Weddings: the petri dish of family drama #Friends & Family Advice#compromising#conflict resolution#family drama#perspective January 10 | Ariel Meadow Stallings offbeatbride Petri dish crosstitch pattern from Etsy seller nerdylittlestitcher So there I was at a barre class in Seattle, and after class the woman next to me was all, "Um, are you Offbeat Bride?" and I was all, "Totally," and she was all "I follow you on Instagram." Her name was Nicole, and after class we got into a quick conversation about some of the wedding planning challenges she was dealing with. "My family doesn't understand some of my choices," Nicole said. "It's really frustrating to have to explain myself and defend my ideas over and over again." "Totally," I said. "Really, your wedding is just an opportunity to act as an ambassador… presenting your lifestyle and your choices to your family is an ongoing process, but wedding planning brings it all the forefront. Wedding planning is totally a petri dish of family dynamics." This is all to say, all sorts of your interests and lifestyle choices probably seem a little odd to your family, but until you're planning a wedding, it's easy to just sort of ignore the differences. It's not until you have the combination of two families coming together, social anxiety, financial considerations, religious and cultural traditions that all these things are forced up into your face. Related Post Let non-geeks in on the jokes with your geeky wedding program I hate (like reeeeeeaaaaally don't like) being on the outside of an inside joke. So I am in total love with how Karen and Terry... Read more If you have the energy for it, wedding planning can be a really amazing opportunity to give your family and other community members a hand-guided tour through your more offbeat interests and choices. I've always loved when people use their wedding programs as a chance to educate and inform guests, letting them in on the in-jokes and cultural references of your wedding that they may not understand. This concept of being a "weirdo ambassador" isn't a new one in these parts. Anyone remember this post I wrote for Offbeat Home & Life a while back? The tl;dr there is that if you're outspoken and demonstrative about your nontraditional choices, you have the amazing opportunity to answer people's questions about those choices! (Note my language here: It is an opportunity, even if sometimes it feels frustrating.) But of course aesthetic choices are just the tip of the iceberg — planning your wedding will bring all sorts of larger issues to the forefront like financial and wedding budgeting issues (how does your family approach conversations about money? What are the dynamics around gifts and loans? How do you talk about savings or wedding debt?) and social obligations (how does your family feel about dealing with abusive relatives? What about wedding invitation tit-for-tat?). You're also going to be on the front-lines of communication dynamics, navigating how your families deal with boundary issues (pushy? passive aggressive?) and conflict resolution. Related Post Fear mongering & you'll seeeee During wedding planning, we tell each other a lot of scary stories, which all too often become fear mongering. It's sort of a pre-emptive commiseration... Read more None of these issues are unique to weddings… communication styles, money issues, social dynamics and are all ongoing family issues. Depending on how old you are, your wedding just might be the first time you're confronting these issues head-on as an adult, on even (ish) standing with your parents and other elders. For some of us, wedding planning is a big fat "welcome to adulting!" party. This isn't to fear-monger — adulting is awesome (really!), but it can definitely be a challenging level-up when it comes to finding new ways to deal with family drama. Luckily, we here at Offbeat Bride have got your back. We've got sooooo many posts about how to constructively deal with family drama. Here are a few of the most popular: If I'm not stressing, why is everyone else stressing? (And how the answer changed everything) "Your cousin is freaking out. Can you please explain to me what you're wanting her to wear?" I sighed heavily at my aunt's text before copying and pasting pictures, and… Read More Be ready for hurt feelings and 7 other lessons I've learned about eloping Wow, it's been an amazing couple of weeks since our surprise elopement! Now I'm ready to download on the whole experience of eloping for my own piece of mind, and… Read More The drama-minimizing guide to not inviting family members to your wedding Ug. This is a post no one wants to write, but that definitely needs to be written. Unfortunately, for a whole bunch of legitimate reasons ranging from addiction to abuse,… Read More 7 ways to keep "Momthulhu" from hijacking your wedding plans Before the Bridethulhu, there was the Momthulhu: wrecker of peaceful wedding planning, stirrer of pots, and thwarter of offbeat ideas. Maybe you have one? Maybe your partner does? If you… Read More Try searching our archives for the family drama you're dealing with… with over 7000 posts, chances are decent that we've at least touched on the problems you're having. And if you can't find anything? LEAVE A COMMENT! We're happy to help… Get your daily dose of Offbeat AWESOME Reporter Name * Reporter Email * Original text Enter the original text here. Edited text* Enter your suggested copyedit here. Notes You can add a note for the editor here. * Required information. Fix Typo Ariel Meadow Stallings Author of Offbeat Bride: Creative Alternatives for Independent Brides, Ariel acts as the publisher of all the Offbeat Empire websites. She lives, loves, and dorks out hard in Seattle, WA. PREVIOUS Band mates become life mates at this musical wedding in Pennsylvania NEXT These Sydney wedding photographers are offering a HUGE discount (anywhere in the world!) Show/Hide comments [ 0 ] Join the conversation Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Participate in this conversation via emailGet only replies to your comment, the best of the rest, as well as a daily recap of all comments on this post. No more than a few emails daily, which you can reply to/unsubscribe from directly from your inbox. No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. Our comments are not the place to pimp your website. If you want to promote your stuff on Offbeat Bride, join us as an advertiser instead.