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Weddings and drama go together like birthdays and cake, you just can't have one without the other. There are brides-to-be that claim to know it all, that "their wedding will be different." Cue the laughter. I hate to break it to you, but even the holiest of families and smallest of weddings still encounter conflict.
Wedding drama comes in all shapes and sizes as well. It could be as simple as only having chicken or fish for the main entrée to as major as what religion the ceremony will follow; and while I wish I could tell you that by following these drama-free wedding tips that you will secure yourself a peaceful occasion, that I cannot. However, they will most certainly help with the planning of your wedding, and I could have only wished that someone would have bestowed this knowledge on me prior to my wedding. Luckily, despite it being my husband's second marriage and my first (as well as a destination wedding) and having a full power outage the morning of the big day, it was still absolutely beautiful. All the disagreements and issues we faced leading up to it gave way to a peaceful, romantic, and truly meaningful wedding for not only us, but our friends and family as well.
To all my future brides, I wish you the same, but minus some of the crap I could have avoided. Read these tips, print them out, tape them to your freaking mirror, and just put down your bridezilla tiara and take it all in.
Here are a few ways to diffuse wedding drama quickly and easily.
Delegate! Delegate! Delegate!
The key to a successful and less stressful wedding, and one of the most easily avoidable mistakes when wedding planning, is to know when to ask for help. It could be support from your groom to help make a decision, a drink with your maid of honor when a break is needed, or your father stepping in to help play referee between family members. I assure you, there will 100 percent be times when you need help. There is nothing more dangerous than an overwhelmed, stressed-out, emotional bride. It can cause problems in every aspect of the planning process by creating problems with friends, arguments with family, and, worst of all, a fight between the bride and groom. There is no wedding without a bride and groom. I understand if you have controlling tendencies and want things done exactly your way, and by being honest and mindful, you can still have that, all the while receiving help from others. Have mom draw up the guest list she has in mind for family, have your fiancé handle the travel arrangements, and, lastly, let your event planner do his/her job where he/she can. I know it seems cliché, but try and enjoy this time of your life, as it usually only happens once.
Make sure you are number one.
As I already mentioned, there can be no wedding without a bride; so in order to not only attend the wedding but attend it healthy and happily, you must take care of yourself. How can taking care of yourself help diffuse wedding drama? Simple. The bride who hasn't eaten a carb in six months in order to fit in her dress or hasn't slept more than three hours thanks to seating arrangement nightmares is way more likely to be... well... a bitch. We all know the term "bridezilla," and unfortunately it is a real thing. So, in order to keep your friends and family from quitting your bridal party and your groom from fleeing the altar, try to make your health and sanity a priority during the planning process. Exercise, eat healthy (eat in general), take mental breaks from all things wedding related, ask for help and ask nicely, and make it a point to enjoy your engagement. After all, this wedding is about the two of you being in love.
Create a support group.
No, I am not suggesting you find a Wedding Support Group at your local church, because that would just be crazy. However, if you are a bridezilla on the brink of a nervous breakdown, then perhaps the idea is worth looking into. What I am advising is that you, yourself, assign a few of your closest, most trusted, and (preferably) level-headed people to be your go-to support group. It can be your sister, a friend, or even your wedding planner. You just want a few people who are willing to help on the big day. Confide in this select group that they have been chosen to help diffuse any drama that may occur at the wedding and days leading up to it. These are the people you will find magically appearing when an argument or dilemma arises. For instance, at rehearsal when cousin Jill doesn’t want to walk down the aisle with who you have chosen and won't stop crying about it. Or, during the reception when Uncle Ted is too sloshed and making a scene on the dance floor. Cue in your crew if they haven't already noticed something going down, and they should be ready and able to squash any problem. If you're really good at selecting this group at the onset, all this might even happen before you even know about it. Not only will it alleviate some worries you and the groom may have, but it also helps the both of you to have eyes and ears in places you cannot or do not care to be.
Fake it till you make it.
You know a great way to keep your special day drama-free? By plastering a big ole smile on that gorgeous face regardless of how annoying, rude, and unreasonable people might be. It is so easy to react to unwanted opinions and undesirable comments; but to avoid a potential fight, you have got to let some shit go! I am serious here, friends, family, coworkers, and some straight-up strangers are going to make comments that you may not want to hear. If you were to respond to all of those remarks, than you are not only asking for a fight, but a freaking mental breakdown! Smile, nod, and keep it moving. Make people feel like you're listening to their suggestions and observations, thank them, and toss them in the garbage as soon as they leave the room. This is a common and awkward problem with wedding guests, but at least solving it is easy. They are not worth the drama!
Strategize your seating arrangements.
Ahhhh, seating arrangements. The most dreaded part of wedding planning. The time where you need to sit down and figure out where to put 150 family and friends, some who don't know each other, some who dislike each other, and some who may actually kill each other if sat together. You also have to consider where their location will be with regard to the layout of the room. Who can't be next to the band or speakers? Who has a walker and needs easy access to the bathroom? Who needs to be at a table close to you or else they will complain for the next 10 years? While I don't have any sound advice on how to alleviate seating arrangement drama, I do suggest that you take into consideration your needs, your fiancé, and your parents and in-laws; because at the end of the day, that's who really matters. Also, you are never going to make everyone happy. It's literally impossible. Remember whose special day it is, ask for advice if needed, and, seriously, try not to lose sleep over it. Chances are at least two people won't be happy, and the sooner you can accept that, the better.
Include the in-laws.
One of the most popular reasons for wedding day drama is unhappy in-laws. Not in regards to who their child chose to marry, but everything else in between. From guest lists and location to traditions and cost, it is extremely difficult to please everyone, especially your future family. To avoid a WWE smackdown on your special day, try including your in-laws where you can, even if they are not contributing financially. Some mother-in-laws genuinely want to help you planning your wedding, some just want to feel needed, and then there are the others who just want to be a giant pain in your ass. Try keeping their involvement simple if you truly don't feel comfortable having them involved or have very specific ideas for their involvement in mind; say, for instance, organizing affordable wedding party favors, overnight hotel bags, and guest bathroom baskets. Also, be sure to inquire about any special family or cultural traditions, and definitely run over the seating chart so that everyone feels comfortable during the event, as that can be a major issue for some. You don't want cousin Nikki sitting with her step-sister who her husband cheated with five years ago, even if only the in-laws know that kind of inside scoop.
Have a pre-wedding chat with potential troublemakers.
Listen, of course this doesn't sound fun. Having to discreetly tell someone that you are watching them closely so they don't cause any unwanted issues at the wedding isn't fun for anyone, but you know what else doesn't sound fun? Having your notoriously jealous friend start a fight with her boyfriend after a few cocktails, that's what. We all have a few people in our life that are prone to drama, so by nipping it in the bud, you are saving yourself from a potential headache and wedding heartbreak. Explain to them how important this day is to you and how appreciated it would be that no unresolved issues be brought up or inappropriate actions go down.
Monitor alcohol consumption.
One of the best ways to diffuse wedding drama and put an axe to late night dramatics is to monitor alcohol. Of course you want everyone to have a good time, and we all know adult beverages can assist in that, but it also assists in sloppiness, inappropriateness, and, many times, DRAMA! Your best bet is to cut off shots after a certain hour, or not allow shots at all. Of course, I discovered that by asking for vodka straight up and an extra cup, I can create my own shots, but that's not the point and I'm just creative. You can also have that trusted group of people I told you to create keep an eye on the lushes of the family. It may be awkward to suggest to someone that they have had enough to drink, but it's better than cleaning puke off the middle of the dance floor. As for the after-party that so many young couples have (for instance, after my reception, we all went to the hotel lobby bar), you may want to keep that plan on the down low until the time arrives. Maybe not everyone should know about it. Maybe you will decide it shouldn't happen at all. Maybe you won't even remember this advice because you partook in too many champagnes yourself. In any case, minimizing alcohol intake can save what was supposed to be a wonderful evening.