Tom and I are trying to stay out of everything as much as possible but understandably Katie’s side of the family and a lot of their family friends have taken Katie’s side and distanced themselves from Steve. Tom is on good terms with both his parents.
Our wedding will be the first event where all parties will be around each other. Katie’s family and Steve have had no contact since the affair was uncovered. Katie’s family is pretty outspoken and with an open bar, we’re worried things may get out of hand. Open bar is already booked with a contract so not having alcohol is not an option. Plus, the food and open bar are the things we’re looking forward to the most for this wedding.
Steve’s girlfriend will not be attending and Tom has told Katie to tell her family that our wedding is not the place for confrontation and he will not hesitate to throw people out if arguing starts. I agree with Tom but I also completely understand Katie’s family’s anger and if I were them in that situation, I don’t know if I’d be able to hold back either.
I suggested maybe setting up a time for Katie’s family and Steve to meet up before the wedding but Tom does not like this idea as he feels it would be setting his dad up in front of a firing squad. Katie’s family is also huge and all over the U.S. so this may not be a feasible option.
Do you and your readers have any ideas to prevent a Jerry Springer brawl at our wedding? Are there any other measures we can take during the wedding itself? Any help is appreciated, I am stumped! — No Springer Style Wedding, Please
I’m with Tom that setting Steve up to meet with Katie’s family is inappropriate and, frankly, not very compassionate. You really don’t know what went on in Steve’s and Katie’s marriage or what led to Steve’s affair. And to allow Katie’s family to basically have at him in a closed meeting before your wedding is basically like saying you side with her, and that’s unfair. It’s not your place to take sides, particularly since you are new to this family, you don’t know the history, and Steve is going to be your father-in-law as much as Katie is going to be your mother-in-law. I recommend continuing to “stay out of everything as much as possible,” and to keep an open mind about your in-laws. You don’t know the whole story — it’s not yours to know anyway — and all you need to focus on in the long run is your relationship with them as daughter-in-law and support of your husband’s relationship with them.
Of course, your focus on the shorter-term is on your wedding, understandably. And if you have reason to believe Katie’s family could cause problems, it’s Tom’s job to speak to them directly (not Katie’s job; hasn’t she already been through enough without having to manage her entire extended family at your wedding?). Tom should speak to the most outspoken members of his mother’s side of the family and express your wishes that they not cause a scene at your wedding. Then, you should both select two or three people you trust who are used to managing others but won’t already have their hands full managing people at your wedding (like, no parents of young children who might be in attendance) and assign them the task of keeping an eye on Katie’s outspoken family. While you are hopefully enjoying every minute of your wedding and making the rounds, these particular attendants can tend to potential drunken outbursts, of which there probably won’t be any, and can separate/remove any offenders and keep them from causing a scene. This special role of managing drunk, outspoken family members can also serve a double function of honoring loved ones who may not fit into typical wedding party roles like bridesmaids or groomsmen. “Wedding bouncer” has a nice ring to it.
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