15 Jul 2013
That Guest You DON'T Want At Your Wedding
Isn’t planning a special party fun? You get
to invite all your favorite people to celebrate with you! Except when you’re
planning a party for 2 people, say for instance a wedding, sometimes your
special person isn’t quite so popular with your other half.
Have you ever seen the movie ‘Rachel’s
Getting Married’? It begins with a father travelling to a rehab centre to pick
up his former addicted daughter in order to take her home just in time for her
Except that most of the guests, as well as
her engaged sister, are not exactly overjoyed to see their freshly released
One of the key issues that arises
immediately is the idea of compromise. Rachel who is getting married doesn’t
necessarily want her sister in the bridal party, but is happy to compromise.
Her newly reformed sister however insists
that she will not only be a bridesmaid, but will replace Rachel’s best friend
as the maid of honour.
If that little introduction doesn’t pique
your interest, nothing else will and I’ll save the rehashing of the movie for a
more qualified critic.
Instead, let’s talk about the guest you
DON’T want to invite – but feel obliged to. A few years ago, a beautiful bride
I married made the very difficult decision not to invite her sister.
Her decision was very carefully considered
and then discussed with both her fiancé and her parents. Her intentions were
clear, and so were her boundaries and after much discussion, she found that her
choice was also supported by everyone else.
I asked her about it at the time, and she
said, “My decision was based around a simple acceptance of who my sister is. As
a result, I have no expectation for her to be any other way and this eliminates
any predisposition to be annoyed or disappointed with her.
While I try to be conscious of my own
behavior when I'm around her, it's also important for me to honour my needs in
different environments -especially my wedding day.
Our wedding day was intimate and low key and
I was also clear about not wanting to run around to make sure she wasn't blind
drunk and belligerent before the ceremony ended”.
Jessica was torn between succumbing to
feelings of obligation, or honoring her needs. In the end, she put an SOS out
to her extended family. “I seriously considered excluding my narcissistic mum
from my big day with Darren and we discussed the pros and cons at length.
In the end, I decided to ask my extended
family for help in 'managing' her on the day. They were more than happy to
oblige and actually went out of their way to make sure I wasn't exposed to some
of the outbursts that did occur.
I'm eternally grateful to them not only for
their love and support on my wedding day, but for the fact that I won't have to
live with my mother going on about how she never got invited to my wedding for
the next 20 years.”
This is a tricky concept because when we
ask someone to make a choice between what we want and what they want,
probability states there's a 50% chance that things won't go our way.
Abbie was given an ultimatum from both her
parents. If her stepmum would be at the wedding, her mum wouldn't go. If her
stepmum was not invited then her dad wouldn't go.
Ultimately, Abbie did what she wanted in
the end, and left the decision of attending her wedding entirely up to her
parents. In my opinion, this worked so well for her because she genuinely
detached from the outcome. Whether her parents attended or not, Abbie was still
going to have an amazing wedding day.
I am Patty Kikos, civil celebrant, yoga teacher and blogger. Find out more about me at http://aperfectceremony.com.au/