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“AWKWARD”4 simple solutions to those less than comfortable situations regarding your bridal party,

1. The friend who thinks she is a bridesmaid but isn’t.

Yikes....This likely will be one of the most emotionally difficult and uncomfortable conversations you will have to initiate up to this point in your life. There are a whole host of reasons that someone may be a wonderful friend and guest of your wedding but may not be the best fit in your actual bridal party. It is my opinion that honesty, not the brutal type, is always the best policy and will have the most positive outcome. Be prepared to listen without responding right away as their feelings may be hurt and understandably so. Don’t be defensive, validate their feelings and show compassion. Listen some more. Explain why their friendship is important to you and that you sincerely hope they will still take part as a wedding guest. Another way to soften the blow would be to offer them another role in the wedding such as a reader etc.

2. The friend who is expecting an invitation and isn’t getting one.

With social media on full blast these days, everyone you know that has a smartphone is also likely to think they will have an invitation coming their way. My suggestion(if you are close friends) is to tell them early. This will not only soften the blow but will save everyone some embarrassment in the coming months. In the end your friend will appreciate your candor as well as your concern for their feelings. If you are not able to confront this individual then have a planned response ready to go at any time so you don’t get caught off guard at another social gathering if you happen to run into each other.

3. Guest or party member that is likely to drink to heavily at your reception

Well, let’s face it. Weddings are a time to celebrate and with that often comes alcohol consumption. We all have a friend or family member that tends to party a little harder than the rest of us. My suggestion would be to talk to them ahead of time and let them know your expectations upfront. Be kind and convey the message that they are important to you and you want them to share in the joy of your wedding ceremony and reception. Clearly you want them to have fun but to please be considerate of your feelings and to limit their consumption. Let them know they will be asked to leave if their behavior is out of line. After all, if you are paying for someone to come to your wedding...shouldn’t they be expected to remember it? If it is a family friend perhaps you can have one of your parents do the talking for you.

4. The Family Feud

Unfortunately not all families get along, nonetheless family is family and most adults should be able put their differences aside and behave themselves for a few hours in order to take part in your wedding. However, if you are worried about a confrontation, it’s always best to share your concerns ahead of time as well as set reasonable expectations. You don’t need them to sit together or even talk to each other. All you need is their love and support for you and your groom. Seat them as far away from each other as possible and enlist friends and or relatives to run interference as much as they can. This is important so that you can relax and enjoy your reception with your groom and not be worried about Aunt Sally and Uncle Frank and the dirty looks they may be exchanging.

You may have noticed “honesty” is the recurring theme here. If you do what feels right in your heart as well as give people an opportunity to respond in a way that is appropriate, you have the best chance at preserving a relationship that may otherwise be tainted. Avoiding uncomfortable conversations as it relates to weddings can often end badly. Give yourself the chance for a healthy and friendly outcome for all involved.

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