Planning a wedding is stressful enough already and the last thing you need is a family drama! Our Editorial Assistant, Samantha Merritt, answers those niggling questions that give you a real headache!

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“My sister is my maid of honour. How can I tell her she can’t bring her boyfriend of three weeks to the ceremony?”

If you hardly know the guy – odds are you don’t after just three weeks of him being in your sister’s life – then she probably won’t get too offended that he can’t be there. If she does cause a fuss over it then why not compromise and suggest that he can come to the reception rather than the ceremony? This way he won’t be in the really important photos, and she won’t be distracted from her maid of honour duties trying to make sure he’s meeting all the family!

“Should I invite my ex-husband to my upcoming second wedding? We have a daughter together and she’s going to be one of my bridesmaids. We’re on good terms, I just don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable.”

The biggest thing you have to ask yourself here is will your husband-to-be mind your
ex being there? If not then there’s no harm inviting him, especially if your daughter is
part of the bridal party and he’s going to be genuinely happy for you. Make sure you offer him a plus one so he doesn’t feel alone on the day and has some sort of support. However, if your partner is hesitant to say yes, then explain to your ex that it’s probably not a good idea – you want your day to run as smoothly as possible, after all.

“My fiancé and I went to his auntie’s wedding. Do I need to invite her to ours even though it’s only going to be an intimate gathering?”

It’s not necessary for you to invite all your relatives to your big day – especially if they’re distant family members who you don’t see often. If it’s going to cause real upset, especially as you went to hers, then be sure to have a good reason for not inviting her! For example, let her know it’s going to be a small celebration with just immediate family, or that budget restraints mean you can’t invite everyone. You can always have another celebration with the rest of your relatives at a later date.

“Can I ask someone else other than my dad to walk me down the aisle?”

Even though it’s the time-old tradition for your father to give you away, there’s no law to say it has to be him. If you’re estranged from your father or not particularly close to him, then ask someone you are close to such as a your mum, grandparent, brother or even a friend. If your dad is in your life, though, don’t leave him in the dark – make sure you let him know you’ve asked someone else and give him the reasons why.

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“My parents are footing the bill for our big day. Should they have control over the entire celebration?”

This is a big one. If your parents want to pay for everything then that’s great news, but they need to bear in mind that at the end of the day, the wedding is about you and your groom. Sit down with them early on and explain that although you’re very grateful for the money and that you’ll of course welcome their input during the planning, the ultimate decision lies with you. If you can’t hack your mum wanting to have control over certain aspects of your day, then you may be better off splitting the costs.

“I don’t want children at my wedding. How do I tell my brother he can’t bring his?”
It’s become a common thing to say no to having kids at weddings. Sit your brother down and explain that it’s an adult-only day and you’ve asked everyone, not just him, not to bring their children. If you really don’t want to have that conversation, then address your invitations with just ‘Mr & Mrs’ or add a short and polite sentence at the bottom stating it’s an adult- only day – just remember to leave all your guests enough time to get a babysitter!

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If you want to involve your family in your big day, check out our 7 ways to make your family a big part of your wedding!

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