Nothing brings families together like a wedding! And while this can be a wonderful, meaningful part of your big day, it can also spark some drama! For those of us that have more complex dynamics (step parents, step siblings, old family arguments) the idea of seeing all these people under one roof can be a little stress inducing! So here are some ways that you can minimize the drama:
1. Personal Moments for ALL!
If you have multiple people in your life that both contribute to one role (say a dad and a step father) try to give each of them their own special time on the day of the wedding.
For example, if your dad is walking you down the aisle, plan out a special time to do a first look with your step-dad too! Not only will it help him feel special, but it will keep them from competing for your attention during "dad" time on the wedding day.
2. Let them be themselves
While most family members are super excited to be part of traditional wedding day moments (putting on the bride's veil, straightening the grooms tie, etc.) it's not for everyone.
If your loved one isn't comfortable in a certain role, don't push it! Maybe your mom would rather have a first look alongside your dad than be the one helping you get into your dress. Maybe your sister wants to be the one that helps your hubby get his jacket on. Remember, this day is uniquely YOU! And that means it's about your unique loved ones too. Don't push them into being part of traditional moments if they don't want to be. Letting them participate in the day the way they are comfortable doing so will make EVERYONE less stressed.
3. Get your photographer in-the-know
Since the most awkward moments for family dynamics usually happen during the formal family portrait time (everyone has to be in the same place at the same time), make sure your photograph knows about any hot-button issues. If mom and dad divorced a few months ago and dad brought a date, it's probably best that your photographer doesn't ask the three of them to be in the same picture! (yikes).
Stressful moments like these can be avoided by completing a formal family shot list. This is a list that every wedding photographer should have. It lists out all the different family combinations you want AND the ones you don't want. For example, if Uncle Jimmy hasn't spoken to Cousin Mark in 10 years, you can put a note on the list that your photographer should place them on opposite sides of the big family shot ;)