Everything You Need to Know About Politely Dealing with Estranged Family Members at Your Wedding
You made the first move by inviting them, and they accepted. Now what?
You thought long and hard about extending a wedding invite to the relatives you had a falling out with and haven't spoken to in months, maybe even years. (Or this may be your mom's fight but you stand with her in solidarity.) You'd wondered if inviting them would help resolve the feud? Would not inviting them make matters worse? In the end, you chose to invite them, but you're not eager to see them on a day that's supposed to be about love and unity. Read on for some common-sense answers to questions you might have regarding how to treat these guests on your special day.
Do I greet them like any other guest?
Yes. Doing otherwise will likely call attention to the situation. The thing you're going to want to avoid at all costs is a rehashing of what went wrong. Your wedding is a happy day, and negativity and stress have no place there. As you'll do with a majority of your guests, giving a friendly hug and a "thanks for coming" is a perfectly fine greeting.
Should I pretend they're not there?
You asked them to come to your wedding—why would you then ignore them? It's not like you have to spend the entire reception with them but don't overlook their table. That would be rude and fuel any existing bad feelings.
Where should I seat them?
Wherever it makes the most sense, just as you'd do with other guests. Seat them with other relatives they get along with. If they're in a battle with the whole clan, seat them with non-family members at a table that's not close to the other family members.
Should I try for a reconciliation?
Not at the wedding! That's your day and you'll be too swept up in all the things on the agenda to have the time or interest in facilitating a peace treaty. Put that on your post-honeymoon to-do list instead.
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