Getting engaged is such an exciting time in our lives. The butterflies we get as our soon-to-be fiance gets on one knee are, up to this point, immeasurable. The astounding “yes” that escapes your lips the moment he pops the question is followed by intense emotions of love and joy.
Yes, getting engaged is exciting. And yes, getting married is SO exciting because you get to marry your best friend! But wedding planning, while fun, can be a little stressful at times.
Don’t get me wrong, planning your day has really amazing things, such as finding the perfect dress, tasting so many cakes, and picking out the very perfect wedding venue. But it can also have its downsides and can sometimes bring out tense feelings with some certain family members to be.
Here are 5 tips to deal with difficult in-laws during wedding planning:
Pick Your Battles
Some things are worth having a discussion over, but some things are best just to let go. Yes, certain things may make you angry, but being angry and upset over some smaller things is just not worth your time, energy, or mental health.
Family coach Kristin from the YouTube channel Kristin Coaching says, “Assess when it’s important to be able to actually to be able to speak up and say something versus things you can let go.” Allow yourself to enjoy the planning process of your wedding and don’t let a difficult family member take away that joy from you.
Get An Understanding Wedding Planner
If you have a seasoned wedding planner, there is no doubt that they have stories upon stories about how to deal with difficult in-laws during wedding planning.
Because your wedding planner will probably have experience, don’t be afraid to ask them for advice! Chances are they may have dealt with a similar experience and are willing to be of help! Wedding planners are thick-skinned, too, so sometimes they don’t even mind taking the blame for certain wedding-related decisions to keep you out of the hot seat (such as helping with seating, who is included on the invite, etc etc).
Remind That Family Member They Aren’t Losing a Son/Daughter, But Gaining A Daughter/Son
Sometimes some interesting emotions can arise between parents of the bride/groom about losing their son or daughter once they get married. At times, this cause jealousy issues with families. It is important to remind parents that you love them and they are not losing you as a son or daughter, but actually gaining a daughter or son to be part of the family. When put into this perspective, it shows that the family is growing and that the future spouse to be is not a threat. An article by Bridal Guide states this perfectly by saying: “When a couple gets married, family dynamics inevitably shift — this can be uncomfortable and sometimes even scary because of the perceived feeling of loss. Depending on the family’s roles, the perception of loss is just that: a perception.”
Have A Respectful Discussion and Set Boundaries
If there is a situation that you decide is important enough to have a discussion about, it is best to first talk to your spouse-to-be and to come up with a plan together. With all of these discussions, stay calm, cool, and collective and don’t let the “difficult” family member get the best of you! After you and your fiancé discuss, then have a conversation with that difficult in-law.
Be honest, open, respectful, and calm when having discussions about issues that arise during planning. It is important not to raise your voice, get heated, or say things you may regret later. It may be tempting because wedding planning can be an emotional process, but you don’t want to get up being used as a scapegoat or made to look like the bad guy.
Set appropriate boundaries based on what the issues are. You may have a great discussion and resolve things! Many times the difficult family member may just want to be heard, and once they feel like they have been heard, they will back off. This will bring you closer to resolving the problem :)
Remember What Is Really Important: The Marriage
You are and your spouse-to-be are a team. You are becoming one, and it is important to remember that this is ultimately what the marriage is about: the two of you. When a difficult in-law or family member does something hurtful to you, it is important to stay together as a team and remember the two of you are one family unit (or are about to be), and are each other’s priority.
This also gives you some perspective on what is really important. It’s not what flowers you have for centerpieces, or which color the bridesmaid dresses are. What is important is that you and your best friend are promising to be there for each other for the rest of your lives, and that is more exciting than anything.
I hope these tips can help you deal with that difficult family member!