How to deal with toxic relatives at weddings? It is a question that many couples ask themselves.  It seems that every family has one or two members that just make things difficult. Sometimes those family members are great with everyone else, but not with you. Sometimes you’re fine with them, but you have other family members who can’t stand to be around them.

No matter why the relationships are toxic, they can be a big problem when it comes to weddings. Having toxic relatives at your wedding can be hard and add stress to your special day, so how do you handle it?

There are really two solutions to toxic relatives and your wedding, you can invite them, or you can decide not to invite them. Both solutions come with their own set of problems which can be amplified because of the personalities involved. So how do you make it work and still have the wedding of your dreams? The following tips can lead you to a solution.

Not Inviting a Toxic Relative to Your Wedding

So, you’ve decided that simply not inviting them is the way you’re going to handle the situation. It’s your wedding and you don’t want to deal with their negativity. There are some things to consider before taking this step.

  • Do you see this person regularly? If so, skipping an invitation might make things worse in the long run.
  • Can you make up? Is this a personality thing, or a long-lasting issue or is it something you could mend before the wedding?
  • How will other guests feel? Will their presence upset a lot of people or will their absence be a bigger problem?
  • Who is paying? If you’re paying for the wedding you get to decide, if your parents are paying then they should get a little say on the guest list.
  • What’s the future repercussion – for everyone. It’s important to consider everyone’s feelings when you are debating cutting someone from the invite list.
  • How big is the wedding? If you’re having a small wedding, you might be okay not inviting everyone.

Inviting Toxic Relatives to Your Wedding

You’ve weighed your options and you just don’t think skipping the invite is a good idea, for whatever reason. So now you’ve got a toxic person coming to your special day and you want to manage them in a way that makes their presence a non-issue. The type of person they are will play a big part in how you handle them but consider the following tips as ways to manage their personality.

Give Them a Role to Play

It’s not uncommon for someone who is seen as toxic to simply want to be involved. Whether they want to do everything or just want to be noticed and appreciated. Giving these people a small task that lets them be a part of things and that they can be in charge of can be a real blessing.

If your Aunt Betty is the problem, let her be in charge of the guest book or stringing lights. Suddenly, they have a duty and you can express appreciation, and everything is a little better.

Don’t Have an Open Bar

Alcohol can be the fuel that lights the fire under a lot of arguments. Skip the open bar and your guests are less likely to overindulge. If drinking is a serious and known issue, let the bartenders know which guests should have weaker drink mixes or might need to be cut off. You might even want to consider a dry wedding or featuring many dry drinks.

Can You Find a Babysitter?

Let’s say Aunt Betty is up to her tricks again, causing issues and picking fights. But your beloved Aunt Veronica is also a guest and she’d be more than happy to manage Betty, she’s been doing it most of her life after all. Maybe it’s not a relative, but a friend that can keep Aunt Betty busy chatting the night away.

Play Keep Away

Have people who know about the family issues help intercept the “problem people” from getting to you or anyone else who they might target. It can be fun for some, difficult for others, and sometimes it’s impossible but it’s an option.

Be Assertive When Inviting Toxic Relatives

If there’s something that’s causing issues at your wedding, this is your time to be assertive. It’s your day and you don’t have to deal with it. Be straightforward and polite, no name-calling or blaming, and state what you’d like to have happened or change.

Have a Destination Wedding

If you have a wedding that’s in a foreign country, you obviously can’t invite everyone and not everyone will be able to make it. This might just be the best solution to having your perfect wedding day and not hurting anyone’s feelings.

Unfortunately, even the most loving groups can have a toxic character or two. When you’re planning your wedding invites, it’s a good idea to consider how you want to handle these people. Do you even want to invite them? And if you do, the above tips can help you save the day.

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