LGBTQ+ Wedding Planning | Navigating Family Dynamics

LGBTQ+ Wedding Planning Navigating Family DynamicsLGBTQ+ Wedding Planning

Let’s face it—navigating family relationships as an LGBTQ+ person isn’t always easy.

Add in planning a wedding and you’re likely facing a turmoil of conflicting emotions: joy, excitement, nervousness, sadness, or apprehension. I won’t pretend that I have all the answers here. My own wedding planning process was emotional. I had some family members who could not accept my marriage. And others who chose not to attend for fear of offending other family members. My dad was my only immediate or extended family at my wedding and his presence meant the world to me. But even then, because of other complicated relationships, he didn’t decide he was coming until about a week before.

It is my hope that you have the full love and support of your family on your wedding day, but if things are looking complicated, here are some tidbits that might help you navigate.

Navigating Family Dynamics

  • First of all, it’s okay to feel all of the emotions
    I hope you give yourself space to feel and process each one as it comes up. And it may come up more than once. It may come up multiple time around the same relationship/ person. Acknowledging what you’re feeling and being open to working through your feelings is a healthy way to find a way forward.*I also believe that therapy can be a positive and crucial part of any healthy relationship. Don’t be afraid to bring in an expert to support you as you navigate your feelings. And don’t be afraid to use couple’s therapy to strengthen your romantic relationships, even if  you are already on solid footing.
  • Navigating complicated family dynamics makes you dig deeper as a couple
    I truly believe that hard, respectful conversations are crucial to building a solid foundation for marriage. In addition to conversations about jobs, finances, futures goals, and children, navigating family dynamics is a large part of the every day experience of LGBTQ+ couples. And having someone on your team as you deal with those relationships can go a long way to getting you to where you want to be in your life.
  • Bring together all of the people in your life that 100% support your relationship for what it is
    I believe that a wedding, and the start of a marriage, should be celebrated with the people who mean the most to you. And not a person more. Invite the people who have loved you, stood behind you, and celebrated you and your relationship from the start. These are the people who will be cheering you on in life. And they are exactly the kind of people you want to have surrounding you on your wedding day.
  • Family can look like anything
    Cousins, parents, best friends, roommates, furry children. Family is what you make it and isn’t limited to blood relations. Family is love and support, no matter who it comes from.
  • And finally, no one has a RIGHT to be at your wedding
    Just because your parents or your siblings or your cousins and are “family”, it doesn’t mean that they have a designated place at your wedding table. Only include those members of your family who can be there to honestly support, love, and celebrate you.  I realize this may be a really hard concept to grapple with, and that’s okay. Take the time you need to process it and decide how you feel about. And then make decisions based on what will create the most positive wedding experience for you.

Of course, family dynamics can be nuanced and complicated. They can also be beautiful and supportive and a light in your world.

No matter where your relationships stand, I hope you find a place a of peace and a sense of belonging on your wedding day. Surrounded by the people who cheer you on, every step of the way.

Much love friends.

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Check out additional wedding planning resources here, and additional resources for planning a wedding as part of the LGBTQ+ community here.

Ready to chat about your wedding? Bring me into the conversation.

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