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Dealing with Family Stress

Coming out of the holiday season, many of us are reminded of the joys of being with family. We also get reminded of the situations and conversations that can make family difficult to manage. They are people you, usually, care deeply about, and you respect their opinions and desires.

Therefore, family stress can be a large factor in overall wedding planning stress.

Family wedding photo with couple classically dressed and family in deep red and blue.

I want to set you up for success with a few tips for dealing with the stress of family interactions:

Ground yourself in why you’re getting married. One way to do this is to prioritize time alone with your future spouse. Go on a date together where no wedding talk is allowed. Need some date ideas? Reach out to me and I’d be happy to help!

Bride family portrait with bride in classic gown with medium bouquet and men in gray suits.

Have conversations early on in the process, before you begin the planning deep dive. By having these discussions before you get to bigger steps, like the guest list, you can set yourself up to be more flexible and lower your amount of overwhelm. I find that determining the guest list is where couples struggle with their family members the most. Everyone wants to invite someone, and these invitees may not always be the people you want to have at your wedding. My recommendation is to get the names of those guests from your family at the beginning of the process. Starting with a larger list of names and seeing the cost of inviting all of those guests will make it easier for your family to whittle down the list to who really matters to them, in the same way you and your partner will.

Be prepared for unexpected updates. Last minute changes are not uncommon in event planning. Things happen! These unexpected changes can vary greatly - from a wedding party member needing to bow out or a family of 5 who RSVPd “no” showing up - but the most you can do you is mentally prepare yourself and come up with a plan for dealing with the stress of them.

Excited bride first look with her father.

Take a break from talking with your family. If possible, take some time to get away and unplug from wedding conversation in general. It can be overwhelming carrying the burdens of others opinions. Give yourself space to be removed from that.

Many of us love our families dearly, and we genuinely want them to be a part of the planning process. However, we must strike a balance between respecting the opinions of others and fighting for our own visions for the big day. I hope you find these steps helpful in managing more difficult moments and conversations while planning.


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