Tips for Navigating Wedding Party Tension



For couples choosing to have a wedding party, whether big or small, it can come with more considerations than you’d initially thought. Not only will you have to choose how many people you want standing up next to you at the altar, but a major decision is who will be standing next to you as well.

There are feelings to consider and, of course, you’ll be trying your best to make sure that everyone (on both sides) will get along and help to make your day a great one. Let’s take a look at some tips on how to avoid wedding party tension, as well as how to handle it when it does happen.

Getting Familiar with the Situation

If you’ve chosen people that don’t get along to be in the wedding party (whether they’re exes or just plain don’t like each other), make sure you know that ahead of time and are sensitive to their situation. “I think having a good understanding ahead of time of what might be a tricky situation is important. Then, it’s about taking that understanding and being sensitive to them. As adults, they should be able to put all of that aside for your wedding, but if you can be sensitive to their uncomfortableness or tension, you can help make it easier,” shares Jamie Chang, owner of Passport to Joy, a step-by-step program that guides couples in planning their own destination wedding.

If you have a wedding planner, they can be immensely helpful in these types of situations, “Have your planner be the “bad guy” and don’t worry about problems that may arise, let the planner talk to them,” suggests Kim Sayatovic, owner of Belladeux Event Design.

Another good way to diffuse any situation is to remind everyone what they are really there for – the couple! “The key is to bring the focus back to what is important – their friend who is getting married. It’s the same with divorced parents or weird family situations.  Everyone is there for the same reason: because they love the couple,” explains Chang.

Communication is Key

Before the day of the wedding, be sure to make a plan for everyone and communicate what their duties will be to avoid disgruntled wedding party members that don’t know what they should be doing.

Kevin Dennis, owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services says, “Sometimes bridesmaids and groomsmen think they will be in charge of everything on the day of, so they get upset when they’re not. On the other side, you have the bridesmaids and groomsmen who think they don’t have to do anything, but show up and get upset when they are asked to do something. Being honest about their responsibilities and duties will cut down on a lot of tension.”

Divide and Conquer

In a situation where the tension is running high on the day of the wedding, sometimes it’s best to break everyone up and separate those who don’t get along. “Divide and conquer,” encourages Jennifer Taylor, owner of Taylor’d Events Group. “Separate duties so that it is very clear who is doing what and you are able to strategically separate the members of the wedding party who have tension. This way no one has to work together if it isn’t going to be a good idea, they just have to keep their cool at the actual function.”

Following these expert tips and keeping the focus on the couple are without a doubt the best ways to keep any tension at bay, so that everyone has fun and enjoys the day!

Audrey Gilani is a PR Specialist at OFD Consulting, a wedding PR and wedding marketing firm. Gilani holds a public relations degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a recent bride that married her husband in true southern style. She is a proud cat mom and lover of British history and good coffee.