In episode 341 of The Bridechilla Podcast, Meghan Elyl from OFD Consulting joined me to marvel at the upcoming royal wedding and reflect on all of the ways that we can relate to Princess Eugenie's somewhat unconventional and somewhat dysfunctional family make up (for the Royal Family at least) will affect her wedding planning and what we can all learn from it.
In this blog Meghan shares how to avoid family drama, a repeat wedding (when you are using the same venue as your friends or family members), dealing with divorce and how to avoid feeling overshadowed when it comes to planning and events (particularly if there are other people getting hitched around the same ie as you).
Listen to the episode
Avoiding a “repeat” wedding
When it comes to following the wedding of a close friend or family member, the worry that yours might be a “repeat” wedding isn’t an uncommon thought. Luckily, there are plenty of ways that you can make sure your wedding stands out.
Megan Velez of Destination Weddings says that in the case of booking the same venue, it all depends on personalization. “The great thing about all-inclusive wedding resorts is that there are oftentimes a variety of onsite ceremony and reception venues available. If someone you know got married on the beach, you could opt for the garden or sky terrace. Likewise, decorating the space with a different theme/look can completely change the way you see the venue.”
Joan Wyndrum of Blooms by the Box shares that adding a ‘wow’ factor for guests to experience the moment they walk in can drastically differentiate your wedding. “A visual statement can set the tone from the second your wedding starts that this will be a different experience. A fabulous floral arch or floral wall for guests to see upon arriving will ensure they’re being ushered into a very different experience from the last time they might have been there.”
Photo by King's Church International
It’s tough not to feel competitive or even overshadowed when your engagement coincides with that of another friend or family member. But it’s important to remember that how you deal with the scenario can seriously affect your relationship with the other engaged couple.
Heather Rouffe of Atlas Event Rental advises to focus on the positive rather than the negative. “It’s not worth getting upset or jealous or feeling as though you are being overshadowed. Be happy that there is so much joy and happiness taking place within your inner circle! That being said, be certain to not plan your shower or bachelorette events on the same day as the other person, and be cognizant (if possible) of the decor scheme and colors they are choosing so that your event is unique and your own.”
Photo by King's Church International
Dealing with divorced parents
This may actually be one of the most common dilemmas that couples encounter, but it doesn’t need to be nearly as painful of a process as it sounds.
Kevin Dennis of Fantasy Sound Event Services notes that you should be mindful of how recent the divorce is and how it all panned out. “There could be awkwardness with introductions or who is getting walked down the aisle, but honestly there are times that I’ve dealt with parents who are still married that behaved worse than divorced parents,” Dennis says. “It could be helpful to have meetings with each parent prior to the wedding day to go over your expectations for the day and ensure that everyone is on the same page.”
Keith Phillips of Classic Photographers says that navigating their relationship is also prevalent on your big day. “Consider how you’re going to handle pictures with them, or even how they’re going to play into the seating chart. Find a way to make sure each parent feels special.”
Photo by Jared Subia
No matter how hard you try to keep the peace, you may still have those pesky family members that don’t know how to set aside their strong words for the sake of your big day. Not to mention the added fuel of alcohol.
Amy Abbott of Amy Abbott Events says, “Invite them, even if they can’t be in the same room together. Try and include new spouses as you can, and it does help to nominate a friend or two to offer as a buffer.”
When it comes to family conflict, how you react and craft your plan of action puts you in control of the situation. Above all else, if your family loves you and wants the best for you, they’ll be able to put aside their differences for your wedding day.
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.
Header Image by Jared Subia