Ready to kick out a bridesmaid? Suddenly not getting along with your FMIL? Don't sweat it! We spoke with wedding etiquette expert Anna Post, author of "Do I Have to Wear White?" (and the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post) to find out how you can get out of these sticky situations gracefully. Here are the top five wedding drama dilemmas and how you can solve them.
Dilemma #1: You get along with your future mother-in-law -- until it comes to wedding planning. She not only doesn't like any of your ideas but there's nothing you can do to please her.
Solve it: Compromising can be very important in this situation, especially if your fiance's family is paying for part of the wedding. "Think about the things that are non-negotiable to you and about concessions that you can make for her," says Anna.
Anna also suggests giving the most vocal family members a task, be it picking out the favors or organizing accommodations -- something that will take their mind off nit-picking you.
Above all else, don't ask your fiance to pick sides. "I would communicate very clearly with him about whether you want him involved in a dispute, so you can be united in front of his parents," says Anna. At the end of the day she will be your mother-in-law, so remember "as much as you may want to put her in her place, her voice is part of this process."
Dilemma #2: You've got a really relaxed bridesmaid who doesn't seem to care about being involved.
Solve it: Earth to bridezilla! Bridesmaids don't have to be your indentured servants for the entire planning period. Now that we've cleared that up, there are a few things you should expect them to be involved with; like your shower, their dress, and some general enthusiasm about your wedding.
"If she's not showing up for fittings, or responding to emails, just call and say, 'I'd really like for you to be a part of this,'" says Anna.
Moreover, in the current economy, Anna notes that brides should be sensitive to the things their bridesmaids might not say. "There's a lot of people who can't commit the money, but people won't say that," notes Anna. Instead, they'll just stop showing up to events or "forget" to buy a dress they can't afford.
As the bride, be proactive and gently let your friend know that you understand the financial commitment of the role, and if it's not possible right now, you'd love to have her do a reading or give a speech at the wedding instead.
Dilemma #3: You've got a huge circle of extended family and friends, but can't really afford to invite them all. You don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so what can you do?
Solve it: When in doubt, try to make the cuts elsewhere. "Pick chicken over filet mignon," she says.
If you are having a small wedding, and you will be cutting certain family members, Anna suggests making the division along a straight line to avoid hurt feelings. In other words, you should invite all of your siblings and their immediate families (husbands, wives and children) but draw the line there; versus inviting your siblings, but cutting off their immediate families so you can invite a few cousins in their place.
"Make the division along a straight line," says Anna, "When you don't, it becomes personal."
Dilemma #4: You're feuding with a family member and don't want to invite him or her, but your parents are insisting on it. Or, vice versa, your family is feuding with a family member that you really want to invite.
Solve it: "Weddings are, even more than holidays, very precedent setting events," notes Anna. In other words, if you don't invite someone to your wedding, don't expect a housewarming or Thanksgiving invitation down the road.
Instead, this could be a nice way to get a fresh start. Anna suggests calling the person and just saying, "I realize things have been difficult between us, but I'd love to have you there."
"This could be a great diffuser," says Anna. "Think about the big picture. Has this rocky relationship been a trend for a long time, or is this a blip on the map?"
Dilemma #5: Your mother is being very controlling about the wedding, but you don't know how to handle it because she's helping to pay for it.
Solve it: "There's this idea I talk about," says Anna, "Love every idea for 5 minutes." Anna says that likely, your mom just wants to have her opinion heard and feel like she's included in the process.
So go ahead, try on her wedding gown and let her "ooh" and "ahh" while you twirl about. Then sit her down and kindly say, "You know mom, this is really beautiful, but I've always wanted to try on XYZ dress." And then invite her to the bridal salon to model that dress.
"What you can't do is stomp your foot and say 'My day!'" says Anna. "And what mom can't say is, 'Well I'm paying for it, my way!'"
When it comes to tough situations, overall, Anna says, there's no "silver bullet" to solve them. The best thing you can do is communicate clearly -- and early on -- regarding what you'd like and make your priorities and the parts of the wedding that are "non-negotiable" known to your parents and friends.
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