This is something I have had to encounter and deal with a lot in my journey as a wedding planner. A wedding goes beyond the couple. The parents, sponsors and guardians etc also want to be a part of the celebration as they see it as an achievement (especially in Africa).
If you happen to encounter a difficult family member, please follow the steps below to guide you through handling them properly to avoid further issues. Please watch the full video on youtube too for better explanation.
- Self Fund Your Wedding: The best way to avoid any issues at all is to fund your wedding yourself, it will limit or completely take away the power they have over the wedding.
- Be diplomatic: There is “marriage” after the wedding, you will still have to encounter the difficult person after the wedding, I would not advice you to enter the marriage with “unnecessary enemies” I am not asking you to be a doormat but be diplomatic.
- Have “the talk”: Sit down with the difficult person and let them understand how their action is having a negative effect on you. We all have people we respect and have high regards for, it could be a pastor, friend, mentor etc. If you know anyone the difficult family member respects a lot, you can reach out to them and explain the whole situation.
- Carry them along: We have had cases where the parents of the couple started nagging and making issues, when we got to the root of the problem we found out that they just wanted to be a part of the planning or to have proper information on the planning process. In Africa, weddings are well celebrated and is a thing of joy for the parents, it is usually seen as an achievement for them, so imagine not allowing them be a part of their “achievement” hehe!! You do not need to hand over the whole wedding to them, you can just carry them along from time to time.
- Share the event: This is highly advisable if you are not the one funding the wedding. In the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria, weddings are usually done in 2 parts, the traditional wedding and the white wedding. For the Hausa tribe, weddings are usually done in 4 parts. We will be using the Yoruba wedding as a case study, you can give the traditional wedding to your parents and ask them to do it as they wish but the white wedding BE FIRM AND STRICT with it, let them know you will do it your way.
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