your behaviour if necessary too. Someone with an outside perspective like a bridal coach can be really helpful in this situation too.

If you know you’re walking into a potentially conflicting situation or conversation, prepare yourself in advance. Get your mind right and tell yourself you won’t be offended or react immediately. Keep your emotions in check and don’t make in big decisions when you’re in an emotional or irrational space. Try to attract a positive reaction by emulating the attitude you expect from others.

It’s not your responsibility to change anyone.


Know when to walk away

Sometimes we have family members in our world that go beyond “well-meaning advice” to the point of bad behaviour, toxic jealousy or manipulation and conflict that can reach an out-of-control level.

As I said, it’s not your responsibility for how someone behaves. Recognise when them challenging you is a good/helpful thing and when it is bad. We often take for granted the people we are closest and we know how to hurt them. If there’s anything you can do to heal the hurt between you, figure out where their behaviour is coming from and come to a solution, then do what you can to make it happen. Try to avoid creating sides.

If it gets to the level of toxicity and you feel there’s no path to resolution then know when to walk away. If someone truly has the potential to ruin your wedding day, think about whether they should be there in the first place. Stop the conversation. You don’t have to put up with it.



This is a bit of a sticky topic which could stem from so many things we could dive deeper into, but I hope this has given you something to think about if it’s an area you’re worried about. Having a neutral friend outside of the conflict that you can trust and confide in and that can provide an unbiased perspective is invaluable. I want your wedding planning journey to be as full of joy as possible so if we can eliminate any potential drama/conflict from the beginning, that’s great!

Let me know what you think about this, is you have had to deal with any tricky situations personally or any advice you would add. I’d love to hear from you! Check out my IGTV on this topic here.

Today I’m tackling a topic that may seem a bit taboo but is so common when it comes to wedding planning. Conflict can also arise with friends and your bridal party which I may do another blog about, but today we are specifically talking family. There are many reasons why disagreements, pressure and difficult family dynamics can arise when it comes to wedding planning. Be it from who will pay for what, differing expectations, location/timing of the wedding, old conflicts manifesting, family members disagreeing with your relationship, different upbringings or cultural/religious expectations, miscommunication, jealousy or clashing personalities. Some of these issues are much heavier than others and I can’t get into everything today, nor am I a qualified family therapist at all but I hope some of these tips will help.


The Money Chat

I talked a bit about this in my blogpost around budget but I’ll say it again, it’s really important to communicate openly and clearly with anyone contributing financially to your wedding day and any expectations attached to that contribution. It is up to you whether you accept that money and the conditions it comes along with. Be clear about this from the get-go to avoid any conflict down the road. Money can be a huge point of contention when it comes to your wedding. If you know that accepting money from family is going to cause drama, consider not accepting it. Pay for your own wedding, or think about eloping.

If you do accept money then be gracious about it, honour your parents for their help and be thankful. Maybe by contributing a chunk to your budget you allow them to invite some of their friends on the day. Include them in the planning and ask for their advice, whether you take it or not.


Listen

This can be tricky and overwhelming to navigate as it seems sometimes the minute you get engaged a thousand voices are questioning you with all the wedding things and pressuring you to make decisions or follow their advice. You will always have some unwanted or unsolicited opinions thrown at you which may be from family. When you’re under pressure it can be easy to get annoyed, defensive and angry, but, try to listen. Listen to their point of view whether you accept it or not. Figure out where it’s coming from. If reasonable, come to a compromise together. Or, educate them on your point of view and decision-making. Pick your battles and be gracious when someone is just trying to be helpful. Steer the conversation back to them.

Know what is worth compromising on and what is not. For example, if your mother has always wanted you to wear her wedding dress on your day, but you don’t love the style or have a different body-type and feel uncomfortable in it, don’t wear it. It is more important for you to feel completely yourself and love what you are wearing to your wedding. Try to explain this to her, kindly. And maybe you’ll come to a compromise that you just wear her veil or garter instead. Set boundaries with family and act in a way that you expect to be treated. If you react in a firey and stubborn way to everything they say then expect that sort of behaviour back. You can’t control everyone else, but you can control your own feelings, emotions and responses, hold yourself to a higher standard.


Be unoffendable

This is easier said than done but when faced with conflict, do everything in your power to not get easily offended. Be slow and thoughtful with your responses and try to stay neutral.

Surround yourself with positive influences, neutral friends that will challenge you on your behaviour if necessary too. Someone with an outside perspective like a bridal coach can be really helpful in this situation too.

If you know you’re walking into a potentially conflicting situation or conversation, prepare yourself in advance. Get your mind right and tell yourself you won’t be offended or react immediately. Keep your emotions in check and don’t make in big decisions when you’re in an emotional or irrational space. Try to attract a positive reaction by emulating the attitude you expect from others.

It’s not your responsibility to change anyone.


Know when to walk away

Sometimes we have family members in our world that go beyond “well-meaning advice” to the point of bad behaviour, toxic jealousy or manipulation and conflict that can reach an out-of-control level.

As I said, it’s not your responsibility for how someone behaves. Recognise when them challenging you is a good/helpful thing and when it is bad. We often take for granted the people we are closest and we know how to hurt them. If there’s anything you can do to heal the hurt between you, figure out where their behaviour is coming from and come to a solution, then do what you can to make it happen. Try to avoid creating sides.

If it gets to the level of toxicity and you feel there’s no path to resolution then know when to walk away. If someone truly has the potential to ruin your wedding day, think about whether they should be there in the first place. Stop the conversation. You don’t have to put up with it.



This is a bit of a sticky topic which could stem from so many things we could dive deeper into, but I hope this has given you something to think about if it’s an area you’re worried about. Having a neutral friend outside of the conflict that you can trust and confide in and that can provide an unbiased perspective is invaluable. I want your wedding planning journey to be as full of joy as possible so if we can eliminate any potential drama/conflict from the beginning, that’s great!

Let me know what you think about this, is you have had to deal with any tricky situations personally or any advice you would add. I’d love to hear from you! Check out my IGTV on this topic here.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

x CLOSE

HOME

RECENT BLOGS

Navigate