Here is your guide to dealing with sensitive situations that might arise during your wedding plans. This is the best advice I can give on some of the situations people find difficult to overcome.
1. The "Oops" Guests
Let’s face it, you know a lot of people. You’ve worked on your lists, you’ve checked them twice, picked out the invitations, sent them out! Then you realize you’ve forgotten someone important. If you catch this soon enough you can play it off as if their invitation got lost in the mail. However, if it is a week or two before your wedding and everyone else has sent back their RSVP, and people around this person have been talking about the wedding…well... good luck. Time for immediate action, if you want this person there, they are going to have to feel included and wanted. Face to face visit, a heartfelt apology, and some minor begging and persuading needs to happen ASAP! If they love you they will take it as an honest mistake. If they are spiteful and resentful you may have to take that and understand. You messed up yes, but it is not the end of the world. After the wedding craziness calms down, reach out again. They might have calmed down.
2. Bridesmaid Assumption - Rejection
Picking your bridal party should be easy. Sometimes you just know who you’d like standing up next to you, you ask those people, they say yes, and you’re good to go. Other times you have people that think they are in the bridal party, but are not. These people need to be told so they do not go out and buy a dress they think they will be wearing and start working on their speech for the reception. Sit them down, look them in the eye and say that you have already selected your wedding party. Assure them they will be invited to the wedding and you could go as far as ensuring a seat right in the front row is reserved for them. For this it needs to be like ripping a band-aid. Quick with minimal pain. Their feelings will most likely get hurt, but you need to clear the air as soon as possible. Do not drag out this conversation as unpleasant as it probably will be.
3. The Uninvited Relative
Different from the "oops" guests. These are people you genuinely do not want at your wedding. You could take the cowards way out and say their invitation got lost in the mail, but if they are anything like some of my family members they will remind you every time they see you that they haven’t received their invitation yet. You could say something along the lines of “We are keeping the guest list very small and had to limit the number of people that could attend.” Only say this if it is true though, if they find out afterwards that you had 400+ guests at your wedding and your childhood dog sitter who moved to another country stood up and said a speech, the outcome will not be good for anyone. Honesty is the only way to go here. You can sugar coat it all you want, but if they are going to keep asking you need to give them an answer that will satisfy them and nullify the situation.
4. Dearly Departed, Departed Too Soon
A sudden death in the family is never a good situation. When a death happens in the midst of planning a happy occasion like a wedding it gets really tough to decide if you want to continue or stop planning all together. This depends on you and on the situation/person. This could be a different circumstance for everyone. This situation can also include close family members suddenly falling ill. You can make the decision to put things on pause until you’re back in a better mindset. This has been done before. No one will judge you or make you feel bad about doing this. If they do give them my card, I’ve got some choice words for them! If you continue and stick with the date as scheduled there are plenty of ways you can honour them. Pictures of them at the ceremony, reserving a special area dedicated to them, donating all monetary gifts to a charity in their honour, playing some of their favorite songs, lighting candles or releasing balloons in a memorial to them. They are small things but sentimental touches that would be appreciated by all.
5. Religious Me Not
You come from a very religious family, but you and your partner have not decided to have a ceremony in the same faith or in faith at all. Be prepared for a fight. This is a hot button issue and it will be one that is difficult to win. If you’ve made this decision, stick with it and stand up for yourself and your partner. I have heard of people saying they will not show up to the wedding if it is not in a church or does not represent their faith. Unfortunately, this happens especially with an older matriarch in the family. This wedding is a symbol of new beginnings for you and your partner and sometimes that means ‘laying down the law’. Expressing that your situation is different from theirs. There are ways of compromising if you are willing to do so. Doing multiple ceremonies is one way. If you have a multi-cultural family and it is important to you to pay homage to that then schedule your wedding festivities to be longer than one day. Where the compromise can come in is if your family wants you to have these certain ceremonies so badly they should be willing to step in and pay the extra costs. Otherwise you do things your way!
6. No Ex Means No!
Your partner is still friends with someone they used to be in a relationship with and you do not want this person there. How do you bring this up without sounding like a nagging jealous b*tch? Well honest answer, there is no way to have this conversation pleasantly. One would hope for the best when bringing up the topic, but be prepared for the worst. First, if this is an ex that still harbors feelings for your partner then that should be your first argument. You are completely solid in your relationship, but why give anyone the opportunity to ruin things when the officiant says, “Should anyone have any reasons why these two should not be married, speak now or forever hold your peace.” You can use yourself as leverage if you are not having any of your ex-lovers there. If you are having previous ex’s there then sorry love you have absolutely no argument if your partner wants to have theirs there! Understand that each situation is different. If this is a best friend or close friend and they dated centuries ago while they were children and as grownups hardly bring it up, I’m sure you can be a little flexible. Counter to that, if this is the person they dated right before the pair of you got together and you know it didn’t end well and there may still be some bad blood there then avoid that problem all together! You can do a ‘test run’ of sorts as well. Maybe invite this person to one of the pre-wedding day events. If no alarms or red flags go off, then what’s the harm? Seat them in the back at the singles table and hope for the best for them with someone new!
Remember when dealing with any sensitive situation that you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. If you work with your partner and have a nice approach when facing certain obstacles your outcome will be better.
Lead Event Coordinator