Don’t invite trouble makers
If there’s one person who you know will cause a row, scratch them off the guest list! It’s your day and no matter what convention says about inviting all your close family, you can’t afford to have someone there whose presence will simply stress you out. Write a (non-ranty) letter to them to explain your reasons rather than allowing it to dawn on them when their invite doesn’t turn up. You want all your favourite people there on your wedding day, so don’t feel guilty about excluding someone who doesn’t bring happiness to your life.
Plan a strategic seating plan
This goes without saying; create the least awkward seating plan possible my grouping people together who actually like each other. When alcohol’s at play, even those who were positively angelic at the ceremony can grow horns and say exactly what’s on their mind. And don’t think you can get around it by not providing a table plan – the people who are last to sit down will all be forced together whether they like it or not.
Tackle worries head on
Leave a white elephant in the room and it might make itself known at the worst possible moment. Want your dad and your stepdad to walk you down the aisle? Talk to them both ahead of making the decision to ask them how they feel. Is one of your parents in the dark about the other’s new partner? Make sure you prepare them properly so they don’t get a shock on the day. And if you’re worried about any ongoing feuds between family members, tell them. They probably won’t realise you see it as a potential day-ruiner – but once they know they’re making you anxious they’re bound to be on their best behaviour.
Avoid rejection issues
If your parents have new partners that you actually like then you should make them feel included in your big day. However, it’s a bit of a balancing act. Stay conscious that showing closeness to your step mum, for example, might make your real mum feel like she’s being pushed out. Hopefully, the new partner will be good at taking a back seat and feel flattered from the attention you do give them.
Socialise with everyone
Divide your time equally between both parties so that no one gets jealous. From the venue hunting process to the pre-wedding dinner, try to involve both your parents at different times so that everyone gets to hang out with you in the run-up to your day.
Focus on the positives
Don’t dwell on family issues on your wedding day. An occasion like this gives everyone something in common: they’re all there to witness one of the happiest days of your life. If that doesn’t put a smile on their faces, nothing will!