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How to Overcome Conflicts with Family and Friends During Wedding Planning

Updated: Sep 15, 2023

This is a really personal question, not necessarily because there’s some private details in there… but because every situation is personal, every family member is an individual and every bride or groom has their own view.

My first and my most important point to make is this is your wedding, you deserve your dream wedding without others deciding what your dream should be. That very much includes The Wedding Hand.

I’m going to take you through an exercise we would do in a bridal coaching session at The Wedding Hand to help you come to a solution.

Only you are seeing this, so there is no judgement, there are no wrong answers and certainly no answers too crazy, nobody will see what you have written, this is just for you.

Get yourself a pen and paper, and maybe a cuppa. Set aside 20-30 minutes to do this activity and you will find a way to overcome your conflicts and disagreements (I promise, it's worth it).


Defining the wedding conflict

Think of the conflict or disagreement around the wedding that you want to improve or find a solution for.

Write down your wedding disagreement down in one sentence.

It should be something along these lines:

  • My challenge is my mother not wanting me to have the maid of honour I’d like, and I want her to be happy with my decision.

  • My disagreement is my sister isn’t planning the Hen Do yet, and it’s only 4 months until the wedding.

Hint: You don't want something too big, if it's a huge goal like to enjoy your wedding day break it down into smaller chunks.


Setting your dream to overcome your wedding conflict

The goal for overcoming the wedding issue is really important, this is what you are working towards, it’s the dream situation. It’s forward focused, it’s positive, it’s specific and has a time attached.

Going back to the challenge you wrote down, can you now make that sentence very specific?

For example:

  • I want have my best friend as my maid of honour, and to have told my mother the reason for this.

  • Or, I want to stop worrying about my hen do not being planned, and share my concerns with my sister.

Next, I want you to write down what you want to get out of the activity today, an action plan, strategy, 2 actions, a first step…

For example:

  • I want to make a plan of action of how I am going to speak to my mother about my decision.

  • Or, I want to have 2 actions to take away to make sure that the hen do starts being planned, and it starts being planned.

Have you been specific? Is it personal to you?


Visualising your dream future situation

Ok, let’s go forward in time to when your wedding conflict is resolved, you’re 10/10 happy with this particular disagreement in the wedding:

  • What do you see happening that shows that it’s all resolved?

  • What are you doing which shows that you’ve achieved what you wanted?

  • What are other people doing? What is the person (/people) doing that were central to the conflict?

  • What are you thinking/ feeling now it’s all resolved?

How will you know you have overcome this disagreement with your friend or family? You’ve had a conversation? It’s how you’re feeling? The hen do is started to be planned?

When is it realistic for you to be there?

If you're thinking that it's going to take more than 3 months to resolve, you may want to make it a little shorter, to keep yourself motivated. Can you break it up into smaller dreams?

Check that you are working on something where you have control. If it’s about your mother being happy, you can’t control that, what is within your control?

Re-write your dream situation now. I’d like you to write it as though you are where you want to be, I want it specific, measurable, positive and with a timeline!

Here’s a few examples:

  • It’s the end of the activity (timeline), and I have a plan of action with dates attached (measure) to make sure that I have (positive) my best friend as my bridesmaid (specific).

  • It’s a week from now (timeline), and I have shared my worries with my sister about the hen do, and we have (positive) a strategy (measure) for how to get the hen do planned (specific).

Hint… there should be no negative words (no, don’t, not want).


Where are you now with your disagreement in wedding planning?

What is happening now that tells you there is a conflict or challenge? List the impact of the issue for you, your financé or others.

Why is it such an issue right now?

What is missing that you want? Go back to where you said things were 10/10, use this to help you create a list.

What is good right now? What are you doing right?

What have you tried already to improve the situation? What were the outcomes of that? How did the outcomes compare to what you had hoped for? Were there any successful outcomes?

For those things that were successful, what made it work? Was there something in the wedding planning that went really well?

At what point did it stop working? What happened? Did some part of the wedding planning process get very stressful?

What did that tell you?

What ideas have you got as to why they were not as successful as you hoped?

For those ideas that didn’t work, when did it go wrong? What contributed to it going wrong?

What are the barriers in the way right now, that will stop you moving forward?

Can you describe why this is an obstacle?

Have you overcome an obstacle like this before? What did you do to overcome a situation like this in the past? What was successful about this approach in the past? What skills and resources did you use to help you?


What could you do to fix the disagreement, to make planning your wedding less stressful?

Remember where I said no answer is too crazy? Now is the time to think like that!

This isn’t you creating your next steps, this is you sharing what you could do, all the possible things you could do. Let go of your budget, your timings, your skills, just generally your inhibitions! Go wild!

What ideas do you have that might move you one step closer to your goal? Write down 6 ideas.

Here are a few prompts:

  • What could you do if you weren’t answerable to anyone?

  • If you had an unlimited wedding budget?

  • If you devoted yourself to resolving this issue?

  • If you didn’t have to live with the consequences?

  • If you weren’t scared of anything?

  • If you wholly believed in yourself?

  • If wedding stress wasn't a thing?

I believe in you… I want 4 more…

  • What would your partner tell you to do?

  • How about your parent?

  • Your sister?

  • Your best friend?

Don’t be critical of your ideas!

Just review what you wrote when we were looking at where you currently are, think about all those successes you mentioned, what ideas does that give you?

Have you missed anything?

Are there any ideas linked to the ideas you’ve written down?

Well done, take a breath!

I want you to choose the options you’ve written down which will:

1. Have the biggest impact

2. Be the easiest thing to do

3. Excite you the most


What are you going to do about the wedding disagreement?

To make sure that your ideas to overcome your wedding conflict are successful, we need to make them really specific.

What do you need to do?

Are there any sub actions? If yes, what are they?

Write down all the little things that need to happen.

Do you need to involve anyone else? How and when will you involve them?

When do you want to have done this by?

What is a realistic timeline?

What would be the benefits of taking these actions?

Who else would benefit?

If you took this step or steps, what would you be saying to yourself? How would you be feeling?


Re-write your plan so you know exactly what and when you are taking action.

How excited are you to take these actions on a scale of 1-10?

How committed are you to taking these actions on a scale of 1-10?

Who is responsible for you completing them?

Well done you have a plan!! You’re just a few actions away from that 10/10 feeling, I wish you the best of luck 🍀

In our sessions I would tailor the questions and challenge you more where I think you need it, you’ll be held to account and have a supportive, friendly face to empower you throughout your wedding planning journey. Get in touch with us for a free coaching session if you tell us about your experience with this blog 💌

I hope this was a helpful task, you can use it over and over again!

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