This is the happiest day of your life, filled with love, light, happiness, and… drama? With all the things you have to worry about on your wedding day, family drama may be one of the most difficult to deal with. “Should I invite Aunt Patty? I know she hates Aunt Judy, who got into a huge fight with my cousin Tom last Christmas, and I can’t invite one, and not the other!”

On top of that, your wedding will most likely trigger feelings in many people who love you and put even those closest to you in moments of hysteria.  So…many…feelings!

While it is often encouraged to pick your battles carefully and let go of things that cannot be changed, there is still one thing you can do to help diffuse any situation. Set boundaries! This is YOUR day and you deserve to have supportive and reliable people around you, even if they have to put on an act for one day.

These easy steps may help you avoid a potential conflict and allow you to have the stress-free day you dream of!
First, determine exactly which family members or friends may cause friction or create any sort of obstacle for you. Write them down. Maybe your divorced parents don’t get along or two of the bridesmaids have exchanged unpleasant words before.  These are the people you will want to have conversations with.
Give yourself enough time, months before the wedding, to sit them down. Talk to them without reacting. Give them a choice. “I would love more than anything for you to be a part of my wedding, but I really need you to be on your best behavior. It would mean a lot to me.”

Now, hold your ground! Let them know that if anything happens contrary to what you had requested, then you will ask them to leave. No if, ands, or buts! Keep them on the same page. They will be aware of the consequences and therefore will not be surprised if something does happen.

Construct a support group. Find those closest to you, who you love and trust, and let them know what is important to you and what is not. This group can help you when issues arise and keep you in a positive space.

Most importantly, take care of yourself. Make sure to give yourself downtime and space. Don’t allow all of your free time to be consumed by wedding planning. Keep yourself happy by continuing to do the things you love. Schedule regular dates with your partner, wedding talk not permitted!

And remember, this is the union of the love shared between you and your partner. This day IS about you. Stand together as a couple and through that love and strength, those that may try to tear you apart, may soon realize that life is much more pleasant as an ally than as an enemy.