Toxic Family Members: To Invite or Not To Invite

Navigating family relationships can be difficult, especially during planning a wedding. Here are some things to consider if you find yourself trying to decide whether or not to include certain family members on your wedding day.

Dealing with toxic family members can be frustrating and painful. That is something you may not want to include on your wedding day. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you want to be able to look back on your day with happy memories, without a shadow hanging over them. Only you know your capacity to handle certain people or certain situations. And only you can decide what is toxic for you. If there is someone in your life that you are uncomfortable with having at your wedding, it is one-hundred-percent OK not to invite them, whatever the reason and no matter their relationship to you.


You may also want to consider family members that have a toxic relationship with each other. If you anticipate drama between these family members at your wedding, you might want to think about whether or not you will invite one or both of the parties. If you decide that you still want them at your wedding, consider having an honest conversation with each of them about how important this day is to you and your partner and how important it is to have them there with you, but that you are concerned about problems/fighting/etc.


If you do want to invite these family members, designate trusted family or friends to keep an eye on things during the wedding and reception. Choose people you know are great at de-escalating tough or tense situations. Consider some different challenges or scenarios that could arise and have a plan in place for how you will handle them.


Talk with your partner and let them know how you are feeling and what you are considering. They may have some good advice, and at the very least they should be kept aware of the situation so you can both be on the same page about handling any difficulties. At the end of the day, your wedding day is about you and your partner. Do what makes you both feel comfortable and what will keep the focus on the celebration of your love and this next step of your journey together.

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