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Weddings: the petri dish of family drama

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.

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?).

Lost ships: When election results strike fear in your wedding planning heart

It's safe to say this recent election has brought increased tension to the (often already-dysfunctional) dynamics in many families throughout the nation. As the weeks go on, many of you (especially on the not-winning side of the election results) may now find yourselves feeling lost at sea in turbulent political and emotional waters. And if your shipmates in this metaphor are the family members with whom you most butt heads, it can feel like there's mutiny afoot.

Oh, and all your seemingly-mutinous shipmates? They are invited to your upcoming wedding.

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"The dog ate my dress": 4 ways to get out of being a bridesmaid

Declining to be in a wedding party or worse, backing out after you've already committed, can be a delicate maneuver. Sometimes it's financial, sometimes it's too much of a time commitment, and sometimes there are just personal or emotional reasons that you can't commit. But sometimes it has to be done for logistical reasons or just for your own self-care. Here are four ways to get out of being a bridesmaid if you've found that it's not in the cards for you.

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The 6 discussions you should have with your partner before the wedding

Is it getting down to the wire? Wedding date almost here?! Have you had these six big ol' convos with your partner yet? Oh, it's on. Time to start waylaying fears, saying thanks, and talk about TV shows. Wait, what? Yep, all of the above need to happen stat. Here are the six discussions before the wedding that probably need to happen.