As the usher escorted the father of the groom and his wife to their seats on the right side of the venue, dear old dad instead moved to the bench in front of the one that was designated. Why?
He wanted to ensure he sat in front of his ex-wife rather than behind. Oh brother!
Weddings bring a lot of diverse family members and friends together. While they all, undoubtedly, want to wish you well and share in your special day, they will nonetheless bring their baggage to your wedding too.
There may be a power drinker in the crowd. You know the one: Uncle Ted, who gets sauced at every single family Christmas gathering. Seat him furthest from the bar.
There may be an agitator, who informs you that the lettuce in the salad is soggy or who brawls over the bouquet or the garter (or both!) when they’re tossed.
You may have a disgruntled sibling who sulks over not being part of the wedding party or feuding uncles who refuse to sit at the same table at dinner.
That’s why meticulous wedding planning– and a seating chart — are always helpful.
In some situations, it’s worth the price of hiring and working with an on-site wedding day coordinator. This person’s responsibilities can include putting out social fires and dealing with sticky situations.
If an on-site pro isn’t in your wedding budget, choose a trusted person or two; for instance an older sibling, relative or friend who is smart, even-tempered, responsible and persuasive. Designate this person to be your “fixer.” You can even have a “fixer” squad, if need be, to cajole Aunt Cindy out of doing shooters or to smooth things over between guests with ruffled feathers.
Weddings can bring out the very best and not-so-hot in people. Don’t let their shortcomings ruin your day. If need be, with your family, set expectations in advance directly or through an intermediary. Wedding day drama can be avoided or minimized.
And try to put things into perspective. A wedding is a big fat emotional time that can trigger all kinds of different feelings and memories in loved ones. These responses have to do with them, not you. You get to choose to be happy and to bask in the joy and love of your special day with your new partner. Share the love and the joy and the laughter; that’s what you’ll remember.