If there is one thing that planning weddings has reassured me of, it is that every family has issues. The norm is having family issues and even the most perfect family has at least one dysfunctional person. Some couples will avoid this by being selective about who they invite to the wedding but for most an obligation to invite all family members takes over. I have heard it all from “My dad is a horrible man to my mother is a raging alcoholic”. I have had midnight calls about a huge family feud the day before a wedding. Other wedding planners have told me about couples cancelling their weddings a few days before because of family stress. Just in case you are wondering for the most part, my clients are normal middle to upper income families in the Toronto area.
With my years of experience, I now insist on a heads up on all family issues. I want to know if you have a crazy ex-husband, drunk uncle, rude sister. I want to know it all. I need to be prepared to help avoid any issues on or leading up to the wedding day. Am I going to have to pull the plug for an embarrassing speech, entertain someone so they can’t interfere, or am I going to have to tell someone that they are not welcome at the wedding? And if the family issues are just something annoying, then maybe I can think of a creative way to avoid the couple facing any issues on their wedding day. Seating arrangements and the day’s schedule can play a key part in avoiding issues.