How to Deal With Family Wedding Drama Over Thanksgiving

Here are five tips for when everyones mouths are full of opinions instead of turkey

Updated 11/18/18


Holidays at home can be hard enough without having your wedding plans on the hot seat at your family’s Thanksgiving celebration. Even if you’ve worked overtime to “forget” to text a pestering Aunt back who wants to know if she can add some extended family to your guest list or you’ve found an excuse to rush off the phone early when your grandmother makes "suggestions" about the wedding menu, all those unresolved issues, questions, and debates can come out to play on Thanksgiving.

So how do you spend the holiday being thankful for all that you have and all that is to come without having to stuff turkey into your mouth to keep yourself from talking back to a family member? Try one of these five tricks to have a peaceful Thanksgiving celebration without any family drama.

Practice Your Responses

Start off by jotting down all of the wedding questions you think your family will ask you that might get your blood boiling. Questions like, “Can I bring one more person?” or “Can I give you my opinion on the wedding colors you picked?” might be among the slew of questions your relatives will ask. Take that list and pair it with short answers so that you’re prepared to take on their questions with rehearsed responses that won’t leave you backing down on the wedding decisions you and your fiancé already made.

Table the Drama Until Turkey Is Eaten

If you notice the wedding drama starting to flair before people have even taken their first bite, politely ask your family member to table these questions until after the holiday is over. Explain that you’ve been working hard on wedding planning and you’re so excited to share the joy with everyone there, but you’d prefer to deal with people giving you wedding suggestions once you’ve digested your turkey and slice of apple pie.

Enlist Help From Well-Behaved Family Members

Before Thanksgiving arrives, ask a couple of your more well-behaved and trusted family members to help step in and push away the wedding drama when it comes as a side dish to the dinner table. Assign a few of them to encourage family members to stop fighting over wedding decisions or arguing over traditional differences. Having a team of people help you manage the family chaos will surely help take a load of stress, pressure, and anxiety off your shoulders during this holiday season.

Have a List of Alternative Conversation Starters

If ever there was a time to learn how to be good at changing the subject, now would be a really good time. Carry a list of 10-15 topics or (light) news headlines that you can toss into conversation to derail the talk around your wedding. When relatives start pouring out how much they disapprove of your wedding choices, throw out a conversation topic that they can get their energy behind and then you can get off the hook.

Get Good at Tuning Other People Out

Whether you like it or not, you might start to find that a couple of your relatives just won’t give up infusing your wedding plans with their drama during Thanksgiving. If you’ve tried what you can to change the topic and asked other family members help out, then you might just want to practice tuning them out either with deep breathing or focusing 100% on eating all of the food on your plate.

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