One of the best things about a wedding is having all the people you love in one room. One of the hardest things about a wedding is having all the people you love in one room!
I’ve addressed a lot of potential wedding problems in an earlier blog but one of the most worrying potential problems is that family and friends are going to have a big fight that will ruin your painstakingly planned big day like diarrhoea would ruin a trip to the swimming pool. I’ve found, through experience and research (ok, a quick Google), there are five main causes of family fights at weddings:
Booze, or more accurately too much booze, is the common denominator in most wedding family bust-ups. To be fair it’s not the actual cause, there’s usually some underlying issue, but it is the flame to the powder keg. To avoid people getting too drunk it’s essential that there is something to keep people occupied. A wedding is a long day and if there are protracted gaps with nothing going on, such as between the ceremony and the breakfast or between the breakfast and the first dance, then people are more likely to fill that time with Jager bombs, Tequila slammers and flaming Sambucas, or maybe that’s just me! But they’ll at least have a couple more pints or glasses of wine than they would have if there was something going on. Some great ideas that I’ve seen are lawn games, casinos and ice-cream stalls. Another solution would be to have a dry wedding….. maybe not!
Nothing Else To Talk About
If your family members are stuck together with only the wedding outfits and the weather to talk about, that thing that has really been annoying one of them for years is almost certain to rear its ugly head eventually. Usually they can be pacified by having a TV or phone to stare at but that is deemed unacceptable behaviour at a wedding (although it would make life SO much easier)! So instead you’re going to have to come up with some other distraction, something else that can keep the conversation afloat without it drifting into choppy waters. This could be an unusual theme at your wedding so people can talk about the costumes and props as well as the subject of the theme itself, or maybe some form of entertainment such as singing/comedy waiters.
It’s no secret that there can be a degree of stress for the “happy” couple during the day, as it is often the culmination of years of planning and they feel obliged to keep everyone happy, but other people can also struggle to relax during a significant and often formal day. They want to wear the right thing, say the right thing, do the right thing and basically avoid embarrassing themselves in front of their entire family and someone else’s entire family (pro tip: avoid extravagant ballroom dancing unless you can actually ballroom dance, especially if you’ve also decided it’s a good idea to put a tie around your head). This is helped if a lot of attendees have met each other before, such as at the stag/hen party. If there are people there who don’t know each other maybe try having a get together or two before the big day so that more people can become familiar and relaxed with everyone. It also helps if you’ve got some kind of fun ice breaker quite early on in the day that can get everyone mixing and talking to each other rather than just staying in their familiar groups. This could be a comedy photographer or other roaming entertainment or some organised party games.
Feeling Left Out
If there are lots of people doing readings, making speeches, being bridesmaids, ushers or groomsmen then the chances are that someone who isn’t directly involved is going to feel slighted that they haven’t been asked to do something. The easiest way to avoid this is to keep things simple and not actually have many readings, speeches, bridesmaids etc and limit the people involved to those who have a definite reason (immediate family, best-friends, pizza delivery guy…). If you think someone might feel left out as they haven’t been given a specific job maybe have a chat with them in the run up to the wedding to reassure them that it’s nothing personal, or you could make sure they are mentioned during the speeches and even given a small token of appreciation.
This can be a real problem especially if it’s a fairly recent breakup and one of them was dumped for someone else who now also has to come to the wedding. To be honest there’s not much that can be done about this apart from having a chat with them both separately beforehand and hopefully they’ll realise how important this day is and they won’t want to spoil it so they’ll at least be civil to each other or maybe just avoid each other altogether. However, even if they start with the best intentions, if any or all of the above factors come into play those good intentions could go out of the window faster than a teenager’s cigarette when there’s a knock on their bedroom door!
I hope you have found this blog interesting and useful and I’d highly recommend any of the solutions I’ve suggested but there is one more solution (SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT!) I know I don’t look old enough, but I have been performing magic at weddings for nearly 20 years (what do you mean I must have started when I was 40???) and I have tailored my wedding magic to address most of the problems above and others. I can keep people occupied so they’re not heading to the bar quite as often, I can provide people with talking points that they will love to discuss with other people, I can break the ice and get people who don’t know each other relaxed and laughing together and I can get anyone you like involved and make them feel special. I’m not saying I can ensure your wedding goes off without a hitch but I can certainly increase the chances. Whether you’re interested in booking or not I hope your big day is as amazing as you hope and I wish you all the best for the future.
If you can think of any other reasons families fight at weddings I’d be interested to know so please leave your thoughts in the comments. As always please like and share, and remember: when regular words fail try “rawr”… it means I love you in dinosaur!