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My Mother-in-law wants to plan my wedding–How to Avoid Wedding Planning Drama

Family drama. Inevitable, unavoidable, and needs to be dealt with so you’re NOT starting wedding planning and the rest of your life on the wrong foot with family and friends. We often get calls from brides for help in dealing with a difficult mother-in-law, the impossible bridesmaid, or the family member no one knows what to do with, but HAS TO be included (says your MIL). We’ve seen these scenarios play out good, bad, and ugly, and we’re here to tell you “bad and ugly” do not need to be your destiny. It’s not funny, but it is true that we’ve navigated similar scenarios with many brides and their family, future family, and friends. 

If you hire a wedding planner, your planner is able to play the role of the kind and gentle mediator. Think of your planner as your go-between for family dynamics. As the bride and groom, your goal (and our goal for you) is to enjoy the entire wedding-planning process. A stress-free experience definitely involves keeping the peace! We’re offering some suggestions on how to navigate difficult situations with your wedding party. Below find tips on keeping wwedding planning stress and drama-free.

Mother-in-law Conflicts:

Remember: this is the mother of the man you are marrying, and someone you are stuck with. In most cases, your mother-in-law is encroaching on your planning unintentionally, because she’s excited, too! Some things you can do to help with navigating your MIL situation during wedding planning:

Assign roles and responsibilities: The rehearsal dinner is usually her part, so have her start with that (just be sure it doesn’t outshine your wedding). You can also give her tasks to help with that aren’t as important to you (groomsmen attire or her side of family attire, go with her to shop for her dress, help plan the bridal shower).

Involve your fiance and mother: ask them to help act as the buffer!

Have weekly or monthly meetings: Make it fun! A brunch meeting, or Zoom call with mimosas (leftovercakechat style), is a great way to set a fun and productive tone for a meeting.

Bridesmaids Conflicts:

Unfortunately, bridal party drama happens all too often. If you feel as though your bridesmaids are not supporting you or not working with one another, or if they’re being selfish and not supporting you, here are some options to mitigate drama. 

Involve your wedding planner: We are on your side to help navigate difficult conversations and personalities, so you can enjoy the process. Again, it’s important to be gentle and kind but firm in your decision. We are here to help.

Have private conversations upfront (especially about costs): To help navigate and mitigate awkward money conversations, we recommend coming up with a rough cost of attending and/or participating in your wedding. If you know a bridesmaid’s budget may be tight, we recommend writing a handwritten note upfront. Offer your help (if you have the means) or ask them upfront if they are comfortable with being in the wedding. 

Say goodbye: If a member of your wedding party is causing more stress than good, kindly let them know they are not taking part in the wedding. 

Family Member Conflicts: 

We see family members conflict most often when parents want all siblings to be in the wedding party, but the couple chose to not have all/any siblings included. Our recommendation is to find something else important for this sibling ( or particular family member in question) to do. You want all family members to feel important and needed on your wedding day.

Use the planner as the middleman: have your wedding planner help navigate the conversation with your parent or sibling to help deliver the message that their role is important.

Find another role: some suggestions we have for important roles include: guest book manager, directing/ushering guests, or handing out programs. 

Connect with The Bridal Retreat today

Part of The Bridal Retreat experience involves discussing relationships during the wedding planning process and beyond. At the end of the day, it is so important to start off your life on the right foot with your family!

Our mission is for brides to enjoy the entire wedding journey, and not just your wedding day. At The Retreat, we bring a group of brides together who are seeking the same outcome: to get healthy and actually enjoy the wedding planning process. Starting wedding planning with your “tribe” will make a positive, healthy impact on your life beyond the wedding day.
For more information about The Bridal Retreat, connect with us today for a free wedding planning consultation.

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