Whether we want to admit it or not, we have family with all kinds of political stripes and strife. How do you plan an event with them in mind? Welcome to your official guide on planning an interpolitical wedding!
I know for a fact that weddings bring out weird shit in people. Your single friends might start replaying their failed relationships. All the social stigma around weddings causes them to think things like, “You’re not getting any younger.” People start wondering if there’s anyone out there for them. It can be stressful for your guests, and, in turn, can be stressful for you, the couple.
But when it comes to your family, weddings bring out even weirder things...opinions. So many opinions. You’ll find that your family has opinions on everything — what you’re going to wear, your choice of food, and your choice of partner. Sometimes, you’ll even hear those fun unsolicited political interjections that no one ever asks for.
So, how can you avoid having your homophobic uncle clash with everyone within a 10 mile radius of your ceremony? Here are a few tips to help your wedding stay a happy affair, and not a full-on political meltdown of Purge proportions.
1. Become a Seating Ninja
I could easily say don’t invite people you can’t stand to your wedding, but I know that’s not always feasible. If you want to placate your parents, or are trying to keep the peace in the family or amongst friends, chances are you’re probably mailing invitations to at least a few people who are hot garbage.
To keep the peace, you probably don’t want to put your MAGA aunt next to your Black Lives Matter cousin. Aunt Cheryl will have other opportunities to be schooled, but your wedding does not need to be that moment.
Be aware of your guests from marginalized communities who probably don’t want to hear any bull or feel like they don’t belong on a day they’re supposed to enjoy. The goal is to seat everyone in a place that’ll allow them to enjoy the wedding as much as possible. Having a seating chart will keep the people you’re most afraid of clashing away from each other for as long as possible. There’s always the possibility of interactions to the bathroom and the bar. If you’re still nervous about that, keep reading.
2. Create Planned Distractions
Sometimes you need extra activities to keep the reception moving. A great way to do that is to add some other activities to your timeline. Have fun with this. Maybe have a local comedian do a set, set up yard games if you have an outdoor space, or even bring karaoke into the mix. You really can fill your reception with whatever you want and your budget allows. Find ways to keep it interesting and, most importantly, find things that can occupy guests’ time.
3. Have Someone Run Point on Problematic Guests
Hire a planner, hire a planner, hire a planner! They know the job isn’t just managing logistics, but also managing people. Tell them the names of guests they need to keep an eye on for possible f*ckery. Also, give them a list of people authorized to give toasts so you can avoid cringeworthy rants and diatribes.
4. Let Your Choices Speak For You
If you’ve chosen inclusive vendors and certain guests take notice of it, let them sit with that. If your ceremony is non-religious or incorporates non-traditional elements, let them sit with that. If your group of friends intimidates your more conservative family because it’s so diverse, let them sit with that. If in lieu of gifts you ask guests to donate to political charities or causes, let them sit with that.
Your wedding is a representation of who you are as a couple, if someone truly has a problem with that they can kick rocks.
Ultimately, you’re inviting people into an intimate exchange and celebration. Hopefully with these tips, they can focus on that instead.
Jordan A. Maney is an Assistant Editor at Catalyst Wedding Co. and is a San Antonio-based wedding planner. She she started her company as a planning haven for all the couples the industry chooses to ignore. Instead of just making a brand, she's building a community. Find more of her sass, humor, and Southern hospitality at allthedaysweddings.com.