So you just got engaged! Congratulations! This is such an exciting time filled with love and celebration of this next chapter in your life. Well, I mean it should be filled with love and celebration, but oftentimes that is not always the case. Weddings can bring out the best AND worst parts of your loved ones and even bring to light how unsupportive they really are. I know first hand what it was like planning a wedding with people who were not supportive at all and it, at times, was discouraging and just sad - especially when they were a part of my core family network. Having an unsupportive family/family member can look different for people, but the feeling is all the same. It's unhelpful, unfair, and frankly unwanted energy while you are planning a day about love. So what do you do? Well, here are 5 things you can do to protect yourself, your partner and your wedding day from these sour grapes.
1. SET YOUR BOUNDARIES The thing with unsupportive people is that sometimes they aren’t even aware of their impact. It is okay to address the issue head on and be vocal with how you feel. Beware though, the results won’t always favor your way. They may dismiss you or invalidate your feelings, in which your next response should be to set your boundaries. Know what you can and can’t handle from them and tell it to them directly. This is YOUR wedding, so you get to call the shots on what is allowed. Be firm with these boundaries as they are your first layer of protection with unsupportive folk.
2. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPORTIVE We spend so much time focusing on what we don’t have, instead of focusing on what we do have. Instead of pining over those unsupportive people, surround yourselves with the ones who DO want to be around you. During my wedding, I had the most amazing chosen family who basically lifted Ipo and I out of the sh*t hole our parents put us in. Whenever we felt low, we leaned heavily on them to lift our spirits and show us love. They showered us with support in the areas where our parents SHOULD HAVE been, but weren’t. To this day, we reference to them as the unsung heroes to our wedding day.
3. CRY IT OUT Honestly, going through the pain is the only way towards healing. When people are unsupportive it is super sad, and I know for me, it broke my heart daily. I probably cried half the time during my engagement and was absolutely gutted that my mom was not going to be there. I was miserable and at times did not even want to get married, so I cried.
And online shopped.
And said some horrible things about her.
But, eventually the gaping hole recoiled back and I was able to show up on my wedding day a whole person. You have to let it out, be upset, sad, and all the emotions that this brings. Denying that it is going on is only going to hurt you. Feel your feels.
4. FIND YOURSELF A “DDD”
Everyone needs a Designated Drama Defender. A “DDD” is someone who is not you or your other half to help you field all the BS that might (will) come your way. This is the person who can help you mitigate any uncomfortable conversations with these unsupportive people and can even absorb some of the drama. Think about who that person is and talk with them about what you need from them. Weddings are already stressful, so don’t be afraid to call on your loved ones to help out where they can with these people.
5. MAYBE DON’T INVITE THEM
I know, I know. Easier said than done. But truly you will THANK yourself by doing this. I invited guests out of obligation and was let down every time by my unsupportive community. Simply not inviting them (as awkward as it is) is a lot easier than having them be at your wedding all salty, bitter, and sulking in bad vibes. We don’t want that for you! Be selective of the energy you allow around you on your wedding day.
We support you and know that planning a wedding is a lot of pressure. Having an unsupportive family is a bummer on your day of love, but it is just one speed bump. Keep your head up, use our tips, and always remember that we are really fricken good at dealing with unruly people. Feel free to reach out to us and ask for help! Wishing you all the best in your planning!